I did title this post for “Spring Cleaning”, but you can use these any time of the year.
For the first 10 years that my husband and I were married I would use cleaners that I would buy from the store – you know what I mean – those chemical laden, hardly ever truly work (or at least they barely work the way they say they will) products that tend to cost an arm and sometimes a leg. Anyway, eventually I became shell-shocked by the price. I knew there had to be something as good – if not better than – then the $8 cleaning product that I was buying. After doing a little research I came across natural cleaning products. They are a whole lot better for you – and your environment and for a much better price.
Here is a list of some of the products I use.
- Baking soda
- Essential oils
- Dr. Bonners soap (Bar or Liquid)
- Washing soda
- Citric Acid
- Hydrogen peroxide
- Witch hazel
- Other: Elbow grease, Steel Wool, Old toothbrushes, cleaning rags
- Wool Dryer ball – I have yet to make and use one of these – it is on my to do list
Distilled white vinegar that has 5% acid is what I use. It is a disinfectant, and many places note that it kills germs and viruses. During the entire pandemic I used it to clean and we never got sick.
I have used vinegar for years to clean my bathroom and kitchen counters, facets, toilet shower and appliances. Please be cautious and check the material before you fully use it on it.
Baking soda and vinegar are great for cleaning out drains. My daughter loves it when I use them because she likes to watch the chemical reaction between the two.
Add to laundry to use as a fabric softener. I also use vinegar in my clean cycle of my washer to give it a good cleaning.
Run a pot of vinegar thru the coffee maker when it is looking grimy, then after it, I run a pot of clean water through it and wipe everything with a clean cloth.
Make a great window cleaner – spray on and wipe off
Added bonus: weed killer – mix with salt and pour on weeds on a hot day (especially if they are in the sun)
That lovely orange box that you have in your kitchen for baking or stuffed in the back of your fridge has a bunch of uses.
Carpet refresher – I add essential oils to baking soda then sprinkle on the carpets. Leave for 5-10 minutes and vacuum up
I have had great success with baking soda and steel wool on our shower to get rid of hard water stains, and the top of my gas stove and cookie sheets to get rid of cooked on food. Once again, go easy with the steel wool – you don’t want to scratch the surface.
Use as a deodorizer – fridge, trash cans, shoes
Clean the kitchen sink – wet it down and sprinkle on top and give a little scrub and rinse
Dishwasher – sprinkle on the bottom of the dishwasher and fill a glass with vinegar and put in on the top rack and start a cycle to clean it.
Added bonus: I also use it as an exfoliant in the shower when my skin is looking dull and use instead of toothpaste if coffee and tea stains are being stubborn on my teeth.
Essential oils have definitely gain popularity in the last 10 years. I use them so much that whenever they go on sale at our local store I stock up. My favorites are Lavendar, tea tree, peppermint and citrus.
I put a few drops in my conditioner and I have it in a homemade face lotion. I also put it in the laundry soap to help laundry smell better
I also refresh pillow with 5-10 drops on a rag and through the pillows and rag into the dryer on high for 20 min.
You can make a fabric refresher with essential oils, vinegar, witch hazel and water
Put 5-10 drops in vinegar before you use it to clean – helps with the vinegar smell
With tea tree be careful it can be dangerous around animals if you use too much.
Tea tree helps with lice! After a trip to the store to get my daughter a bike helmet – we came home with lice! yuk! Everything and I do mean EVERYTHING got washed with tea tree!
Dr. Bonners soap
What can you use it on – well…everything! You can use it to make bath products, soaps, shampoos, clean your house, your car, your dog, your patio furniture. Really pretty much everything, just do a search and it will come up with a ton of different recipes for you to try. I am still experimenting.
The borax that I use is 20 mule team. There are a bunch of different ways to clean with it, but I use it in the toilet and I put it in with clothes that are extra stinky to help them get nice and clean.
Washing soda is another “Can do it all” product! I have used it in our laundry all the way to a diy dishwasher soap.
Citric Acid and lemons
Citric acid can be bought in powder form. For the longest time I could only get online but just this last trip to the store had me happy to find it in-store. It was in the baking aisle – but it works! Citric acid is naturally occurring in citrus fruits – like lemons – It can be used to clean everything from cutting boards to coffee makers. you can also mix it with washing soda to make a diy dishwashing powder.
Hydrogen peroxide is considered to be antibacterial and antiviral. Use it with baking soda, vinegar or essential oils to make an all-purpose cleaning spray
Witch hazel is a great gentle clean. Along with the myriad of uses for cleaning it also can be used numerous ways for personal health. One of my favorites is a diy hand-sanitizer.
Other tools of the trade: Elbow grease, Steel Wool, Old toothbrushes, cleaning rags.
This defiantly is not a comprehensive list, and I myself am still tweaking recipes to make them work for our families’ specific needs. But that’s the great thing about them – you can personalize them to what you want – and you don’t have to worry about the high cost and hidden chemicals.
I hope you have a great day!