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‘Never clean with something you can’t eat!’ Kirstie Allsopp shares ‘great’ alternatives

Location, Location, Location TV presenter Kirstie Allsopp is famous for viewing other peoples’ houses but now she has given an insight into her own home by vocalising her dislike of many home cleaning products. She advised that households shouldn’t use anything as a cleaning agent that they can not physically ingest.

This was a response to a twitter post by @SarahW57704568, she claimed: “No one seems to be talking about all the chemicals people clean with. Especially dangerous when pregnant. And all the medications.”

In response Kirsty said: “Never clean with something you can’t eat. Lemon, vinegar and bicarb can do great things.”

Some comments were all in favour of Kirstie’s Tweet. @helestepps said: “Bicarb is brilliant.” 

However, others did not agree. @John_in_Rutland wrote: “Curious, so you wouldn’t be using washing-up liquid then? Or something like Flash to remove greasy spills?”

@mrs_peaceweaver added: “I’ll not be drinking my toilet bleach, thanks. Or indeed disinfecting my toilet with a squeeze of lemon juice.”

READ MORE: Rid taps of ‘stubborn’ limescale ‘instantly’ with ‘magic’ 2p hack

With the rise of online cleaning sensations, including Queen of Clean Lynsey Crombie, and Mrs Hinch many brands in the UK have seen huge spikes in the sales of cult cleaning products. For instance, in 2019 sales of Zoflora rose 210 percent in just one week alone. So is it best to use natural cleaners over chemical cleaning products? According to Cleaning experts at Soakology, chemical cleaners can stick around for a long time.

They said: “The reality is that, unless you make a concerted effort to minimise or avoid them, chemicals from cleaning products will be present from the moment you rise from your bed to when you get back into it at night. On your bedding, in your shower, at your breakfast table, on your clothing, in your car, on your work keyboard, and so on. 

“Despite being wiped or rinsed after use, chemicals from cleaning products will stick to the items they have ‘cleaned’, impacting you in all sorts of invisible ways via touch, inhalation, ingestion, and so on.”

According to the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency), many commercial cleaning products contain harsh and synthetic ingredients. Concentrated cleaners can be especially hazardous, causing burns, lung damage, or accidental poisoning. 

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What to clean with lemons

Cleaning with lemons isn’t anything new as many have been using it for years to cut through grease and grime.

Clare Edwards, home economist at Smeg, suggested using lemons to clean microwaves. She said: “Microwaves can be easily cleaned with hot soapy water but another trick is to heat up a slice of lemon in a water bath, which will remove odours and keep your microwave smelling fresh.”

She noted that dishwashers can also be cleaned using lemons. Clare said: “Dishwashers can also be freshened up with lemons by adding a few wedges of lemon to the cutlery basket or tray.”

Keen to avoid the harsh chemicals in common oven cleaners but don’t much fancy an afternoon spent scrubbing? Experts at Cleanipedia advised: “Let the acid in lemon juice cut through the grease and grime for you.”

READ MORE: Melt away ‘tough’ oven glass stains ‘without scrubbing’ in 5 minutes

What to clean with white vinegar

According to experts at ohsoSpotless, vinegar is a “fantastic non-toxic and eco-friendly cleaner” many probably already have in their house. They said: “If you have something that needs cleaning ASAP but you aren’t sure what to use, there’s a good chance distilled white vinegar will come in handy.”

They claimed that households can add their towels to the washing machine with half cup of white vinegar and no detergent, set to the highest temperature and this “will pull out all the detergent residue and other gunk that builds up in the towels, as well as restoring the colour, removing stains, odours and even making them soft to the touch”.

Those who have located a bad smell in their house but aren’t sure what to do about it can also use Vinegar. They can mix a half and half solution of vinegar and water in a spray bottle and spritz it around the room onto the furniture, rugs, carpet, and other sources of odours.

The cleaning experts also claimed that white vinegar is a “great window cleaner”. They suggested mixing a half and half ratio with water and spritzing it all over a microfibre cloth to gently wipe the windows with for a “streak-free shine”.

What to clean with baking soda

According to cleaning pros at The Maids, there are “plenty” of ways to clean with baking soda. They said: “This all-natural household cleaner is handy for all sorts of uses, from unclogging sinks to sprucing up your upholstery.”

For those who are not sure what colour their tile grout should be, it’s time to find out by baking soda to clean it, says the experts. They advised mixing the powder with water, applying to the grout and giving it about five minutes to soak in. Then rinse the grout with warm water to get rid of mildew mould, and buildup to make the grout “look new again”.

All those dirty shoes, dropped pieces of food, and dust creates lingering odours in rugs and carpet that make homes stink. When rugs or carpet begin to smell less than fresh, the pros suggested using baking soda to deodorise them.

Baking soda, when combined with white vinegar can also be used to remove stubborn buildup from toilets, according to the experts at They said: “This should do a great job at cleaning the bowl and removing all the limescale from your toilet.”



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