Hippy group Feb ’13 (chemical free cleaning)

Hippy group got up and running with a swish and a swipe and a “hey it’s sparkling!”

Actually it was more theoretical than that, but I’ve been cleaning since so it kinda counts.

In theory we had two lots of stuff – microfibre (presented by a good friend of mine who’s been using it since it came out in the 1990s) and Wendyl Nissen’s cleaners (presented by hippy group founding member Maria). Only Adele (microfibre) looooves to talk, had heaps to tell us, and also went over quite a bit that Maria was going to, so we didn’t look at her stuff all that much. Also we started really late cos we were all yacking. Women.



Here’s a link with some tips, but I’ll give you what I got too.

Basically, microfibre is super clever, with little hooks in the super fine fibres that grab dirt and hold onto it. I like things that like my dirt, cos with two small boys I have a lot scattered around the place.

The first thing you need to know about microfibre is that it’s not a magic cloth that will clean your house for you. If your house is currently filthy, you need to give it a really good clean before you start – from there microfibre is awesome, helping you keep it clean with minimal effort. (For ways to get things microfibre ready, look here, and/or read till the end.)


  • In NZ you don’t seem to be able to get the best brands (from Sweden, apparently – Norwex and Ecloth). So you’ll have to slum with a) Gilmours ones – these are the best quality Adele has come across, so naturally the most expensive; b) Godfreys – pretty good, cheaper, will do the job; or c) Bunnings – cheaper yet, but also will do the job. I mean really any microfibre will work, ish, but some will do a better job and some will last a lot longer and since it’s a vile synthetic that’s hardly going to break down nicely, going for better quality will pay off for your wallet and the environment. Creation. Sorry Fr G.


  • use water (hot and cold)
  • use vinegar when needed
  • use detergent
  • wash separately, preferably on a hottish cycle, with detergent (soapnuts, whatever) and/or vinegar only
  • use the right colours for the right things (elaboration to come)
  • once everything is clean, clean as you go (after showers, while cooking, watching tv, passing a dirty cupboard)


  • wash with other things (they’ll take all the dirt off everything else, or something)
  • let it near hot things – it’s super flammable and let’s off lots of nasties when burnt
  • put in the dryer
  • use fabric softener – will ruin it
  • soak in nappisan or similar – will ruin it
2013-03-02 16.05.23

All organised. Now I just have to remember which colour is for what…


  • there are different types of fabric for different types of things, and they’re universally dyed to match that (with slight variations, but it’s not too hard to figure out)
  • blue is for dusting
  • pink is for bathroom (not toilet)
  • yellow is for toilet
  • green is for kitchen
  • I just realised I dusted my whole house with yellow instead of blue. Oops.

Other “Adele’s cleaning tips”

Like I said, Adele gave us heaps more than just microfibre. Some was stuff I already knew, but not all.

  • Apparently the Shotz range of cleaners at the Warehouse is great. Can’t vouch for the ingredients, but if you really need to buy commercially then that’s probably a good option.
  • Hot ovens are much easier to clean than cold, but don’t use microfibre – use cut up old towels that you can chuck afterwards.
  • The 3 basics of cleaning products are vinegar, ammonia, and baking soda.
  • Ammonia and hot water (50:50) is great for grease – stovetops, hairbrushes, doors (fingermarks). I think that’s something you really need to wear gloves while handling. Also might be too chemically for some.
  • Cream of tartar and washing soda are also really useful. See here (if you haven’t already) for recipes for stuff.
  • Sunlight soap is awesome. The bars. Recommended for washing hair, in fact, followed by rinses with various things. But that’s next month’s topic, so I won’t go into it now.
  • If you want to buy a toilet cleaner, Pam’s is the best (only the ingredients you actually need) and nice and cheap. I’m happy with vinegar and baking soda, myself, but that could get tricky if multiple people clean often used toilets.
  • One final microfibre tip – apparently it reduces bacteria by 99%.

Wendyl’s stuff

So this stuff can be bought already made, or you can buy the bits and pieces and make her recipes, or you can buy a box of all the things you’ll need to get you started and go from there. I kinda like that last option – it’s not cheap but will last ages and comes with the spray bottles etc. And I really like having everything I need arrive in a box all at once, rather than having to go to multiple shops to get it all. Oh, and apparently Bin Inn St Andrew’s stocks her stuff too.

Proportionally that’s about the same amount of time we spent talking Maria about it cos I had to rush of to get Lord B.

Feel free to add your own natural cleaning favourites 🙂


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