My green cleaning secret

greencleaning

As a teenager at home, my designated chores were washing the dishes and mopping the bathroom and kitchen floors once or twice a week.

I remember being instructed to pour some bleach into a bucket of hot water, and then using that to mop and clean the floors.

Fast forward to when I got married. I knew bleach was a cleaning agent, and on my first supermarket shop as a married woman, I purchased a bottle or two. I was excited to get my first load of laundry in the washing machine. I vividly remember holding that bottle of bleach and saying to myself “pour a little bit in the detergent section! It will make things extra clean!” Suffice to say, that was my first lesson in how not to wash clothes!

Everywhere we have lived, the smell of bleach has permeated the air around us; from the mosque toilets in Makkah and Madinah to freshly mopped kitchen floors at some friends’ houses. People associate cleanliness with bleach but it is a highly corrosive and toxic liquid that irritates the skin, eyes, and respiratory tract (read this article for eye opening information re: bleach). If you google the dangers of bleach, it is pretty shocking. So when I had my daughter, I started to look at greener and cleaner alternatives.

I have tried the good old baking soda and vinegar cleaning combinations. I have tried more eco-friendly products from brands like Ecover and Method. However, a couple of years ago, I stumbled across this product whilst shopping in a department store, and bought one to try it out. It sat at the back of the cupboard for a few weeks, but late one night, I was scrambling in my cleaning stash and picked it up to test out.

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What am I talking about? The e-cloth (click me!) !

The best thing about using an e-cloth is that it only requires a splash of water! No chemicals, no funny smells and no irritation. It works on bacteria, grease, and dirt and leaves your surfaces gleaming. Ok, I know this is sounding like a sponsored post but nope! This is just me, genuinely sharing a product that has made a difference to my life!

And yes, it is a bit weird at first, to think of cleaning without soapy bubbles and chemical-laden spray bottles, but you get used to it. Since my first experience of the e-cloth washing up pad was positive, I have gone on to try the rest of their range: glass polishing cloths (great for smear-free windows, and I even use them to wipe my eye-glasses clean and my laptop screen too!), tea towel (quick-drying and super-absorbent), and finally the bathroom cloth. So now my green cleaning secret is out! PLUS it is environmentally friendly!

(All blue highlighted links show the products on Amazon)

Do you have any green cleaning tips to share?

You can find out more about how the e-cloth works on their website: http://www.e-cloth.com/pages/how-cloths-work.

Here are some alternatives to the e-cloth: (I haven’t tested or tried them out though!):

http://www.deeplyclean.com

http://www.enjo.com

 

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Ramadan Hydration Hacks

Salaam y’all,

The blessed month is upon us! The sun has finally come out in London, the birds are singing and there are breezes of mercy flowing. Here are some tried and tested ideas, ‘hacks’ and meal ideas for Ramadan.

Hydration Hacks

Last Ramadan, I would make a DIY electrolyte/ hydrating drink for suhoor and I found it helped. Not sure if it was a placebo effect but hey, even if it’s placebo-ing my body in to staying a little more hydrated, it’s all good.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup coconut water 
  • half a cup of drinking water
  • 5 dates
  • half a teaspoon of sea salt or himalayan salt

Blend ingredients together and drink!

This is a refreshing drink for quenching your thirst at iftar, or at suhoor to help you stay hydrated during the day. The coconut water is full of nutrients and vitamins (see here for more details of its benefits) – try to use 100% coconut water, preferably from a bottle or tetrapak container that has no added refined sugar. Dates, as some of us may already know, are delicious and a mineral and vitamin powerhouse. Salt, because sodium is one of the major electrolytes in our body, which we would need to replenish after a day of fasting.
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Another refreshing recipe that I have tried is taken from a blog I found a while back.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup fresh orange juice
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 cups of water (filtered or purified) or raw coconut water
  • 2 tbsp organic raw honey or organic maple syrup
  • 1/8 tsp Himalayan Pink salt or Celtic sea salt (I like Himalayan better – it has 84 trace minerals)

Instructions

  1. Put all ingredients in a blender and blend well.
  2. Store in Mason jars or reusable glass cap bottles.

Recipe from here

I found this recipe to be very similar to this video recipe on YouTube by a lovely chef called Anna Jones so if you like your recipe in video format, click here to be taken to the video.

Hope that helps!

ps. my favourite coconut water to drink is Unoco coconut water – a little pricey but worth it in http://www.unocodrinks.com

Alternatives to bread

Bread. Such a fundamental part of our day, whether it is the morning toast or the humble lunch sandwich you’ve bought or just a baguette to have with your soup for dinner.

Over the years, bread (and more, specifically gluten) has had a bad rep. It gets pretty overwhelming as what we now eat isn’t just a simple flour, water, yeast thing. There are all sorts of preservatives and other ugly sounding ingredients listed on a supermarket bought bag of bread.

Nevertheless, it is nice to know there are alternatives that exist to spread your spread over.

Alternatives to bread

Oatcakes

These crunchy round biscuits provide a great surface for spreading nut butters, jam, hummus and whatever else floats your boat. They are fairly simple to make but are also readily available in most supermarkets. I have tried a few brands but prefer Nairns, who also conveniently have an extensive gluten free range.

Lettuce Wraps

A bag of little cute gem lettuce won’t set you back too much. Break the lettuce in to individual lettuces (You know what I mean, don’t ya?) And voila – place your choice of filling and eat away. Portion control and a nice crunch. You can’t go wrong there.

 

Vegetarian-Lettuce-Wraps-PF-Changs-Copycat-Recipe

Crepes

There are lots of gluten-free alternatives to make these crepes that have wrap like qualities. Sweet, savoury, flexible and one’s that are a little tougher. Click for my favourite crepe recipes from one of my favourite websites: Green Kitchen Stories

There are many other creative alternatives from gluten-free cauliflower bread to cloud bread to using a sliced round of sweet potato as the ‘bun’ for your burger. So get thinking out of your bread box and explore.

Sweet Potato Toast

Yes, literally sweet potato toast. This involves slicing a sweet potato in about 1/4 inch thick slices and putting in the toaster at high heat (maybe a few times to ensure it is fully cooked!). See more details here at: Nutrition Stripped