We’ve all heard something in the media about toxic chemical exposure to cleaning products over the years. Since having Sophie, we’ve moved completely into non-toxic, environmentally friendly cleaning products as well as using a lot of regular household products to clean our home naturally. Below is a list of common (and a few specialty) items that can clean your home while being super safe for both kids and pets (not to mention the ocean life that receives our run off water as well).
1. Baking Soda
- Sprinkle a little in stinky shoes to deodorize naturally.
- Mix a little water into a paste to gently remove crayon and scuff marks from walls.
- Deodorize carpets before vacuuming by sprinkling a little baking soda on carpets, let sit for 15 minutes, then vacuum.
- Remove stains from laundry by adding 1/2 cup of baking soda while adding laundry detergent.
- To deodorize sports clothing, add 1/2 cup during the rinse cycle.
- Remove soap scum from porcelain by making a paste and rubbing with a damp cloth.
- An open box of baking soda not only deodorizes refrigerators, but can be used in closets, trash areas, and laundry rooms for odor absorbing freshness.
- Clean away grease in your microwave and on your stove top by making a paste and rubbing with a damp cloth.
- Clean moldy, dirty shower curtains with baking soda on a sponge. Just scrub a little, rinse, and let air dry.
- Use a little in your cat litter to absorb odors.
2. White Vinegar
- Remove stains from clothing by using equal parts white vinegar and water and dab on the stain. (Test a small spot inside the hem for color safety first.
- Clean those grungy blinds by donning a pair of cotton gloves and dipping the fingers into equal parts vinegar and water. Just run your wet fingers along the blind and watch the dirt dissolve.
- Use vinegar and baking soda (think science fair volcanoes) to unclog drains. Dump 1/2 cup of baking soda down the drain and follow with vinegar until it foams. Repeat as needed.
- Kill mildew on any surface with straight white vinegar (be sure to open a window for ventilation).
- Use equal parts white vinegar and water in a spray bottle to clean stainless steel and other appliances. Just spray on and wipe dry with a clean, soft cloth.
- Remove stickers from walls, painted surfaces, and ceramics by dabbing corners and middle until saturated with straight white vinegar. Then gently scrape away the sticker.
- Clean dirt off of wood paneling by mixing equal parts water, vinegar, and olive oil into a spray bottle. Spray on paneling, let sit for five minutes, then buff off with a dry, soft cloth.
- Remove carpet stains by mixing 1 cup of vinegar with 4 Tbsp salt and gently rub into the stained area. Let dry and vacuum.
- Disinfect cutting boards by wiping them down with straight vinegar after each use. The vinegar kills a host of harmful bacteria.
- Remove coffee maker scaling and sediment by running 2 cups of vinegar with 1 cup of water through a cycle (use a coffee filter). Run through with a hot-water only batch twice to remove any vinegar taste prior to using for coffee use.
- Rub salt on fruit-based stains prior and wash immediately to prevent permanent staining.
- Remove sweat stains from t-shirts and other washable clothing by making a salt-paste with water. Rub into the stain and allow it to sit for an hour, then launder as usual.
- For pesky stains and watermarks on the inside of vases, use a bristle brush with salt to scrub away the stain.
- Sprinkle salt on muddy footprints before vacuuming the dirt up.
- Soak old dish sponges in col water and salt to freshen them and deodorize.
- Clean silk flowers by adding them to a zip lock with 2 Tbsp. of salt. Shake for several minutes to remove dust from silk.
- Pour boiling salt water over weeds in your yard and driveway to kill them without harming neighboring plants.
- To remove water stains and starch build-up from your iron, add a couple Tsp. of salt to a piece of paper and run the iron over it to remove the stickiness.
- Pour salt on food spills on your tablecloth, especially red wine, to prevent staining.
- Sprinkle salt across door frames to prevent ants from entering.
- Throw a lemon wedge or peels down the garbage disposal to get rid of nasty, lingering smells.
- Use straight lemon juice to remove stained fingernails after polish removal.
- Use lemon juice as a natural bug deterrent by spritzing it on windowsills, doorways, and even in your bug spray.
- Use straight lemon juice to wipe windows with a sponge then polish with a damp cloth in an equal parts lemon/water spray.
- Use lemon juice in place of bleach to whiten laundry.
- Clean copper and brass (not brass-plated) with lemon juice for a beautiful shine.
- Soak plastic containers in lemon juice to remove food stains.
- Remove garlic and onion smells from your hands with lemon.
- Boil lemon slices in a tea pot to remove stubborn mineral deposits.
- Clean and freshen your microwave by cutting a lemon into thin slices, add to a bowl of water, and heat in microwave for 1-2 minutes (until steamy). Let sit in microwave for 5 minutes then wipe clean.
5. Eucalyptus and Tea Tree Oil
- Add a few drops of oil to your favorite cleaning solution for a natural disinfectant and cleansing aroma.
- Add a few drops of oil to a water bottle and spray on yoga mats, benches, and nylon/non-fabric seating to disinfect naturally.
- Use eucalyptus oil to remove labels from bottles and other glass by rubbing directly on the labels and removing with a paper towel.
- Run Eucalyptus Oil on hands to remove dirt and grease.
- Cotton balls soaked in tea tree oil will put an end to any foul smell in the air.
- Spray a diaper pail with a mixture of tea tree oil and water. Its harmless to the baby and a natural anti-bacterial.
- Add tea tree oil mixed with water in a spray bottle to spray bathroom surfaces, especially around cold and flu season.
- Add 1/2 tsp to a water-filled washing machine to towels and other mold-prone laundry. Tea tree oil assists in killing mold and fungus.
- Spray tea tree oil and water on mold and mildew to kill the growth.
- For an all purpose house cleaner add 2 tsp tea tree oil and 2 tsp lavender oil to warm water and spray on surfaces to be wiped clean.
Please share your natural, homeopathic cleaning ideas here and we can extend our list. Thank you for particpating and sharing at Potluck Happiness. – Tanya