We put so much thought and energy into making the right choices for our skincare. Finding the appropriate combination of moisturisers, toners, oils and cleansers is sometimes a challenge but with the amount of information available we can eventually get to a good balance. And then we think we got it sorted.
Our skin however, is affected by many more factors around us. One of these is our home environment and the cleaning materials we use. Most surface cleaning sprays are full of harsh chemicals that we shouldn’t be inhaling or ingesting regularly. Whether it's our floor, toilet or kitchen counter cleaner, all of them have something to avoid. If you have pets or small babies who are always licking surfaces or putting things in their mouths, it's an even better idea to switch to non-toxic alternatives, both for family health as well as the environment.
There’s loads on the net about what works and who knows what's true, so it helps to hear if something has been tried and tested when you’re making decisions like this. So from time to time we’ll tell you about the surprising uses of a common household substance.
Some of us at Ilana have been regularly using white vinegar at 5% acidity (the stuff you get in the market as synthetic vinegar) for our surface cleaning needs at home. (Babies and cats were some of the reasons for this shift!) But over five years of use, we discovered several more advantages to having a spray bottle of vinegar around. So here are a few to get you started:
Kitchen counters, sinks, bathtubs, glass windows all look squeaky shiny clean when you spray with vinegar and wipe. For stubborn oily marks, just spray and leave for ten minutes, then wipe. We even managed to do this with dirty dishes that were sticky with oil and the glue left over from labels on glass bottles.
Just remember that vinegar is an acid, so you don’t want to leave it on marble counters!
Soaking your fresh vegetables in a bowl of water to which you’ve added a capful of vinegar both disinfects as well as revives fresh green leaves that might have wilted a bit. However, since it's not an anti-virus don’t replace your COVID-19 soap cleaning for things that enter your home.
Final Bath Rinse
After all the shampoos, scrubs, shower gels and conditioners are done, spraying on a 1% solution of vinegar (1 part white vinegar to 4 parts of water) all over including your hair for one minute before rinsing it off, helps to reset the pH balance of your skin and makes you more resilient against skin reactions and contact infections.
Fresh Smelling Laundry
Sometime no matter how long a wash cycle you put your clothes on, they come out smelling clean enough but after they dry there’s that horrible old sweat smell that seems to have come from nowhere!
This is especially a problem in the monsoons when we don’t often get enough sunlight or when we live in humid places. When your washing machine is on the rinse cycle just pour in a quarter cup of vinegar and watch how sweet smelling those clothes turn out. A little vinegar spot-treatment also works for sweat and mold stains and discolouration. We even used it on coffee stains and it worked!
We’ve been getting on the long road to health and environmental responsibility for a while. Hope this new series means we can all go along together. We’ll keep returning with more tips and tricks like this. Do try some and let us know how it worked for you.