eco-friendly cleaning

eco-friendly cleaning


Bicarbonate of soda, white vinegar, and citric acid are the Holy Trinity of cleaning. The Three Musketeers of an eco-friendly under-the-sink cabinet. The Sugababes of sparkling laundry and washing machines. The Charlie’s Angels of clean kitchens and bathrooms. But how do you use them? We’ve put together a long, but non-exhaustive, list of the ways you can use these eco-friendly cleaning powerhouses, as well as giving you an idea of the money you could be saving by using them!


Bicarbonate of soda

Bicarb, bicarbonate of soda, baking soda, sodium bicarbonate - it doesn't care what you call it, it just cares that your home is sparkling clean.

How can I use it?

  • To deodorise - put it in smelly shoes overnight, leave a bowl in your fridge, or sprinkle on your carpet/pet’s bed to soak up smells. You can even sprinkle it on kitchen sponges to extend their life, or sprinkle a layer at the bottom of your bin to keep it smelling fresh
  • To remove dirt and grease - when mixed with water to make a paste, bicarb is really effective at cleaning off grime.
  • To clean your drain - mix 3tbsp of bicarb with 1 cup (approx 240ml) of boiling water and pour down your drain. Follow up with white vinegar (see below) to clear out blockages!
  • To remove mould - add some bicarb to washing up liquid to make a paste, rub into areas with mould (use a toothbrush for this!), leave for half an hour and wipe clean. This also works really well for cleaning greasy pots and pans
  • For cleaning stained tupperware - add 4tbsp of bicarb to a litre of water and soak your plastic tubs to lift stubborn stains
  • For brightening laundry - this works for both colours and whites - just add 200g to the drum when loading!
  • For cleaning the washing machine - putting a ½ cup (approx 130g) into the drum and putting on a hot wash after using white vinegar (see below) will keep your machine fresh and clean when done monthly.

How much is it?

At Zer0, 500g of bicarb is £1.10 - this is enough to clean your washing machine, brighten your laundry, clear your drains and have plenty left over to deodorise and use for general cleaning!


White vinegar

Whilst you definitely won't want to put this on your chips, it's still a staple in your kitchen.

What can you do with it?

  • Make an all-purpose cleaner - combine 2.5 cups water (approx 590ml) with ¼ cup (approx 60ml) white vinegar and ½ teaspoon washing up liquid in a 500ml spray bottle to create an effective all-purpose cleaner
  • Remove soap scum - mix equal parts white vinegar, water and washing up liquid in a spray bottle and spray onto the surface you’re cleaning. Leave for a minute and scrub before rinsing off
  • Clean most surfaces - mixing white vinegar with an equal amount of warm water creates a powerful cleanser - use it with a microfibre cloth to wipe down surfaces, clean the inside of the fridge, rinse reusable water bottles, stainless steel pans - and more! White vinegar deodorises, disinfects and cuts through dirt - just make sure the material can cope with its acidity!
  • Clean your microwave - put half a cup of white vinegar and 1 cup of water (120ml and 240ml approx) in a bowl, microwave on a high heat, then wipe down with a microfibre cloth
  • Combine with bicarb - when mixed with bicarb, white vinegar starts a chemical reaction which is a very effective cleaner. To avoid overdoing it and causing a science-project-volcano level reaction, make a paste with bicarb and water, add it to the area you’re cleaning (sinks are a great place to try!) and then spray over the top with white vinegar to control the reaction. Scrub away and rinse!
  • Make windows and mirrors sparkle - spraying a mixture of equal parts white vinegar and warm water on a glass surface, and then buffing out with newspaper, will make it streak-free and shiny.
  • Get stains out of carpet - by spraying white vinegar on a stain, leaving for 5 minutes, and then blotting with a cloth, you can watch as stains are lifted from carpet
  • Get rid of limescale in your kettle - fill your kettle with half vinegar half water, soak for 30 minutes, then boil, empty and rinse. Repeat as necessary.

How much is it?

Bring a bottle into your nearest Zer0, and you can take home 500ml for approximately 95p. Don’t have an empty bottle? No worries, we also stock a 500ml spray bottle of white vinegar for £4.65, which you can bring back to refill once empty!


Citric acid 

This sour powder packs a punch that will leave your home looking sweet!

How can I use it?

  • As a descaler - make a solution of 3 tbsp citric acid with 1 litre water. Add this to kettles and coffee machines, heat up (don’t let it boil all the way as this impacts the cleaning!), then empty and rinse.
  • For taps/the bathroom - add the above solution to a spray bottle, shake, spray, leave to sit for half an hour or so, then wipe.
  • For dishwashers and washing machines, add 7-8 tbsps directly into the machine, and put on a cycle of 40 degrees max.
  • As an all-rounder - 1 tablespoon of citric acid mixed into warm water is an effective way to clean most surfaces, especially in the kitchen. Remember to rinse!
  • As a stain remover for whites - soak white clothing/linen (only white, as citric acid has a bleaching effect!) in water and citric acid. Use 10g citric acid per litre of water. Soak for a few hours to remove stains/yellowing, then wash as normal.
  • As a fabric softener - again, only do this with a white wash! Dissolve 1.5 tablespoons of citric acid to 250ml water, and add two capfuls to the drawer where you’d usually add fabric conditioner. This is perfect if you’ve got sensitive skin that’s irritated by fabric softeners!
  • As a toilet cleaner - because citric acid is derived from - you guessed it - citrus fruits, it leaves a lemony scent in your toilet bowl when you add 3 tbsp, leave it to sit, then brush to clean.

How much is it?

Citric acid is £1.90 for 200g here at Zer0


So, why use these 3 to clean?

Let’s say you’re doing a spring clean, starting with your kitchen. You want to deep clean your oven, descale the kettle, get some stubborn stains out of your tupperware, get the windows gleaming, deodorise the fridge, clean the microwave and polish the taps.

Instead of buying oven cleaner, limescale remover, stain remover, window cleaner, a synthetic odour absorber, and more - you can do all this just as effectively with just 3 ingredients, for a fraction of the price!

Switching to these 3 ingredients means there’s almost no other cleaning products you need - saving you space, time and money, as well as protecting the environment from harsh, synthetic, damaging chemicals.. not to mention vastly reducing the amount of plastic bottles in your home.

Almost anything can be cleaned with either bicarb, white vinegar, citric acid, or a combo of the above. However, always remember to check whether these products are suitable for the surface you’re cleaning - some materials such as marble and hardwood may need specialist products!

Plus, what’s great about our bicarbonate of soda and citric acid is that they are also food grade - meaning you can use them for more than just cleaning!

It’s never too late to start your eco journey - and this one is an amazingly easy switch! You’ll see the benefits straight away both in your bank account and with the amount of plastic you reduce by not buying products separately. Plus, you’ll be benefiting the environment too, as these are all natural products which biodegrade and don’t harm the planet!

Find our full range of cleaning products here

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