Love cleaning your home but hate the thought of all the chemicals and toxic ingredients that could be in your cleaning products? Sometimes these products are not even that effective in cleaning out your drains or getting the grime off your shower tiles. Products like Clorox, Pinesol, paper towel, and Glad ForceFlex garbage bags are safe staples to use, but what about the other products that are for specific areas in your home? Surprisingly, the simplest ingredients that you likely already have at home can be combined to make effective cleaning products. Here are 7 natural cleaning hacks that will keep your home sparkling clean:
1. Vinegar and water for glass cleaner
Vinegar is an effective solution for breaking down grease, mold, and stopping the growth of bacteria, making it a great ingredient for natural cleaning products. Mix equal parts vinegar and water to clean your windows and mirrors and we promise it will have your store-bought glass cleaner in the trash. There are a few cautions with this mix, though. Never mix vinegar with bleach as it produces toxic chlorine gas and don’t use vinegar on natural stone, waxed wood, or cast iron. Stick to water and vinegar for a simple cleaning solution and be aware of what surfaces it is safe to use on.
2. Clean stainless steel appliances
All you need to clean your stainless steel appliances is white vinegar. Wipe your dishwasher, fridge, oven hoods, and microwave with a cloth and white vinegar and you’ll be left with clean, streak-free appliances.
3. Clean and remove stains from a wooden cutting board
To clean a wood surface like a cutting board, wet your board, coat the surface of the board with baking soda, and let sit for 10-15 minutes. Once the timer is up, cut a lemon in half and rub the baking soda into the surface with the halved lemon, rinsing away with water afterwards. Not only is this a great natural option, you can increase the longevity of your cutting board by avoiding the dishwasher.
4. Natural sanitizing solution
Create your own natural and safe surface sanitizer by combining 2 teaspoons of Borax, 4 tablespoons of vinegar, and 3 cups of hot water. You could even add some lemon juice for a nice added scent. Put the mixture in a spray bottle and wipe your surfaces clean, follow with a rinse of water for a wonderful surface sanitizer.
5. Get rid of baked-on food in the oven
Oven-cleaners are some of the most toxic cleaning products on the market. Instead, mix your own cleaner by combining ¾ cup of baking soda, ¼ of salt, and ¼ cup of water. Use a spray bottle to wet your oven’s surface, apply a thick layer of the mixture, and let it sit for a few hours or overnight for better results. Scrape away the paste, wipe clean with a cloth, get any of the tougher spots with steel wool, and rinse.
6. Sparkling floors, the natural way
If you have wood flooring, you know it’s important to use the right products to preserve the planks while also getting a good clean in. Some store-bought floor cleaners have awful ingredients, such as ammonium hydroxide, that are toxic to humans and pets when inhaled or ingested. Keep your peace of mind by mixing your own floor cleaner—add white vinegar to two liters of warm water (be sure to spot test). Lightly damp your mop with the mix and clean away for sparkling floors.
7. Deodorize your washing machine
Have you put your clothes in the wash expecting them to smell like fresh laundry only to take them out and realize they smell musty and as if you had never washed them? Your washing machine likely needs to be deodorized. Do this the natural way by mixing ¼ cup of baking soda with ¼ cup of water and pour into the detergent slot, then pour 2 cups of white vinegar into the drum of your wash. Run an empty load on a high heat cycle and enjoy your freshly deodorized washing machine!