We depend so heavily on strong chemicals to clean our homes, many of which are bad for the environment and for our own health. When you walk down the cleaning supply aisle at the market the selection of chemical cleaners can be overwhelming and expensive. Yet, you can go to the produce section, the baking aisle, and the condiments area and find much of what you need to clean your home without chemicals and for much less money.
Let’s take a look at some of the safe, more natural items you can use to clean your home.
Common, distilled, white vinegar is quite inexpensive. It can be used to clean many surfaces. Mix one part vinegar with one part warm water and you can clean glass, countertops, and all bathroom surfaces. To this mixture, you can also add a few drops of disinfecting, sanitizing essential oils. Eucalyptus, peppermint, and lemon all work quite well and smell nice.
Another great use for white vinegar is as a mold killer. Clean out your clothes washer and dishwasher with vinegar to keep them free of mold and mildew. You can also add a little vinegar in with your washing detergent.
Sodium Bicarbonate is the active ingredient in baking soda that is effective for absorbing odors and cleaning grimy surfaces. Mix it with some water to form a paste and use it to clean your stainless steel surfaces. You can also use this to remove those white water marks on stone surfaces. Wash the paste off with clean water and polish with a soft cloth.
Baking soda is awesome at keeping drains free of clogs. Pour 1/4 cup into your drain, then slowly add 1/2 cup of vinegar and wait before running the water. Your drain will look like a mini bubbling volcano while the soda and vinegar mix work their magic.
Deodorize and debug your carpets with baking soda. Place 2 cups of soda and 1 tablespoons of food grade diatomaceous earth into a jar with a lid. Add about 5 drops each of your favorite essential oils, such as lavender and orange. Poke some holes in the lid and shake this onto your carpets. Leave overnight and vacuum the next morning.
Olive oil, mixed with a little lemon is terrific for polishing wood surfaces and cleaning hardwood floors. Mixed with salt, olive oil is the best way to clean those highly seasoned cast iron skillets that should never be cleaned with soap.
Did you know that lemon is antibacterial? It is also a super tarnish remover. Use fresh lemon to clean and sanitize your metal sinks and your wood or plastic cutting boards. You can cut a lemon in half and use it just like a sponge directly on the surface you are cleaning. Rinse with hot water after.
Try placing some fresh lemon juice in a container and dropping your tarnished silver jewelry or flatware in to brighten them up. You can also clean copper pots with lemon and salt to restore their sheen.
Some professionals recommend using lemon to kill bacteria in your microwave. The instructions can be found on the website.
Most markets have a section where they sell plants and floral bouquets. Look for healthy green plants to place in sunny spots around your home. Plants are natural air purifiers. They absorb pollutants and carbon dioxide. They give us the essential oxygen we need to survive. Plants in bedrooms can improve the quality of our sleep.
Some Final Notes
Being mindful of your cleaning routine by switching to natural, chemical free, and safe products is a gift to you, your family and pets, and the environment. It is also a way to save money. Use this list to help you get started: