Natural cleaning at The Workhouse

The drains smell sweet after treatment with natural cleaning products © National Trust

The drains smell sweet after treatment with natural cleaning products

In February 2008 our team were given the opportunity to spend a day at home considering ways to make their lives more environmentally friendly both at home and at work.

Among the ideas suggested were car-sharing schemes, improved recycling facilities and less dependence on chemical cleaning products.

This inspired our conservation assistant to formulate a plan for cleaning our visitor facilities using natural cleaning products alone.

At a stroke, costs would be cut. And, most importantly, there would be less damage to the environment and our housekeeping staff would benefit from handling only milder, natural products.

These are some of the natural cleaning products we're using:

Bicarbonate of soda

Its gentle abrasion makes it an effective stain remover. Mix it with white vinegar for added cleaning strength.

Olive oil

A great alternative to furniture polish, especially on wooden floors.

White vinegar

White vinegar is a natural disinfectant and stain remover, which reduces mineral and lime deposits.

Try it yourself

To improve your dusting and to stop dust being scattered around, soak your duster in two parts water, two parts vinegar and two drops of lemon oil. Wring it out and store in a jar with a lid until needed. We don't recommend using this mix on sensitive or fragile surfaces.

These natural products have transformed cleaning in our visitor facility areas and make it a happier environment for everyone.