As members of the generation raised on the Roomba and the frozen microwave dinner, we’ve missed out on the household lessons needed to juggle dust bunnies and protect the environment. Luckily, cleaning Grandma-style is often both cheap and environmentally friendly. And now it’s time to check out 12 green cleaning tips that won’t break the bank or your back.
1. DIY Furniture Polish: Rescue family heirlooms and garage sale treasures marred by misuse with an all-natural polish that doubles as a scratch filler. Rub a shelled walnut into deep scratches and its oils will serve as a natural camouflage. (via Design Sponge)
2. Clean Your Floors Without the Chemicals: Turns out hot water and tea bags are all you need for a bright, shiny wood floor. Have tile? Your job’s even easier. Warm water alone will cut it. (via DIY Network)
3. Clean Your Window Tracks: Soap, water and elbow grease are all that’s needed for dirt-free, squeak-free, easy-to-raise windows. Even if you’ve been putting off this task for longer than you care to admit, we promise you can handle that. (via The Real-Life Housewife)
4. De-Mildew Your Washing Machine: Though it may seem illogical to clean a machine that you run detergent through on a weekly basis, your washing machine can actually be a hiding place for mold and mildew. Chalk it up to being warm and damp, like the towels in your hamper, and banish the mold with vinegar! (via A Bowl Full of Lemons)
5. Clean Microfiber Furniture: You bought that microfiber couch because you thought it would resist stains… turns out it does, but it isn’t so tough against plain old dirt. Make it like new with rubbing alcohol. (via 551 East)
7. Shampoo Your Own Carpets: Never pay for a professional carpet cleaner again! All you need is vinegar, borax, salt and a vacuum! (Maybe rent a steam cleaner if your carpets are really bad. It’s worth it.) (via Apartment Therapy)
8. Green Clean Your Grout: Baking soda and vinegar come to the rescue once again. Bonus? The toothbrush is optional. If your grout isn’t too bad, you can just wipe away the cleaner with a damp rag. (via Apartment Therapy)
9. Homemade Garbage Disposal Refreshers: You sanitize your sink, but aren’t sure how to de-grossify the drain? Worry no more. You can also follow a real retro tip, and pour boiling water down sink to make sure your pipes are flushed. (via POPSUGAR)
10. Improve the Quality of Your Dishwasher With Vinegar: Yep, another cleaner you have to clean. Get rid of leftover food, soap scum and dirty water with white vinegar. (via One Good Thing by Jillee)
11. Clean Refrigerator Coils: Potentially the least pleasant task on this list, cleaning fridge coils is vital to a clean, green home. Clean coils will save you money when it comes to your energy bill, and they’ll prolong your fridge’s life. Which is pretty cool, even if your fridge can’t be as cool as these. (via DIY Life)
12. Clean Your Oven With Baking Soda + Vinegar: The household dream team, vinegar and baking soda, to the rescue once again. This method is much more pleasant than running your oven’s clean cycle. (via The Graphics Fairy)
Have you ever used any of these tricks? Share some of your green cleaning tips with us below or Tweet us @BritandCo.