Mould and mildew remover

  • Spray 3% (10 volume) hydrogen peroxide onto mould and mildew and let it sit for a while (at least 15 minutes) before wiping down. Breathe freely as the only fumes being released will be oxygen!
  • For stubborn black mildew, spray with peroxide as above, then follow by spraying with neat vinegar. Scrub to remove and rinse off.
  • Alternatively, make a paste of one part salt and one part lemon juice and use this to get rid of mould and mildew from kitchen and bathroom surfaces.
  • To prevent mould and mildew from forming, and to make cleaning easy, spray your shower walls and door or curtain with a half vinegar (or peroxide) half water solution after showering.

Drain cleaner

Blocked drains

  • Pour half a cup of bicarb and half a cup of salt down the drain. Follow with a kettle of hot water.
  • Or, pour half a cup of bicarb down the drain, followed by half a cup of vinegar. (It will foam up.) After fifteen minutes wash clear with hot water.
  • Do NOT use vinegar after trying a commercial drain cleaner – the reaction can cause dangerous fumes.


  • Pour a salt and hot water solution, or vinegar, down drains once a week to keep drains clear and clean.

Disinfectant and toilet cleaner

  • Pour undiluted vinegar or 3% (10 volume) hydrogen peroxide around the inside of the toilet rim and scrub down the bowl. (An empty rinsed out loo cleaner bottle refilled with either is handy for getting under the rim.) Either will clean and disinfect without harming septic tanks.
  • Spraying any surfaces (or even food) with 3% (10 volume) hydrogen peroxide and then vinegar (or vice versa) will disinfect them more effectively than chlorine bleach or any commercially available cleaning product (Science News, 8 August 1998, Vol. 154, issue 6, pg. 83-85) and leaves no toxic residue. Vinegar and peroxide should be kept in separate containers and you can spray them on in any order with the same effect.
  • Vinegar, bicarb, salt, lemon juice and 3% (10 volume) hydrogen peroxide all have disinfecting properties, so cleaning with them keeps things generally hygienic.

Air freshener

  • Add some drops of an essential oil of your choice, such as lavender or geranium, to a teaspoon of salt. Once the salt has absorbed the oil, dissolve the salt in a cup of freshly boiled water. Allow to cool. Pour into a spray bottle and use as a fragrant air freshener.
  • Make a citrus scented vinegar by soaking some peels in vinegar for a week or so. Strain the vinegar into a spray bottle and use as an uplifting, fresh smelling and effective air freshener that will also deter insects.
  • Mix one part lemon juice with one part water in a spray bottle for a quick natural air freshener.
  • Or, just placing a half a lemon in a dish can help freshen a room.
  • Bicarb is a highly effective deodoriser. Place a small container in the refrigerator and freezer to absorb odours. Put it anywhere you need deodorising action. Replace the bicarb once a month.
  • Sprinkle bicarb and salt in the bottom of rubbish bins to keep smells and bacteria down.
  • Add a sprinkling of bicarb to cat litter trays to neutralise odours and keep germs at bay.

Bath toy cleaner

  • To clean the slimy mildew that can accumulate on pool and bath toys, mix a solution of a quarter cup of bicarb to a litre of water.
  • Use the solution to wipe down toys.
  • Small toys can be soaked in the solution and rinsed clean.
  • For really dirty toys, sprinkle bicarb directly onto a damp sponge and rub clean, or scrub with an old toothbrush dipped in bicarb.