Most cleaning products are full of chemicals and ingredients that leave harmful particles in the air and residue on our surfaces. We think we are making our homes “cleaner” and healthier for our families, when, in reality, we are leaving invisible “not-so-clean” culprits behind. More and more homeowners are moving away from using chemicals to clean their homes and looking for natural alternatives. Here are five natural cleaners that you probably already have right in your kitchen pantry.
1. White Vinegar: White vinegar is a cleaning powerhouse for your home. It will cut through oil and greasy messes while killing bacteria at the same time. Use it to remove soap scum from bathroom tubs and showers. Pour it down the drain to prevent clogs. A white vinegar-and-water solution creates a very effective mirror and glass cleaner.
Tip: White vinegar can be mixed with other natural cleaners like cream of tartar and baking soda to create a very effective cleaner.
2. Baking Soda: Baking soda has a multitude of cleaning uses, and it also removes bacteria from surfaces. Mix with white vinegar in a spray bottle and wipe down doorknobs, the inside and outside of your refrigerator, bathroom and kitchen counters. Spray onto glass, mirrors and shower doors to remove soap buildup. Baking soda is also helpful in removing stubborn baked-on food from dishes and pans.
Tip: Soak fruits and vegetables in a mixture of baking soda and water to remove dirt, bacteria and chemicals.
3. Salt: Salt is ideal for cleaning dishes. Add some to your everyday dishwashing liquid to remove coffee and tea stains as well as discolored pots and pans.
Tip: Mix salt with some olive oil and massage into your hands to exfoliate and moisturize your skin.
4. Lemon: Lemons smell wonderful, but they are one of the best natural cleaners for your home. Squeeze some lemon juice on a damp towel and wipe away countertop stains and clean cutting boards and other surfaces. Lemon juice mixed with baking soda will remove stains on plastic storage containers.
Tip: Drop the remaining unused lemon down the sink to refresh your garbage disposal.
5. Olive Oil: Olive oil is not only tasty and good for you, but it’s also good for cleaning things around the house. Apply it to a soft towel and wipe it on rattan and wicker furniture to remove dust and debris. Mix a few tablespoons with white vinegar for a do-it-yourself floor cleaner.
Tip: Olive oil is great for removing paint from your hands, and it moisturizes them at the same time.