Spring is here, and it's time to start dusting off those shelves and cleaning out the closets. Before you quip out Clorox and Windex though, consider purchasing natural cleaning products that are free of nasty chemicals. Seventh Generation and Method are two of our favorite brands, both of which can be found at practically any store around town, such as Target. If you really want to go au-natural, try making your own cleaning products. Below are a list of common items you probably have in your kitchen that do a great job of getting things squeaky clean. White vinegar! White vinegar is a superhero amongst natural cleaning products. It can replace most of the products you might use now, not to mention it's safe, completely natural, and cheap cheap cheap! If you're concerned about the smell, fear not, it disappears when it dries, if you still don't like the smell then add your favorite essential oils for a lovely aroma. • As an all-purpose kitchen cleaner for counters and floors, mix 1 part white vinegar with 1 part water in a spray bottle. • Prevent oven buildup and shower mildew by wiping down surfaces with a cloth and vinegar. • Use as a natural fabric softener by adding 1/2 cup to the rinse cycle of your wash! • Get rid of rings in your toilet bowl by using pure vinegar. • Clean windows by mixing 1 part vinegar with 4 parts water in a spray bottle. Lemons! The acid in lemons is a great degreaser and cleaner, making this little lemon a cheap and powerful natural way to clean your home. • As a degreaser in the kitchen: use the rind to to scrub your pots and pans, and add the juice of a lemon to your favorite dishwashing liquid to make it even more effective. • Combat odors and stains: fill a spray bottle with 1 part lemon juice and 1 part water. Mist countertops and cutting boards, wait a minute or two for the mixture to work its magic then wipe away. • When you're done, toss the lemon rind down the garbage disposal to fill the whole room with its uplifting aroma. • Brighten your white without bleach in the Laundry Room: It may not be able to get out super strong stains like wine or grass stains, but for a normal wash of whites it will get the brightness back with a long soak in the hot water and lemon juice. • In the Bathroom: the low pH of lemons make it naturally antibacterial. Add 1/2 cup of lemon juice to your toilet bowl and let it soak for ten minutes, then flush away the germs. • For mold and mildew: use the acidity of a lemon spray. It's also great at breaking up mineral deposits on the shower door.
Baking Soda! Who doesn't have baking soda already at home? It works great for stubborn things like cleaning your grill and removing coffee or tea stains. It also works to spot treat wallpaper, books, and porcelain. So what else can it clean? • Sprinkle baking soda on a damp cloth, wipe and rinse with clean water to use on countertops, tiles and other surfaces. • Clean away burnt food from pots and pans by soaking the pot or pan overnight with a scoop of baking soda in hot water; the burnt food will come off easily. • To remove stains (from most surfaces) use baking soda paste (3 parts baking soda, one part water), apply and leave on overnight, then scrub or wipe clean. • Sprinkle your carpets with baking soda to remove nasty odors. Let stand for at least fifteen minutes and vacuum!
Hydrogen Peroxide! Sometimes an old-school cleaner like hydrogen peroxide is the best turn-to alternative instead of nasty bleach and bleach-based products that are also loaded with other chemicals. Hydrogen peroxide is fantastic for it's non-toxic antibacterial, fungal, mold, and mildew properties, making it great for cleaning cuts and wounds, but also a fantastic all-purpose cleaner! All you need is a bottle of hydrogen peroxide (3% should do), a spray nozzle and you're good to go! • Remove stains by spraying directly on stain and allow to dry. Repeat if stain is still visible. For blood stains, apply directly on stain and allow to sit for 1 minute. Rub, then rinse with cold water. • Another alternative for cleaning tubs and tiles. Simple spray with a layer of hydrogen peroxide, followed by a layer of vinegar and scrub away!