Green Your Life

Talking about amazing eco-friendly products and access to my online Wikaniko shop.


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Living Greener with Wikaniko #1: The Bathroom

I am sometimes asked what products I use from our eco-superstore of 1000+ products.  ‘umm, er, well’ I start, marshaling my thoughts room by room in the house ‘just about all my bathroom products, cleaning products, health supplements and a few others to boot!’  This normally leaves my potential customer looking a bit dazed.

So, to help me with my response and to let you know how much Wikaniko has inveigled my life I thought I would examine exactly which products I use and why….

The Bathroom

We use lots of Wikaniko products in our bathroom …..

Faith In Nature products and our handmade Aloe Vera Soap

Faith In Nature products and our handmade Aloe Vera Soap

Faith in Nature provides all our hair-care and shower-gel needs.  These products are gentle on skin and hair and are FREE FROM Paraben & SLES and artificial colours & fragrances.  They are also pH balanced and Biodegradable.

We love the Neem & Propolis Shampoo as it is tough on nits!  In the last year we have had at least 4 letters from my daughters school warning of nits in her class.  Washing with the Neem Shampoo is all we need to keep the nits at bay.  Neem is a tree that grows in SE Asia and the leaves are a natural insect repellent.  The young leaves are edible and are eaten in rural Thailand with a chilli-paste – yummy!

The ‘Other Half’ is a big fan of the Aloe Vera Shampoo – has a suitable scent for men!!  Ie none!

I love the wide range of shower gel/bubble baths – the scents are always delicious and I leave the shower feeling really clean and refreshed. Currently I’m using the Lavender & Geranium, but that is nearly finished.  Have lined up Seaweed and Citrus next!

We are currently using the Aloe Vera Handmade Soap for the children – both love it.  It doesn’t have much scent, but gets them clean (and neither are clean by nature, especially not in the summer when they are out bare-foot or half-naked in the garden) and is easy for them to use themselves.  Sadly, this does mean it doesn’t last as long as it should as both love to play with the soap in the bath, making hand bubbles and generally being kids!

The hand-washes too are great.  We have used the Tea Tree & Aloe Vera for years as it is great for both cleaning hands and as an anti-bacterial.  However, I am currently experimenting with some of the others (just because I can) and we are currently using the Orange & Grapefruit – just love the strong citrus smell!

toothpasteI am a total fan of the Kingfisher Toothpaste (though have not got Dad onto it yet and only Chimp likes it – Monkey puts up with it if she has to!).  To my mind it does a great job of cleaning my teeth and leaving my mouth feeling fresh.

 

IMG_0553Bathroom Cleaning is not my favourite job.  But it needs doing and my trusty micro-fibre cloths really help.  They are great for my (almost) daily wipe-over surfaces and once a week I aim to do a deeper clean where I get out the BioD.

BioD Toilet Cleaner sorts out the loo – I usually use this at least two or three of times a week.  Squirt round and leave for as long as possible, then a quick scrub and away you go.  It is good for getting rid of the limescale as well as cleaning and disinfecting. Monkey loves the bubbles when she flushes!  We have been giving the BlueLoo Cistern blocks a go too – great for daily loo freshness.

The BioD Multi-Surface Cleaner is my main cleaning solution (along with vinegar, Bicarbonate of Soda and Soda Crystals) and I use this diluted on all surfaces – tiles, sink, toilet seat/cistern, bath, floor and window-sills.  A wipe over with the sponge or a bit of a scrub for stubborn marks, then a wash down with a damp clean micro-fibre cloth and if necessary a shine with the dry cloth.

We live in a hard-water area, so I sometimes need Limescale Remover.  A little squirt and a scrub with an old tooth-brush and all is back to normal.  Great for the glass bit on the shower too.

Some of the grouting and fixing around the bath has suffered from mould (we chose not to use the mould resistant grout & sealant) so I gave in and got the Astonish mould & mildew remover.  To my mind, our Astonish products are on the lighter green end of our range and do contain some chemicals I would prefer not to use.  However, it is a balance – chlorine vs mould & mildew spores!  Just remember not to use any acidic product at the same time – eg the Limescale Remover or vinegar as that would release some nasty vapours.

The windows and mirror get the diluted vinegar and scrunched up newspaper treatment – cheap and easy!

From time to time I give my sink and bath a Soda Crystal treat – pile a cup or so on the plug add a cup or 2 of boiling water and unclog those drains!  If the kids are around, I prefer the Vinegar / Bicarb of Soda mix as the fizz is fun!

In fact, the only things not from Wikaniko in the bathroom are:-

The towels – we do lovely bamboo towels, but I’m not throwing out my perfectly good towels just so I can treat us all with soft, fluffy, yummy bamboo ones (well, not yet).  Chimp does have a bamboo flannel though!

Toothbrushes – we don’t do them (yet?).

Toilet paper – again, not in the shop (yet?)

Using our own products is great as I am saving and earning all at the same time!!


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Why BioD?

Lovely bubbles, clean dishes and fully biodegradable

Lovely bubbles, clean dishes and fully biodegradable

I am not (as I may have mentioned before) a huge fan of cleaning. There is almost always something more fun to be done. However, the washing up won’t do itself, the toilets don’t clean themselves and the floor does need some TLC to ensure when Chimp picks up things off it and shoves them in his mouth, that they are not totally covered in grime, muck and germs!

So, how to combine my antipathy towards cleaning with wanting a clean home without creating a chemical fug that can harm my children’s health and my own? I do use micro-fibre cloths for wiping and cleaning surfaces, but for the above list I have found BioD to meet all my requirements.

BioD Washing-up Liquid cleans really well – even the greasier stuff. A little goes a long way and bubbles are plentiful which pleases my 4 yr old when she ‘helps’ wash up (though she is getting better at actually wiping the dirty items and not just pouring water and bubbles from container to container!). Importantly, neither my skin nor my daughters is damaged by this washing-up liquid and when it disappears down the drain, I am confident that aquatic wildlife will not be harmed by its contents.

The Dishwasher powder does a great job on things in the dishwasher (or at least it did in our old home where the dishwasher worked properly. The dishwasher in our rented home has issues with the release mechanism on the powder dispenser and so getting crockery really clean is more of a challenge!).

For a Green Clean Loo, look no futher than BioD Toilet Cleaner.

For a Green Clean Loo, look no futher than BioD Toilet Cleaner.

BioD Toilet Cleaner comes in 2 sizes, the 750ml with a ‘duck-shaped’ top end so it is easier to squirt under the rim. It does have a strong scent of lemon grass which I love and if squirted and left for a while (ideally overnight), the scuzz and scum that can develop in the bowl is easily brushed away. As with most toilet cleaners, it is best to use at least once a week. Once again, the ingredients are all natural, biodegrade easily and do not harm aquatic life – Yeah! So what does it actually contain:-

  • acetic acid – is a descaling agent and is the main component of vinegar.
  • water
  • citric acid – the same as the natural acid in citric fruit such as lemons and limes, also a descaling agent and softens hard water.
  • Coconut oil derived detergent – cleaning and foaming
  • Corn sugar gum – helps to thicken the liquid, I think
  • Vegetable Glycerin – helps to thicken I think.
  • Lemongrass oil – fragrence

So nothing nasty at all.

Also on my BioD list is the multi-surface cleaner – great for floors, sinks, baths, paintwork and more. I don’t use this that often as am a fan of Microfibre cloths for cleaning most of these surfaces. However, when a little more is required then this is perfect.

For really clean nappies at lower temperatures

For really clean nappies at lower temperatures

I have also used the Laundry detergent and would again if I could wean myself off soapnuts!  The BioD Nappy Fresh is an antibacterial, germicidal sanitising powder that gives me confidence to wash Chimp’s nappies at lower temperatures and know that they are truly clean.

So all in all, ‘Thanks BioD’, you really help me keep a clean and chemical-free home!


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Lemongrass Loo

For a Green Clean Loo, look no futher than BioD Toilet Cleaner.

For a Green Clean Loo, look no futher than BioD Toilet Cleaner.

I love the smell of Lemongrass – it brings back memories of living in Thailand where I grew Lemongrass in the garden and it was a regular feature in food.  Perhaps this is why I like BioD Toilet Cleaner so much.  Well, that is one reason anyway.

Other reasons include:-

  • It does a great job in cleaning the loo and making it sparkle
  • It does NOT result in a chlorine chemical fug in the bathroom
  • It does NOT result in aquatic pollution
  • It is totally biodegradable
  • It CAN be used with cess pits, septic tanks and soakaways without killing any of the useful bugs & bacteria that these rely on.

In fact all it contains is: Acetic Acid, Aqua, Citric Acid, Coconut Oil derived Detergent, Corn Sugar Gum, Vegetable Glycerine, Lemongrass Oil.

Have you tried it yet?