The ongoing war between your desire to save money, save the earth, and save your house from dust and dirt can now end peacefully. Here are 6 all natural and all powerful cleaners that will cost you hardly anything, contain nothing toxic, and have incredible cleaning powers.
1. Salt (table works but coarser salt is better)
2. Vinegar (pure distilled)
3. Baking Soda
5. Essential Oils (make sure you are buying oils in the pure form – the best cleaning oils are lavender, peppermint, tea tree, sweet orange, lemon
6. Cooking Oil (plant-based, like olive)
On their own, each of these works wonders, and can do everything from de-greasing dishes to keeping your silver shining. Here are 25 ways to use them solo, mix them up, and get a whole lot of cleaning done!
1. Clean Drains: The next time your find yourself standing in a little kiddie pool post-shower, pour this solution of ½ cup salt for every quart of hot water down the drain to get the gunk out.
2. De-Grease Pans: Be nice and let the paper towel have that last tasty bit of bacon grease. Pour a little salt in the pan and wipe it up.
3. Clean your Oven: So the mozzarella on your pizza oozed off and is now smoking at the bottom of the oven? Put off that first cheesy bite and while the oven and burners are still hot, sprinkle salt and cinnamon on the spills. When dry, wipe up or scrape away the salt spots with a brush or cloth.
4. Clean Grout: If you’re thinking back longingly to the time when your now-black grout was a smooth white, you can restore it to its former glory. Dip a toothbrush in vinegar and scrub away that mold!
5. Eliminate Kitchen Odors: Bring on the Omega 3’s, but most of us would opt out of that post-mackerel smell that lingers in the kitchen. Place a bowl of vinegar on top of your stove and it will absorb the odor.
6. Clean a Kettle: When you start getting those floaty bits in your tea, it’s time to get rid of the lime and mineral deposits in your kettle. Fill your kettle up halfway with vinegar and bring it to boil for five minutes. Leave the vinegar in the kettle overnight and rinse out with water the next day.
7. Clean Stains from Teacups and Coffee Mugs: You pulled an all-nighter and the dregs of that 10th cup of coffee have turned your white mug brown. Fill it with 1 part baking soda and 2 parts water and soak it overnight. The next day rub it with a sponge and water and voila! Good as new.
8. Super Stain-Fighting Laundry Detergent: That last co-ed football game was pretty intense (you’re still rubbing the dirt off your knees)! Drop 1/2 cup of baking soda in your laundry detergent and you won’t have to buy a new uniform.
9. Deodorize Anything: Seriously. Stick an open box of baking soda in your fridge or pour it in trashcans, drains, dishwashers, garbage disposals, plastic containers – and take a sniff.
10. Get Rid of Hard Water Stains: You know those streaks on your shower door drive you nuts. Use half a lemon on glass doors to get them clear again.
11. Get Food Prep Smells Out of Your Skin: The chef doesn’t deserve stinky hands! Rub them in a solution of water and lemon juice and they will be fresh and pleasantly tingly.
12. Power Up Your Dish Soap: Your dish soap just isn’t cutting it but you’ve still got most of the bottle to go? Mix in a couple drops of lemon juice and de-grease away!
Note: You might be tempted to go nuts because these smell so amazing, but essential oils are really powerful, so use them carefully and sparingly.
13. Naturally Freshen the Air: Give your scented candle a break. Add 8-10 drops of essential oil to a spray bottle of filtered water and spritz away.
14. Remove Clothing Stains: This will give that Tide pen some serious competition. Put 1-2 drops of lemon essential oil on a stain, and either let dry or toss into the washer.
15. DIY Dishwashing Liquid: Who doesn’t want lavender-scented dishes? Add 25-30 drops of essential oil to 22oz. of fragrance-free castille soap, a natural olive oil based soap.
16. Shine Your Shoes: You don’t need a street urchin from a Dickens novel to do it for you! For leather shoes, apply a drop of oil to a soft cloth and buff.
17. Remove Adhesive from Price Tags: If you’ve broken a nail trying to peel the sticker glue off the bottom of a new dish, try rubbing some oil on and save yourself an emergency manicure.
18. Polish Metal: We all know a dull penny is worth just as much, but the shiny one is so much prettier! Use a couple drops of oil and a clean cloth to clean and shine pretty much anything metal.
So now that you know how amazing these cleaners are on their own, imagine what they can do with some of their powers combined…
VINEGAR + BAKING SODA
19. Polish Your Silver: You can stop telling people that your earrings are supposed to be ‘oxidized.’ Soak jewelry and silverware in a mixture of 1/2 cup vinegar and 2 tablespoons baking soda for two to three hours. Rinse them under cold water and dry with a soft cloth.
VINEGAR + SALT
20. Remove Carpet Stains: Mitigate the embarrassment of that latest party foul. Dissolve 2 tbsp of salt in 1/2 cup vinegar and rub into light carpet stains. Let the solution dry, then vacuum.
VINEGAR + LEMON
21. Make a Window and Glass Cleaner: You just might have to put up a warning sign for pigeons. Add a few tablespoons of lemon juice plus equal parts vinegar and water into a spray bottle. A neat trick is to buff with a black and white newspaper to avoid streaks.
VINEGAR + ESSENTIAL OILS
22. Clean Hard Floors: If only Cinderella knew this trick. Mix 1/4 cup of white vinegar in a bucket of warm water and add 5-10 drops of essential oils. Your floors will not only be clean, the whole room will smell lovely too.
LEMON + OLIVE OIL
23. Polish Wooden Furniture: Your grandma might have told you this one, but we’re bringing it back. Mix two parts olive oil with one part lemon juice and polish with a soft cloth.
BAKING SODA + LEMON
24. Remove Stains from Wooden Cutting Boards: You didn’t cut your finger – it was just beets! Rub baking soda on the cut half of a lemon and scrub.
LEMON + SALT
25. Clean and Shine Your Sink: Well, it’s not really stain-less, is it? Scrub your sink with lemon and salt. This can also be used to clean chrome, discolored brass, and copper.
What are your favorite tricks for house cleaning? Know of any other natural super products? Tell us your tips in the comments below.