We are slowly becoming aware of how dangerous most of the chemical-laden products we use in everyday life actually are for us.
What? A company profiting off the public with no regard for the repercussions? That couldn’t possibly be true, right?
Sadly, it is.
Check out the miserable grades for most of your major household brands on the EWG’s (Environmental Working Group) site and you might think twice about what you’re spraying in the air, cleaning the floor with, and letting permeate on your clothes.
If you have pets or children, their smaller bodies are even more susceptible to the hazards of toxic chemicals, so it’s a life choice that should be thought about.
I’m noticing a trend in the world towards natural cleaners, eco-friendly products, and essential oil based home remedies ~ which is awesome.
These environmentally friendly cleaners are safe and effective, they work as well or better than their dangerous counterparts, and they smell divine to boot!
But, they do usually cost a little more than the chemical version.
However, if you’re willing to do some of the work yourself you’ll find you can create your own cleaners for a fraction of the cost of what you’ve been buying.
There are a few natural ingredients that can clean just about anything and everything in your home.
With these in your arsenal, you could tackle just about anything your dirty house might dish out.
These are the most common applications for each item as far as household cleaning is concerned, but I’m sure there are myriads of other ways to use these fantastic ingredients for cleaning.
Feel free to experiment some and go off-script (none of these recipes need to be exact measurements), but just be careful not to mix any two compounds together that might have a bad chemical reaction and create noxious fumes.
- Stove-tops – Make a mixture of baking soda and a little water until it forms a paste. Scrub on stove top and let it sit for 10 minutes or so. Wipe off to reveal a clean stove-top surface.
- Silver Polish – Line a baking pan with foil and place the silver on it. Add 1/4 cup of baking soda to 1/2 cup of boiling water and stir. Pour water over silver on pan and let it sit for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes buff silver with a soft cloth. The chemicals between the foil and the baking soda cause a reaction that cleans silver.
- Carpet Cleaner – Sprinkle baking soda on your carpet, let it sit for 10 minutes, then vacuum. This is an effective natural carpet cleaner and room deodorizer.
- Dishwasher Cleaner– Sprinkle baking soda into your dishwasher’s bottom area and scrub lightly with a brush. Run a short, hot cycle on your dishwasher.
- Washing Machine Cleaner – Pour 1/2 cup baking soda into your washing machine’s detergent holder and run a hot cycle or a cleaning cycle if your machine has one to get nasty smells out of your washing machine.
- Produce Wash – Pour 1/4 cup of baking soda into a sink full of water and rinse your fruits and veggies in it – then rinse off with clean water.
- Cutting Boards – Sprinkle baking soda on a smelly cutting board and let it sit there for 1 hour. Rinse the baking soda and scrub with some dish soap to remove odors. To remove extra stinky stuff, squeeze a lemon on top of the baking soda.
- HairBrushes & Combs – To remove grease and residue from brushes and combs stir 1 tablespoon of baking soda into 1 cup of hot water. Soak brushes and combs in water for 20 minutes and then rinse and dry them.
- All-Purpose Cleaner – Make a mix of 1 cup white distilled vinegar and 1 cup of water. You may add any essential oils you like. Do not use vinegar on marble, granite, or other porous surfaces.
- Laundry Softener – Use vinegar mixed with your favorite essential oil as a fabric softener that will make your clothes smell fresh and clean and will keep them soft.
- Mold/Mildew Remover – Use vinegar to get rid of mold/mildew on shower curtains, shower doors, or clothes. If you accidentally leave your wet laundry in the washing machine and forget to put it in the dryer (it happens), soak your clothes in vinegar and water for a few hours before rewashing them.
- Clogged Showerheads or Faucets– Place vinegar in a plastic bag and tie it around the clogged showerhead or faucet overnight with a rubber band. The next day, run hot water through it – if it is not fully unclogged, repeat.
- CoffeeMakers – Pour 2 cups of vinegar into the coffeemaker and run a brew cycle to descale and clean out the coffee-maker thoroughly.
- Dishwasher – Set a cup upright in your dishwasher and fill it with vinegar. Run your dishwasher without detergent.
- Microwave – Set a cup filled with vinegar inside your microwave and run it until it boils. Let it sit and steam for 5 minutes, then take a damp cloth or sponge to the inside of the microwave, the gunk will come right off.
- All-Purpose Cleaner – Make a mix of 1/2 cup Hydrogen Peroxide and 1 cup water and store it in a dark colored spray bottle. Add a few drops of lemon, orange, or other essential oils of your choice for a cleaner that can tackle windows, showers, sinks, tubs, shower curtains, non-porous counter tops, tile, mildew, stains as a pre-treatment, the inside of your dishwasher, washing machine, microwave, or fridge, or countless other applications. Do not use on hardwood floors as it may lighten or damage them.
- Humidifiers – Fill your tank up to 3/4 of the way with water, then add 1/2 cup of hydrogen peroxide, stir and let it sit for 1 hour or so. Pour out the mixture and wipe down with a clean cloth or towel. Let it air dry before using it.
- Tooth Brushes & Teeth Cleaning Tools – Soak any dental tools like flossing picks, tooth brushes, or waterpik nozzles, in a mixture of hydrogen peroxide and water or just hydrogen peroxide to get them sterilized.
- Granite Countertops – Make a mixture of 1/2 cup rubbing alcohol, 1 1/2 cups of water, and a squeeze of dish soap in a spray bottle. Use this to spray on your granite counter tops, then use a soft cloth to wipe the spray off, and watch the counters shine with no streaks or residue.
- Disinfectant – Put 70% rubbing alcohol into a spray bottle for a generic disinfectant that will kill any germs. Great for bathrooms/toilets.
- Stainless Steel – Use rubbing alcohol on a microfiber cloth and go along the grain of the stainless steel to clean it without any streaks.
- Mouse & Keyboard – Using your disinfectant above, spray your alcohol cleaner on your mouse and keyboard to keep them germ-free.
- Dry Erase Boards – Spray rubbing alcohol on your dry erase boards and dry with a clean cloth to remove dry erase marker.
- Ink Stains -If you get ink stains on your clothes, use alcohol to remove the ink stain. Repeat until the stain is gone.
Baking Soda & Vinegar
- Slow Drains (not clogged) – Pour a cup of baking soda down the drain and follow with a cup of hot vinegar. Wait 10 minutes then flush this with hot tap water.
- Oven Cleaner – Pour a quarter of a cup of baking soda into a dish and add vinegar until it forms a paste. Use this on the dirty parts of your oven and let it sit for 24 hours. Wipe the next day to reveal a shiny, clean, oven.
- Toilets – Pour 1 cup of vinegar and 1/2 cup of baking soda into your toilet and let it sit for a few hours. Then, using a toilet brush, scrub the toilet and flush. This also doubles as a toilet drain cleaner.
- Soap Scum – Spray vinegar and baking soda on shower doors, tubs, bathroom sinks, or anywhere else soap scum has built up – vinegar will remove the soap scum and leave your bathroom residue free.
- Smelly Drains – Pour 2 cups of vinegar into the drain, wait a few minutes, then sprinkle 1/2 cup of baking soda down the drain – after 1/2 hour run hot water through the drain.
Baking Soda & Peroxide
- Grout Cleaner – Make a mixture of 1 tablespoon baking soda and 1 tablespoon peroxide. Using an old toothbrush apply this to the grout lines and let it sit for 1 hour. Scrub off with toothbrush and rinse.
- Stain Remover – Make a mixture of 1 tablespoon baking soda, 1 tablespoon peroxide, and a squeeze of dish soap to create a stain remover for carpets or clothing.
- All-Purpose Cleaner – Use 1/4 of a cup mixed with a spray bottle full of water. You may need to ensure you wipe your areas with a wet sponge after cleaning with this mixture, to remove any residue from the soap.
- Laundry Detergent – Use 1/4 of a cup of liquid castile in regular machines, 1/8 of a cup in front loading machines. Choose the scent you prefer or unscented.
- Hand Soap – Use a 1:4 ratio of Dr. Bronner’s Liquid Castile and water.
- Floor Cleaner – Use 1/4 cup of Dr. Bronner’s in a bucket of hot water to mop any type of floors – works great on tile/lineleum/wood floors and will make them shiny and clean.
You don’t have to spend a fortune on special cleaning products when you can make your own with items you already have in your pantry.
I hope these tips have inspired you to try a few of these out and greenify some of your life.