As I launched my annual New Year’s “clutter purge,” I surveyed the space under my sink. There were at least a dozen bottles of cleaning concoctions that have been hanging out for the past year.
The only one I use regularly is a product called Awesome. I buy it at the Dollar Tree and it is THE BEST. One of my resolutions is to stop purchasing all these expensive cleaners and get back to basics.
One of my earliest memories is of my mother cleaning with what looked to me like cooking ingredients.
She would be listening to the radio as she poured baking soda, lemon, and vinegar combinations on the surfaces of our home. Magically these natural cleaning products kept our home clean and smelling fresh, without stretching an already thin household budget.
Here are a few basic household ingredients and items you can use to clean your home.
Vinegar naturally cleans like an all-purpose cleaner. Mix a solution of 1 part water to 1 part vinegar in a new store bought spray bottle and you have a solution that will clean most areas of your home.
Vinegar is a great natural cleaning product as well as a disinfectant and deodorizer.
Always test on an inconspicuous area. It is safe to use on most surfaces and has the added bonus of being incredibly cheap. Improperly diluted vinegar is acidic and can eat away at tile grout.
Never use vinegar on marble surfaces. Don’t worry about your home smelling like vinegar. The smell disappears when it dries. Here are some uses for vinegar in the rooms of your house. Use it in the…
- Bathroom – Clean the bathtub, toilet, sink, and countertops. Use pure vinegar in the toilet bowl to get rid of rings. Flush the toilet to allow the water level to go down. Pour the undiluted vinegar around the inside of the rim. Scrub down the bowl. Mop the floor in the bathroom with a vinegar/water solution. The substance will also eat away the soap scum and hard water stains on your fixtures and tile. Make sure it is safe to use with your tile.
- Kitchen- Clean the stovetop, appliances, countertops, and floor.
- Laundry Room- Use vinegar as a natural fabric softener. This can be especially helpful for families who have sensitive skin. Add ½ cup of vinegar to the rinse cycle in place of store bought fabric softener. Vinegar has the added benefit of breaking down laundry detergent more effectively. (A plus when you have a family member whose skin detects every trace of detergent.)
Lemon juice is another natural substance that can be used to clean your home. Lemon juice can be used to dissolve soap scum and hard water deposits. Lemon is a great substance to clean and shine brass and copper. Lemon juice can be mixed with vinegar and or baking soda to make cleaning pastes. Cut a lemon in half and sprinkle baking soda on the cut section. Use the lemon to scrub dishes, surfaces, and stains. Mix 1 cup olive oil with ½ cup lemon juice and you have a furniture polish for your hardwood furniture.
My favorite use for the fruit is to put a whole lemon peel through the garbage disposal. It freshens the drain and the kitchen. Orange peels can be used with the same results.
Baking soda can be used to scrub surfaces in much the same way as commercial abrasive cleansers. Baking soda is great as a deodorizer.
I bet more of you have a box in the fridge to absorb odors. Put it anywhere you need deodorizing action.
Try these three kitchen ingredients as natural cleaning products in your home and safe big bucks on the nationally advertised cleaning products.