Live Clean and Green by Creating Your Own Natural Cleaning Solution
by Jessica Snow
Living clean and keeping a green home doesn’t have to come at a cost – not to the earth, and definitely not to your pocketbook.
In fact, keeping a clean home using natural ingredients can cost less than using harsh chemicals and store bought brands. Not too many people realize just how many powerful, natural cleaning agents they already have hanging out around the house.
That lemon you add to your tea, the vinegar you put on your fries, and that baking soda from your fridge – yep, they’re all natural cleaners.
Keep reading to find out how these and other ingredients can be used to create a spick-and-span home, while keeping your money in your wallet.
The following are some ingredients that you can easily find anywhere. You can use this ingredients to make your own natural cleaning solution.
- Lemons and Oranges
- Baking Soda
- Olive Oil
- Dish Soap
- Essential Oils
- Cinnamon Sticks
Here are some ideas how to make your own natural cleaning mixtures based on ingredients listed above.
Instead of using a product like Comet or Mr. Clean, mix vinegar, hot water, and soap in a spray bottle or washing pail, along with a couple drops of your favorite essential oil (optional).
When combined, these ingredients create a gentle product that is perfect for use on almost anything, including kitchen counters, floors, bathrooms, appliances, etc.
Combine equal parts of water and salt, with three parts baking soda, and spread across every surface of your oven, paying close attention to extra dirty parts.
Leave the mixture on for a full 8 hours before removing. You might still require a bit of elbow grease to get the dirtiest parts clean, but it beats the heck out of the chemical smell of traditional cleaners any day!
Window and Glass Cleaner
In a spray bottle, mix 2 cups of water with ¼ cup of vinegar and a couple drops of lemon juice (to mask the vinegar smell).
Apply to windows or glass the same way you would use Windex, and wipe off immediately using a soft cloth or paper towel.
Old newspaper and unused coffee filters are also perfect for achieving that streak-free shine.
Combine 2/3 of a cup of olive oil with 1/3 of a cup of fresh lemon juice to create a natural wood cleaner that not only removes dirt, but conditions the wood too.
This combo is so great you’ll have a hard time telling the difference between it and the expensive bottles you find at the store.
Add a couple drops of essential oils to a full box of baking soda, mix well and sprinkle on carpets. Leave the mixture sit for at least an hour and then vacuum everything up.
The baking soda will absorb any smells lingering in your carpet and the oil will leave everything smelling fresh.
Porcelain Bathtub Cleaner
With the drain closed, spring baking soda all over the tub and add vinegar from a spray bottle, just enough to make a thick paste.
Allow the mixture to sit for a couple minutes before wiping clean.
Tough stains may require a bit of scrubbing, but the abrasive nature of the baking soda should speed up removal.
Vinegar – that’s it! Instead of adding a cup of Downy to your next load of laundry, pour the same amount of vinegar into the automatic dispenser or add during the rinse cycle.
Your clothes will come out soft and fluffy, and vinegar also helps get rid of any mold or mildew smells.
Dishwasher Rinse Agent
Again, vinegar is all you need to replace expensive rinse agents like Jetdry.
Just fill your dispenser with vinegar whenever it becomes empty and your dishes will come out as clean as can be.
Place a full orange, thinly sliced, into a pot with a handful of cinnamon sticks and just enough water to allow everything to come to a boil.
Let simmer for a couple hours, adding water as necessary!
Pour half a cup of baking soda down your drain, immediately following it with half a cup of vinegar. The mixture will bubble.
Allow it to sit for 15 – 20 minutes before rinsing well with very hot water.
We all strive to have a clean home, but it’s important that we do it without harming our environment. As you can see, not only is it easy to do this by combining natural, everyday ingredients, it can also be even more cost-effective than what you’re currently doing. Using natural ingredients also help your health because you avoid exposure to several unnecessary toxic chemicals.
I hope that the next time you reach for a bottle of your favorite cleaning agent, you’ll take a second to consider just how simple it is to achieve the same results right at home.
Happy green cleaning!
(Jessica Snow is a recycler, writer and social media enthusiast who hails from Eastern Canada. She works as a Community Coordinator for PartSelect.com, helping homeowners find the right Whirlpool washer parts for their do-it-yourself repairs and sharing her love of DIY with the blogosphere.)