Using natural household ingredients to clean can be as effective as store bought chemicals and much safer. Getting rid of commercial cleaners means less possibility of accidental poisoning. Commercial cleaners contain hazardous chemicals that can be irritating to family members with allergies or asthma, and detrimental to your health.
Simple natural ingredients are also much more cost effective than store bought cleaners; A bottle of white vinegar, a box of baking soda, and a small bottle of olive oil is really all you need. Of course, you can get fancy and throw a few extras in your cart.
Here are some “recipes” to get you started:
Vinegar is an excellent disinfectant, killing off germs and bacteria in your home. It’s also an effective degreasing agent, and has the power to loosen stuck on food and particles from counters and appliances.
For an alternative to “all purpose” store bought cleaners, fill a spray bottle with 1 part white vinegar and 1 part water. If you feel the need, you can add a couple of drops of tea tree oil (a natural antibacterial and anti fungal), lemon juice, or other essential oil.
To disinfect toys and other items, soak in a solution of 1 part vinegar and 1 part water; Allow to air dry. 2-3 cups of vinegar added to your mop water is a great replacement for commercial floor cleaner. Keep mold, mildew, and hard water stains from building up in your toilet, sink, or shower by spraying them daily with your vinegar solution.
Some people worry that cleaning with vinegar will make their house smell, but the smell of vinegar disappears once it has dried, leaving no odor behind.
A solution of half vinegar and half water makes the best glass cleaner; It easily beats what you can buy in the store.
Baking soda makes an excellent abrasive cleaner. Sprinkle on surfaces, wet a sponge, and then scrub. Baking soda also whitens porcelain sinks and brightens counter tops and tile.
Here’s how to make your toilet bowl sparkle:
1. Turn off the water supply to your toilet.
2. Flush the toilet to empty the bowl.
3. Sprinkle with baking soda and let sit for a minute or two.
4. Use your toilet brush to scrub the bowl clean.
5. Turn the water supply back on and allow to fill.
Use baking soda as a mild abrasive to get mold, mildew, and hard water stains out of your shower or bathtub.
There are a couple of different mixtures that you can use to make your own furniture polish. The first consists of a ¼ cup of oil with a couple of drops of lemon juice. Olive oil, peanut oil, or jojoba oil will work fine for this. I have had good luck with this mixture in particular.
The second mixture consists of ¼ cup of vinegar and a few drops of oil. Some say that the vinegar lifts the stains out of the wood and the few drops of oil make a fine polish. For you, a little experimentation may be in order to figure out which polish suits your needs.
Photo used under Creative Commons by Amy Messere