A clean living space can lead to a happy, healthy home. By using harsh chemicals to clean your home, you’re exposing your family to unhealthy toxins. Doesn’t that defeat the purpose of all that scrubbing, soaking, washing, and dusting? Chemicals that are commonly found in household cleaning supplies can have negative effects on you and your family’s health. These chemicals pollute the air and water, pack landfills even further, and contaminate water sources. Lucky for us, nature provides so many simple and effective materials that clean and disinfect your home without all the nasty toxins. Just gather these 5 simple household products and get started making your home sparkle and shine this spring.
Lemons serve so many great cleaning purposes all over the house. They are natural disinfectants and have antibacterial properties. They also have a pleasant citrus smell that can help with odors in your home.
- Cut a lemon in half and use to clean wooden cutting boards
- Use half a lemon to remove stains from countertops and other surfaces. Just be sure to avoid granite and marble as lemon can be corrosive.
- Lemon and coarse salt mixed together can be used to scrub tough stains on pots and pans.
- Odors and bacteria often build up in garbage disposals, so toss a whole lemon (or cut up if needed) in the disposal to freshen up your kitchen.
- Lemons have natural bleaching agents that can brighten white linens and clothing.
- Add ½ cup of lemon juice to the rinse cycle to brighten up your whites.
Salt is a perfect replacement for abrasive cleaners.
- Abrasive, coarse salt can remove stains, caked-on food, or mildew from stovetops and bathtubs.
- You can soak your pots and pans with 3 tablespoons of salt and a couple inches of water to easily remove tough food.
- Salt is a perfect way to clean cast iron, because you can scrub away food without damaging and removing the seasoning on the pan.
Vinegar is one of nature’s most versatile cleaners. Although the odor can be overwhelming at first, it dissipates over time and can be neutralized with some lemon.
- In a spray bottle, mix 1 part water to 1 part vinegar for an effective all-purpose cleaner that disinfects and deodorizes.
- Avoid granite and marble with vinegar as it can be corrosive.
- The all purpose cleaner with vinegar can be used to remove soap scum and hard water stains.
- To remove mildew, directly apply distilled white vinegar and let sit for a minimum of 30 minutes before wiping down.
- Mix ½ cup of distilled white vinegar and ½ cup water in a microwave-safe bowl to help remove hard to get food and get rid of odor in the microwave.
- Soak a sponge in pure vinegar to remove grease from ovens and exhaust fans.
- Vinegar naturally breaks down laundry detergent, so adding just ½ of vinegar to the rinse cycle will give you softer sheets, towels, and clothes.
Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil is well-known for its medicinal purposes, but its antibacterial and antifungal properties make it useful in the household too.
- In a spray bottle, you can mix 15 drops of tea tree oil with 1 quart of warm water to create a multipurpose cleaner to use anywhere.
- For tougher areas, 2 teaspoons of tea tree oil and 2 cups of water is perfect for cleaning them up.
- The above mixture can also be used to kill mold. Stains may remain, but the mold will be killed.
- To disinfect heavily soiled clothing such as cloth diapers, add 1 teaspoon of tea tree oil to each load of laundry.
- It also can be used to help prevent bacterial and fungal infections.
Baking soda is a staple in many people’s refrigerators because it helps absorb odors. However, it can also be used to dissolve dirt and grease in water. Like vinegar, baking soda has a large variety of uses around the house.
- Baking soda can be used to remove scuff marks from the floor by sprinkling a small amount on the ground and wiping clean with a warm, damp cloth.
- Sprinkle baking soda on your carpet before vacuuming helps eliminate odor.
- When baking soda is mixed with water, it turns into a scouring paste which can be used to scrub built up grime. Just mix 1 part water with 3 parts baking soda to create this mixture.
- Place an opened box of baking soda in your refrigerator or your cupboards to help eliminate odor.
- Sprinkle baking soda over burnt or caked on food before soaking in order to loosen up the food and make the pots and pans easier to clean
- Add ½ cup baking soda to your laundry to remove dirt and grease that may have gotten on your clothes.
A clean home is not one made with toxic chemicals and harsh cleaning supplies. You can clean your home in a healthy way for a fraction of the cost, with products you might already have around your home! For more tips on creating a toxin-free home, check out our blog here: Cleaner, Safer and Smarter Home Care: Going Toxin-Free is Easier Than You Think!