Photo Credit: KCanard
Up and down the aisles in the grocery store, you can find cleaning products that do just about everything. One to clean bathrooms, one to clean kitchens, one that cleans it all and even ones that will do the cleaning for you.
A person can end up with 10 or 12 bottles and cans of cleaning products, many of which are toxic.
A more natural, simplified way of cleaning is cheaper, environmentally friendly and not as far out of reach as you might think. So if you love the lingering smell of chemical cleaners get ready for a whole new way to clean your house!
With a few common household ingredients, basic cleaning tools and a few “extras,” you can make simple solutions for cleaning everything from your oven to your toilets.
A few basic ingredients is all you need to get started with your natural cleaning. Here a list to get you started:
Distilled White Vinegar
Vinegar, because of its acidic nature, is great for cleaning a great number of things. Vinegar can be used on its own or combined with any number of other common ingredients in your home to make safe, natural cleaners.
When I first heard mention of the many uses for vinegar I was astounded at the ways in which it can benefit a natural mama like me (and you!). Vinegar Tips was the first site I found and you should check it out too.
A few of my favorite uses are listed here as well. Vinegar pairs well with my homemade laundry detergent as a rinse agent to help clothes get clean the natural way.
I also love this simple homemade orange cleaner that is like an all-purpose cleaner for counters, tables, floors and anything else that needs cleaned.
Known for its natural bleaching capabilities, lemon juice has a variety of uses for cleaning.
Soap Scum & Hard Water Stains – you can dissolve soap scum and hard water stains by applying lemon juice and letting the area soak a few hours.
Natural furniture polish - can be easily made with combining a ½ cup of lemon juice with 1 cup of olive oil.
You might not think of rubbing alcohol as a cleaner but it has great uses. You can use it to remove pen ink from fabric simply by blotting the stain with some rubbing alcohol before washing. Of course, test the fabric in a hidden area before applying.
Homemade Glass Cleaner is easily made with the recipe:
- 1 c. rubbing alcohol
- 1 c. water
- 1 TBSP vinegar
Some other notable uses for Rubbing Alcohol:
Flexible Ice Packs – 1 part rubbing alcohol to 3 parts water in zipper plastic bag make an easy ice pack.
Hairspray Residue – You can easily remove hairspray residue by spraying RA on the counter or mirror and wiping.
Besides a key ingredient to homemade laundry detergent, and deodorizing the refrigerator, baking soda has many other uses around the house as well.
Wet Dog Be Gone – I can’t stand the smell of a wet dog, even if it’s a clean wet dog. Sprinkling Spot with some baking soda will help rid him of that wet dog odor.
Carpet Deodorizer - Before we laid hard wood floors in our house I routinely sprinkled baking soda on the carpets 15 to 20 minutes before I was ready to vacuum.
Natural Oven Cleaner – I have not tried this yet, but it’s on my list
- Wet bottom of your oven with water
- Sprinkle the oven with baking soda until it is entirely white
- Sprinkle or spray with more water
- Allow oven to sit over night
- In the morning you can wipe away the grease and grime using a good liquid soap for the tough spots.
Natural cleaning doesn’t require a bunch of extra expensive tools to get the job done.
Spray Bottles – A few spray bottles that can be picked up for a few dollars at the Wal-Mart or any one of the dollar-only stores. I suggest four to get started, two large and two small. The larger ones for an all-purpose cleaner and window cleaner and the smaller ones are great for straight vinegar and rubbing alcohol.
Refillable Wet Mop – I used to love my Swiffer Wet Jet Mop. Then I started switching to a more natural way of cleaning and I realized the Swiffer mop was not going to cut it any more. I loved the ease of use but not the “formula” that I had to use. Then along came a commercial for the Libman Freedom Wet Mop. For $30.00, I had a reusable, refillable mop. Another cost savings benefit is that you can buy washable pads or make your own.
Mop & Bucket – Of course if you’re old school, a mop and bucket work just fine. I actually hand-scrub my floors every three to four months this way to give the baseboards and other areas some attention in the process.
Cleaning Cloth – Paper towels are great but if you’re looking to reduce waste and spending you may want to consider cleaning cloths made at home.
If you’re looking for a little something extra things like essential oils added to your spray solutions or mop bottle add a nice touch but it certainly isn’t necessary since vinegar will be odorless once it dries.
If you want to make homemade orange cleaner you can save some orange peels even throwing them in the freezer until you have enough.
Wire scrubbies also make a great addition for those tough jobs that require more “elbow grease.” They are reusable and you don’t have to worry about rust like you do with SOS Pads.
If you’re unsure where to begin, take the step to buy a spray bottle and a small bottle of distilled white vinegar. When you commercial cleaner is empty don’t buy a new one, replace it with vinegar cleaner and see how you like it. You’ll be surprise!
**This post has been entered in Frugal Days and Sustainable Ways.**
Ok natural cleaning mamas! What is your “must have” for natural cleaning?
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