Published on April 27th, 2008 | by Stephanie Evans
Natural Cleaning Recipes
Why spend a fortune on cleaning products that introduce toxic chemicals into your living space? You can use simple ingredients, such as baking soda, lemons, and vinegar to make effective cleaners that work in every room of your house.
Besides being a snap to make, homemade cleaners cost mere pennies!
Combined in various ways, these common household items work just as well as the most expensive and noxious cleaners on the market—and they don’t leave your living space smelling like a freshly sanitized hospital.
- Baking Soda – The cleaning powers of baking soda reach far beyond its role as a natural fridge deodorizer…
Baking soda works as a non-abrasive scouring cleaner on countertops and ovens, and in bathtubs and sinks. It also rids clothes of perspiration odors when used in conjunction with laundry detergent in the washer.
- The next time you do laundry, try adding 1/2 cup to a cup to your load.
- Before you vacuum, sprinkle it on your carpet as a deodorizer.
- Super Washing Soda – Also known as sodium carbonate, washing soda is a caustic cleaner that is far safer than other solvents. Wearing gloves when you use it, however, is still recommended.
- Washing soda is great at cutting grease, getting wax or lipstick out of clothing, and neutralizing odors.
- Lemon Juice – The acid in lemon juice neutralizes hard water deposits, dissolves buildup and dirt on wood, and tarnish on silver.
- White Vinegar – can be used in place of lemon juice. The infamous strong smell dissipates as the vinegar dries.
- Antifungals/Disinfectants – Grapefruit seed extract and essential oils such as lavender, clove, and tea tree oil have antiseptic properties and operate as natural fungicides.
- To keep mold at bay, add 1 or 2 teaspoons of essential oil to 2 cups of water in a spray bottle, or 20 drops of grapefruit seed extract to 1 quart of water.
Here are a few quick and simple recipes to help you on your way to a spick-and-span, non-toxic living space. You can mix-and-match many of these natural products for use on a variety of surfaces…
Always perform a test for allergies before using new ingredients or essential oils. Simply dab a bit of the item on the underside of your wrist and watch for any indicators of inflammation.
Floor Scrubber To scrub out tough messes and stains, use washing soda and rinse well. For lighter washing, dilute 1 cup washing soda in 1 gallon of warm or hot water. Add a few tablespoons of vinegar or lemon juice for extra shine.
- For tips specific to wood flooring, click over to Natural Options for Wood Floor Polish.
No-Streak Glass Cleaner For sparkling mirrors and windows, combine 1/4 cup undiluted white vinegar, 1 tbsp cornstarch, and 1 quart warm water. Divide into spray bottles. For a lint-free shine, wipe dry with a sheet of crumpled newspaper or a coffee filter.
To dress up your homemade cleaners, use a pretty spray bottle or container and add a couple of drops of your favorite essential oil. These all-natural products smell so sweet and work so well that you can even give them as gifts!
Once you’ve done your eco spring cleaning, you won’t need days of moisturizing lotion therapy to smooth out your hands again, but… it’s always nice to treat yourself after a hard day’s work!
For moisture treatment:
- Microwave or oven-warm a small bowl of olive oil. Kick back and soak your hands.
- Add some granulated sugar and scrub away the extra layer of dry skin that accumulated over the winter.
For an invigorating handwash:
- Place a tiny bit of powdery ground mustard in a bowl with some other herbs and essential oils, such as rosemary and thyme or lavender and mint.
- Add hot water and wait for the tingling sensation of mustard to warm your skin.
You’ll be so invigorated that you may be tempted to join in helping to clean your friend’s or neighbor’s house!
Photo from Shutterstock