Commercially made household cleaners work wonders on grease and grime in your home, but they can also wreak havoc on your health, triggering such ailments as allergies and asthma. In addition, according to Women’s Voices for the Earth, many chemicals found in household cleaning agents today can cause reproductive harm, from decreased fertility to miscarriages. Not only are these products generally costly to your health, they are costly on your pocket book, too. Turn to natural ingredients in your home to clean your house effectively, save money and help protect your family’s health.
Even in the 21st century, there still isn’t an all-around natural cleaning product that can match white vinegar. Mix a solution of one part vinegar to one part water in a squirt bottle, and you’ve got cleaning magic in your hands. Not only does it clean virtually every surface, from laminate floors to windows, but it also disinfects, deodorizes and acts as a natural fabric softener in the washing machine. Vinegar can be acidic. Be sure to dilute it so you don’t harm the aged grout in your counters, bathtub and floors. As for the smell — it dissipates quickly as it dries, leaving you with nothing but a clean home.
An all-purpose, non-toxic cleaner, baking soda cleans, deodorizes, polishes, scours and removes stains. Add baking soda to your cat’s litter box to help absorb odors. If you’ve got a plastic storage container with a lingering scent from last week’s garlic pasta, sprinkle some baking powder mixed with water and let stay overnight to help alleviate the odor. Mix an equal part of baking soda with water for a non-abrasive scrub that will gently clean counter tops, stove tops, tile and even help loosen that burnt crud on the bottom of your frying pan.
Lemons are highly acidic. They can be powerful cleansers, but they can also damage surfaces if used incorrectly — so be sure to rinse the surface thoroughly. Add salt to lemon juice to polish the bottoms of your copper pots and pans. For that hard-to-remove stain on your kitchen counter, drizzle some lemon juice over it and let it sit for a few minutes. Follow-up with a light scrub of baking soda. To freshen drains and garbage disposals, drop small bits of lemon (or any citrus) rind down the drain and turn on the disposal. Remove those pesky yellow stains from the underarms of shirts by scrubbing with a mixture of lemon juice and vinegar before the shirts tossing into the wash. For an added brightening, let the garments dry in the sun to take advantage of the sun’s natural whitening affects.