If you’re making the push towards a more natural lifestyle, you may be interested to know that you can actually make your own chemical-free household cleaners at home.
Commercial cleansers are often laden with chemical additives that can be detrimental to your family’s health. Non-toxic natural cleaning solutions are easy to make, store, and they clean just as well as commercial cleansers. The best part is, you only need a few ingredients for each recipe.
All Purpose Cleaner
This recipe is an ideal replacement for your basic all-purpose cleaner, like Lysol. It can be used on sinks, countertops, toilets, and in the shower. This is also a good solution for wiping down the oven and other kitchen appliances.
Mix together 1 part white vinegar with one part water in a spray bottle.
Just spray the solution and clean as you normally would. Keep in mind that the vinegar only smells until it is dry. However, if this is irksome to you, you can add a few drops of essential oil to mask the vinegar.
Bath, Tile, Tub and Sink Scrub
You can keep your bathroom from smelling like a school gym without harming your health or the environment. Many commercial janitorial cleaning companies and popular over-the-counter cleaners use fragrance-laden chemicals to disinfect and cover up offensive odors commonly found in bathrooms and fitness centers.
You can get tiles, sinks and tubs just as clean with this natural option. This scrub can be used in place of Soft Scrub or other bathroom scrubs.
- In a shallow bowl, mix together a squirt of biodegradable dish soap (Seventh Generation works well) with two teaspoons of lemon juice.
- Add baking soda slowly until it creates a paste.
Use this paste on showers, toilets, and sinks. Apply it using a scrubby brush or a sponge. You can also let this solution sit overnight to get out the really tough stains.
Cleaning windows is one of the most rewarding ways to use green cleaning methods. Use this as a substitute for Windex for a natural streak-free shine.
- Mix ¼ c. rubbing alcohol, ¼ c. white vinegar, 1 tbsp. cornstarch, and 2 c. of warm water in a spray bottle.
- Shake everything up until the cornstarch is dissolved.
- To make sure your glass stays extra shiny, use a newspaper instead of a paper towel or cloth to wipe it down with. The newspaper doesn’t leave any lint and leaves a perfectly clear shine.
It is a good idea to shake the bottle each time you use it as the cornstarch can sometimes settle to the bottom of the bottle and clog the spray mechanism.
For brand new stains on the carpet, use club soda instead of an expensive spot cleaner. It works well on new stains, but doesn’t do much if it has already set in.
- For set-in stains, mix together ¼ c. of liquid dish soap with 1/3 c. of water.
- Shake this in a spray bottle until it becomes foamy.
- Spray the foam onto the stain and rinse with white vinegar.
To deodorize a smelly carpet, lightly sprinkle baking soda on the carpet 30 minutes before vacuuming. Baking soda is a natural deodorizer.
Fabulous Floor Cleaner
Keeping floors clean is easy with green ingredients. After sweeping up debris, simply add ½ cup of vinegar to a gallon of warm water and mop the way you normally would. No chemicals, no perfumes, just a clean, shiny floor for only pennies.
If you have wood floors, damp mopping isn’t such a good idea. You can use the same solution, however, and simply spray it onto a cleaning cloth, rubber band the cloth to your dry mop and wipe up all those dust bunnies, dander mites and grime for a wood floor that lasts beautifully for generations, without harming the environment.
Inoffensive Oven Cleaning
Commercial oven cleaning products are one of the worst culprits for toxic fumes in the home and the task is rarely pleasant, but these steps can make oven cleaning as inoffensive as possible while still getting the job done.
Of course, prevention is worth its weight in gold when it comes to oven cleaning. Lining the bottom of your oven with aluminum foil can reduce the need for serious cleaning, simply replace the foil when it collects drips and spills. Also, some ovens offer a self-cleaning setting which bakes the oven at extremely high temperatures, turning spills into ash that is far easier to wipe up.
If your oven needs some serious cleaning and you don’t have a self-cleaning oven, you can still use high heat to make the cleaning job easier. Set the oven at its highest temperature for 15-20 minutes, making sure to turn the overhead fan on. Then allow the oven to cool to a comfortable temperature and wipe out as much as you can wipe damp sponge.
Next, for those stubborn, caked on messes, create a paste with baking soda and water and smear it on, leaving it to sit overnight. The next morning, those baked on spills will wipe away easily without any toxic fumes.
With only a few ingredients you can switch out commercial cleaning products from your home and use safe, natural alternatives. Not to mention, save money – nearly all of these natural cleaning supplies can be purchased in bulk at a fraction of the cost of commercial and residential cleaning products.
Cleaning your home with these natural ingredients will protect your health and the environment, while keeping your home looking and smelling its best.