There are four key storeroom ingredients that will keep your house clean

I first started worrying about household cleaning products when both my children developed asthma. I had to be careful to use chemicals when they were out of the house, otherwise they started coughing. Even now they're much healthier and older I still take care not to clean the oven when they're in the kitchen.

I've always been interested in using safe products round the house, especially if they're everyday items I also use to cook with. I know they're safe if I'm using them to cook dinner every day!

The four ingredients I'm going to talk about in this article are:

  • Lemon
  • Olive oil
  • White vinegar (white malt or white wine varieties)
  • Baking powder

These four ingredients combine to produce a number of useful cleaning products.

Let's start with the lemon. Is your kitchen sink and draining board looking less than sparkling? Once you've wiped it down, try using a half lemon to polish it up. Lemon works wonders in removing grease marks and adding shine. Run it over the taps to add a luster to their surface.

Now squeeze out some of the lemon juice into a small cup or egg cup. Add an equal amount of olive oil. Mix the two together until you form an emulsion, almost like a salad dressing. You now have a wonderful wood cleaner and polisher. The lemon removes the dirt and the oil nourishes the wood. I drip a small amount (teaspoon) on my pine table and take a very clean soft cloth and work the lemon and oil mixture into the grain. It produces a lovely shine.

Let's turn to the white wine vinegar now. Find a small spray bottle, perhaps one you're about to recycle. It's important that it hasn't had anything greasy or oily in it. I bulk buy small spray bottles from Ebay for this purpose. Quarter-fill the bottle with the white wine (or white malt) vinegar. Fill up the rest with water and shake. Use the mixture to clean windows, oven glass, mirrors and hobs. It cuts through grease and smears. I also find it useful in the fight against limescale that living in a very hard water area requires.

While you've got your vinegar handy, let's clean some silver. Line a tray with tin foil. Get out your baking powder. Put a tablespoon of baking powder into a cup with and fill it with white wine vinegar. You will get some interesting fizzing noises! Pour the liquid into the foil-lined tray and add silver cutlery or jewelry. It's much cheaper than commercial silver cleaners.

Take what's left of your lemon and squeeze out the juice. Add a teaspoon of baking powder and mix it into a paste. This is what you use to get rid of limescale around taps or areas of heavier 'grime' in your kitchen and bathroom.

Lemon, olive oil, vinegar and baking powder: four simple ingredients can really help keep your house clean.