Tag Archives: Green Cleaning

How to clean bath toys

rubber_duckBath toys are amazing for keeping your baby entertain during bath time  But, how many times did you look at your rubber ducky, mould all over, and didn’t have a clue how to clean it? Keep reading then, we have the solution!

Although bath toys spend most of their “lives” immersed in water, we still need to clean them once in a while to keep them hygienically fit for children use.

Soak bath toys for about 10-15 minutes in a bowl of 50% hot water, 50% white vinegar and a couple of drops of washing up liquid. Use an old toothbrush to scrub all around. Finally, rinse thoroughly with warm water.

If you find that some of your squeeze toys have developed mould and grime inside them, it would be always more appropriate to discard them.

Don’t forget to always store bath toys in a well ventilated area and to empty squeeze toys after each use.

How to clean your reusable grocery bags

Reusable grocery bags are good for the environment but not so good for your family’s health and safety. Baring in mind that we use these shopping bags to hold from food to clothes or anything that comes in hand, reusable bags become the perfect place for cross contamination and bacteria growth.

Have you clean your grocery bags recently?


Here are some ideas on how to properly use your grocery bags:

  • Have separate bags for meat, cleaning supplies, vegetables…
  • Do not fold and store your unwashed bags if they are dirty to avoid bacteria growth.
  • Double bag any items that may leak before putting them on the reusable bag.
  • If you have cotton/canvas bags: Put them on the washing machine after every use (hot water and regular detergent).
  • If you have man-made fibres (such as non woven polypropylene) bags: Wipe them with a damp soapy sponge after using them and leave them to air dry (if you are in a hurry, wipe them with a baby wipe!).

4 cleaning products to avoid during pregnancy and their substitutes

Pregnancy always make us aware of our surroundings while we try to create a calm and safe environment for the new baby. At the same time as we think about the nursery and the baby safety around the house, we can’t forget about the cleaning. Most of the cleaning products we buy on supermarkets are made of harmfull ingredients that can cause anything from a mild reaction to more severe health problems.

Here are 4 cleaning products that you should avoid if pregnant and what you could use instead:

1- Bathroom cleaners: We tend to use very strong products to clean our bathrooms, specially to get rid of lime scale and dirt in the toilet bowl. These cleaners are made of toxic chemicals that can, apart from damaging your bathroom surfaces, be a danger for your future baby.

What to use: Have a bottle of 50/50 solution of water and vinegar ready to use after your daily shower as a preventative method to avoid lime scale. And use a baking soda paste to clean the surfaces and get rid of mildew.

2- Oven cleaner: There is no mystery on this one. Most of us have felt dizzy while using oven cleaners and ended up with a headache. The chemicals in oven cleaners can cause skin burns, irritation on eyes and lungs and acute poisoning from ingestion.

What to use: Sprinkle baking soda (a lot) all over your oven; then spray water on the baking soda until it starts to make some foam and leave it to work (spray some more water later on if you see that it is getting dry). Wipe the paste and dirt with a sponge.

3- Polish: Chemicals on furniture polish (specially perfum) can cause irritation and allergic reactions.

What to use: A good feather duster or micro fibre cloth and opened windows will do the trick. But if you are looking for a nice odour after doing the dusting, then you can use some scented candles or a home made air freshener like these ones.

4- Window cleaner: A lot of the window cleaners available have ammonia as one of their ingredients. The fumes can cause health problems on lungs and skin.

What to use: Use a spray bottle with a 50/50 solution of water and vinegar and 1/2 teaspoon of washing up liquid. Spray your windows and wipe with a cotton cloth.

Poisoning from house cleaning products is a serious matter and more common than we think. Having some alternatives on hand is always something pregnant mothers should have in mind to protect their health and their new baby’s health.

Weird cleaning tips that work

Here are some cleaning tips to help you around your home:

1- Rub a lemon wedge inside your mug to get rid of tea stains; then wash with soapy water and your cup will be clean as new.

2- White bread will help you clean dirty spots and finger marks on walls and dust on paintings (just make sure that the bread is fresh).

3- Clean your plants with a little bit of mayonnaise or beer to return the shine on them.

4- Strike a match to get rid of all bathroom smells (greener than an air freshener and very effective!).

5- For smelly hands after chopping onion or garlic, just put your hands on running water for 30 seconds without rubbing them and the smell will disappear. Otherwise you can rub your hands on fresh parsley.

6- If you are washing red clothes for the first time, make sure you soak them in white vinegar first; this way you avoid these clothes bleeding all over your other clothes.

7- Put some dry rice onto your salt pot to protect from moisture.

Have you got any funny cleaning tips that work wonders? Let us know!

How to eliminate toilet smell

Bad odour in the toilet is a problem that every one finds appalling; no matter how much or how good you clean the smell of urine is still there!. A lot of our domestic cleaners at www.amycleaning.co.uk have shared with us the different methods they use to get rid of any smell in toilets and bathrooms; from strong chemicals to lime-scale removers to green cleaning methods.


Here is the green way to get rid of that nasty smell on the toilet:

Put a paste mix of baking soda and lemon juice around the bottom of the toilet seat and let it sit for about 15 min. Then spray with vinegar (the chemical reaction will make it look like a fizzy drink) and wipe it clean with a damp soft cloth.

Remember to spray with vinegar all around the toilet, including walls and floor, as urine can be sprayed everywhere.

This is a quick an easy way to make your toilet cleaner than ever!

Have you got any other tips for an odour free toilet?

How to get your laundry smelling fresh

I love the smell of launderettes! Every time I pass by one my body shivers with envy; how can I get my clothes to smell like that when I do the laundry? I don’t have a tumble dryer and I suppose that makes it more difficult, specially in winter, when you hang the clothes to dry for days and days with no positive results. So I tried and I tried until I found a really good solution…

Would you like your clothes to smell nice and fresh as if they have been taken out of a launderette?

Put less detergent on your wash and add about half a cup of baking soda. What baking soda does is eliminate detergent residues and re-fresh the clothes, leaving them cleaner and smelling like new!

Do you have any other tips? Let us know!

Baby safety

baby_sleepingThose with children will understand the need to keep our homes safe from hazardous chemicals when cleaning. The safety of our babies come as a priority on everything we do.  Many cleaning products contain ingredients that, if inhaled or ingested can cause serious problems. Chemicals such as bleach or air fresheners are the most dangerous ones and they have been linked to and increase on childhood asthma.

To keep your baby’s nursery (and your house!) up to standards you can always turn your head to the so called “green products” you have on your cupboard, that is vinegar, baking soda and tea tree oil. But if you don’t have time enough to make magic concoctions then check on your local supermarket for non-toxic, bio-degradable chemicals.

I can think about some easy steps that you can follow to keep your baby’s room pristine:

Check the crib/bed regularly: wash the bed clothing and wipe the waterproof mattress when changing sheets.

Wash toys: warm soapy water will be enough to keep them clean and get rid of the grime.

Air the room daily: about 10/15 minutes will do; the breeze coming in will get rid of any odours.

Dust the room regularly: no chemicals needed, just a damp cloth; and you can use some drops of lavender oil to make the room smell lovely.

These are just a few examples of how to keep you home clean when there are babies around. Let us know if you have any other ideas!

Disinfect or not to disinfect?

1147668_question_iconThere is a lot of debate at the moment about the importance of disinfectants in cleaning and whether they are used correctly. Here at Amy Cleaning we noticed that clients always request for the obvious: clean and disinfected toilet bowls, sinks, kitchen surfaces. Every professional cleaner will know the bearing of these, however not everyone is aware that things that may look like they need less attention are actually the biggest hot spots for bacteria.

For example, we all know that dangerous bacteria can be present in toilet bowls and therefore these must be disinfected regularly. However, we fail to realize that the only people that will come in contact with it would be those doing the cleaning itself and they will surely use protective gloves to avoid any possible risk of cross contamination. It may not be necessary to use strong chemicals for this type if cleaning.

On the other hand, how many of us would look twice at the products we use for cleaning our chairs, tables and kid’s highchairs? These are the items that are used by numerous people throughout the day and can easily become covered with dangerous bacteria. The best approach to cleaning such items and areas would normally be disinfectants and conventional cleaning products. Unfortunately these are normally very dangerous to the environment and unless labeled as “eco friendly”, will always leave toxic footprint.

Disinfectants are normally evaluated by their performance in cleaning germs and not by their friendliness towards environment so do avoid using them where it is not necessary. There are ways to disinfect without chemicals and new products are pushing their way through to the market, but it will probably be a while until it will reach domestic sector. Until that happens, think twice before reaching for disinfectant spray and be sure that it really is necessary. This does not mean skipping cleaning of our toilet bowls just because they are not touched but that we should have a second look around the house and decide what places and things attract the most bacteria and carry the biggest risk of contamination and then use disinfectants accordingly.

Know the difference between disinfectant and sanitizer too. Disinfectant is designed to completely destroy all organisms on surface while sanitizer reduces bacteria on the surface to a safe level. Do not mix these two and make the right decision about where and when each of those should be used.