clean your home the natural way
The cost of cleaning products can really add up there is a whole host of natural solutions which will make sure your home is spotless.
Cleaning products are the last bastion of chemicals in many homes. After all, it’s so much easier to just buy a spray bottle of this and a tube of that. But you can clean your home naturally with simple ingredients and easy to mix recipes.
All you need is vinegar, baking soda and citrus. You could make practically any homemade cleaner if you have those three items.
1. - Don’t Scrub Your Toilets: Yes, you read that right. Don’t do it! Instead, fill a jam jar with vinegar. Punch a couple of small holes in the metal lid with a nail. Drop that jar into your toilet’s water tank upside down. With each flush, a little vinegar will seep out of the jar and keep your toilets clean and growth-free!.
2. - Acrylic bathtub stains beware! Using a mixture of baking soda and vinegar can bust up those stuck-on stains. Apply baking soda to the area with a damp cloth so it creates a paste. Spray the area with white distilled vinegar and let it sit for a few minutes before wiping down the tub and rinsing with water.
3. - Remove old bathtub decals with vinegar heated in the microwave.
4. - Make a homemade spray cleaner for the kitchen and bathroom. 1 part white vinegar, 4 parts water, 10-20 drops of essential oil (optional), and 1 tsp of organic dish soap. This does wonders on counter tops, high chair trays, baseboards, walls, appliances, floors.
5. - To shine chrome sink fixtures that have a lime buildup, use a paste made of 2 tablespoons salt and 1 teaspoon white distilled vinegar.
6. - To remove any build-up on a showerhead, pour 1/2 cup baking soda and 1 cup white distilled vinegar into a sandwich bag and tie it around the showerhead. Let this set for an hour after the bubbling has stopped. Remove the bag and then turn on the water.
7. - Rid your dishwasher of mineral build up by pouring a half a cup of white distilled vinegar into the reservoir and running an empty cycle.
8. - Remove odors from a lunch box by placing a slice of bread soaked in white distilled vinegar in the box. Leave the bread in the box overnight, then remove.
9. - Don’t scrub your microwave. Instead, microwave a bowl of water with lemon juice for five minutes, and watch as the steam loosens the caked-on foods.
10. - Fix burned pots and pans with baking soda. First, boil water and white vinegar in the pan to lift off most of the burned food residue. Scrub any remaining bits with baking soda to erase completely.
11. - Make tiles sparkle with a toothbrush. Get dirt out from between your tiles with a mix of baking soda and water on a toothbrush.
12. - Ketchup makes cloudy-looking silverware shiny again, and it removes tarnish from copper pots and pans.
13. - Run lemons through garbage disposals to stop the smell. Ice, salt and a citrus fruit will de-stink even the stinkiest of garbage disposals.
14. - Baking soda sprinkled on top of your toothpaste and used at regular intervals will keep your teeth as white as all those expensive whitening kits. For smokers, coffee, or red-wine drinkers this will lessen some of the visible signs. Don’t over-do it though. Like orange juice, too much can damage your enamel. Or at least that’s what dentists pushing their own toothpastes say.
15. - Baking soda can also be used in addition to your regular laundry detergent. Some say it keeps laundry smelling fresher for longer. I only get a noticeable result when I add it to a load of whites. Everything comes out extra bright!
16. - Vinegar is also a very easy way to clean all the build-up in your electric kettle. Use equal parts vinegar and water and boil it. Then boil one more time with just water and it’s like new.
17. - Baking soda and vinegar are also excellent replacements for shampoo and conditioner. A baking soda and water paste can be used as shampoo and watered down vinegar as conditioner. The ‘no shampoo’ trend sort of took off over the last year and I didn’t really trust it, but in the name of science, and because I ran out of shampoo one day, I tried it and it really does work. It’s just something you have to get used to. A somewhat easier version is to add baking soda to your shampoo or conditioner as it helps strip the build-up from hair care products and fights dandruff and itchy scalp.
18. - You can either soak a cotton ball in lemon juice and leave that in the fridge, leave a small bowl of fresh squeezed lemon juice in the fridge, or you can cut a lemon in half and leave it in a small bowl, flesh up. Change it out every week or so.
19. - Sprinkle salt over the entire surface of the cutting board and use half a lemon – juicy side down – and as much elbow grease as you can give’er! Scrub as throughly as you can and you will discover that food stains will start to disappear. You will also deodorize your cutting board at the same time! Consider finishing this up with a hit of mineral oil to protect your board.
20. - If you’re a heavy-duty kettle user like I am – here’s a handy tip to easily descale your kettle: Simply mix 1 ounce of lemon juice to 2 cups water and pour that into your kettle. Bring it to a boil and then let cool. Empty out the kettle and give it a few good rinses, your kettle should be shiny and clean once again!
21. - Freshen up your vaccum. Add a squeeze of lemon juice to your vaccum to make the air smell clean.
22. - Remove fishy odors from hands. Hands can smell a bit funky after cooking fish. Wash hands with the squeeze of a lemon and follow with hand soap.
23. - Vinegar and baking soda can be a great combo for cleaning your oven.
24. - Clean your blinds with a 50-50 vinegar and water mixture and an old sock.
25. - Use your hairdryer to remove water rings from wooden surfaces and refresh them with olive oil.
26. - Oil stains can be removed from the carpet with baking soda.
27. - Use sea salt to clean iron dishes.
28. - Use vegetable oil and baking soda on a toothbrush to clean your cabinet doors.
29. - Flushing your drain with boiling water then adding half a cup of baking soda. Next, add one cup of vinegar and one cup of hot water. Once the bubbles die down run the hot tap water down the drain for about 30 seconds to one minute and hey presto - your drains will be new and improved.
30. - if your washing machine is dirty, pour half a cup of mouthwash into the empty machine and run it to help disinfect and clean it out.
31. - Making your own cleaner for windows, glass and floors out of citrus fruits and vinegar.
32. - We spend 1/3 of our lives laying on a mattress that can't be washed. Or can it? Pour vodka into a spray bottle, spritz lightly across your mattress and leave it to air-dry. The alcohol kills odor-causing bacteria while it disinfects the mattress.
33. - Got greasy fingerprints on the walls? Cover the stains with white chalk, wait a few minutes and then wipe the chalk away with a damp cloth. Works on clothes too!
34. - Shoes and gloves soaked through from rain or snow? Shove some crumpled newspaper inside to soak it all up. A sachet of plain uncooked rice works too.
35. - Do you live with a four-legged friend who loves to shed? Sweep your carpet with a rubber squeegee (or run your hand over it while wearing a rubber dish washing glove) and prepare to be horrified by what comes up.
36. - Pressed for time? Throw one clean dry towel in with wet clothes before starting the dryer. 15 minutes later, take it out. The dry towel will actually absorb some of the excess moisture floating around and speed up drying time.
37. - Love smoothies but hate cleaning the blender? Just fill it with warm water and a drop of dish soap, then turn it on and blend for a few seconds. Dump, rinse with clean water, and dry.
38. - Cruddy air vent or A/C intake? Moisten a clean towel with your favorite cleaner and wrap around a butter knife. Now you've got the perfect tool to clean the narrow grate.
39. - Halve a white onion and use a fork to rub it back and forth over the grates of a hot grill. The onion will clean the grates and add a little extra flavor.
40. - Easy Lipstick Remover - Spray the spot with hairspray, let it set for 10 minutes, dab with a damp washcloth, and wash as normal.
41. - Shower head covered with nasty hard water deposits? Pour distilled white vinegar in a plastic bag and fit it over the shower head with a rubber band. Let it soak for an hour (or overnight) then remove the bag and wipe scum away with a cloth.
42. - Nastiness baked onto your favorite glass dishes? Scrub them with a ball of aluminum foil and a little dish soap.
43. - Ring around the tub? Cut the grapefruit in half and sprinkle the pink fruit with salt. Wet your tub and sprinkle additional salt on the bottom. Use the fruit as a scrubber, being sure to get the juice on every surface. Rinse clean and enjoy the fresh scent!
44. - Carpet stain driving you crazy? Spray stain with a mixture of 2 parts water with 1 part vinegar. Lay a damp rag over the spot, then press a hot iron--set on the steam setting--on the rag for about 30 seconds. Repeat for really stubborn stains. It’s like a mini Stanley Steamer!
45. - If you’re addicted to caffeine, your coffee pot probably shows it. Fill the reservoir with equal parts white vinegar and water. Run the brew cycle halfway through, then turn off and let it sit. After an hour, turn it on and let the cycle repeat. When it’s done, run two cycles with fresh water only.
46. - If you have actual silver cutlery or dishes, you know polishing it can be a pain. Line a large dish with aluminum foil, add a 1/2 cup of table salt and a 1/2 cup of baking soda. Fill the foil-lined sink with hot water, and then dump in all your silver. After a 30 minutes soak, the tarnish will be gone. Just rinse and wipe dry.
47. - There's nothing worse than stepping on a tiny remnant of that glass you broke last week. Carefully press a piece of white bread all over the area to pick up even the tiniest shards.
48. - If you want a cheap and effective alternative to dryer sheets – try tossing in a couple of aluminum foil balls during your next load, which fights static cling and doesn’t leave any smells behind.
49. - Use a lemon to clean stainless steel - Annoying water stains on your tap and sink? Halve a lemon and use it to scrub stainless steel. It will also make your kitchen smell fresh and citrusy.
50. - Put a cup of vanilla extract in the oven - Sounds a bit crazy but by putting a few teaspoons of vanilla extract into a mug and baking for an hour, your whole home will smell gorgeous and inviting. This is a trick estate agents swear by.
51. - Use cola to clean the toilet - You’ve probably heard about this one but never tried it, right? It’s a miracle worker, just simply pour cola along the toilet bowl and flush for a sparkling result.
52. - Stop your bin smelling of rubbish- Even after a bin is emptied, often a nasty lingering smell can remain. To avoid this, sprinkle some baking soda or vinegar into the bottom of the bin to reduce the odour and lay down some clean newspaper to absorb any leftover moisture.
53. - Clean toys in dishwasher - If your mucky pups’ toys are looking a bit worse for wear stick them in the dishwasher for a short cycle.
54. - Make your bathroom smell constantly fresh - Add a few drops of essential oil to the inside of your toilet paper roll to keep your bathroom smelling lovely.
55. - Refresh plastic containers - Get the leftover curry stains out of plastic containers by putting a solution of washing up liquid, bleach and water in them and microwaving until boiling point. Once cooled, pour away and rinse.
56. - Deep clean shower head - After having a shower, fill a sandwich bag with baking soda and vinegar and tie it around the showerhead using an elastic band. Leave this to soak overnight then any debris will come off easily with an old toothbrush.
57. - Use pastry brush to get crumbs out of toaster - Toast crumbs are notoriously difficult to get to but using a pastry brush can help sweep away the annoying trapped bits.
58. - Sponges can pick up a lot of bacteria, especially if they're left in the sink. So you want to make sure you clean it frequently.
It's so easy: just pop it in the microwave for 30 seconds to remove any bacteria! Just wait a minute or two before pulling out since it'll still be hot. You can also put your sponge in the dishwasher to get it nice and clean again.
59. - Vacuum Up Vomit. Combine baking soda and water into a paste and spread over the vomit. Let it sit overnight and then you'll be able to vacuum it all up the next day.
60. - Get rid of those burn marks on the plate of your iron with this simple trick. Spread several heaping tablespoons of table salt on a soft cloth and rub the heated iron back and forth until the scorch marks disappear. Once the iron is cool, rub with a damp cloth.