Organic Homemade Cleaning Solutions
There is an old saying: “Cleanliness is next to godliness” – whoever invented that sentence obviously didn’t live in a world of plastic and commonly used polluting cleaning supplies. The most widely used cleaning products today usually contain very harsh and toxic chemicals and come in plastic packaging. They are without a doubt very effective when it comes to cleaning and killing germs, but also present a danger for both human health and the environment. You can keep your home clean without making the rest of the environment polluted by using simple ingredients, straight from Mother Nature. Many people think that switching to homemade cleaning supplies requires a lot of work, but it is actually quite easy. Here are a few suggestions and recipes that will leave your home not only sparkly clean, but also smelling herbal and fresh.
You will need:
- Spray bottles
- Microfiber cloths, old shirts or similar materials
- Baking soda – it has the ability to cleanse, remove smells and can be used to scrub off more stubborn stains
- White vinegar – considering that it has very good antimicrobial activity along with a very diverse use, it is no wonder why vinegar is on all the lists of best natural cleaning products; it can remove grease, limescale, soap residues, bacteria and mold
- Citrus fruit – lemons, oranges, limes, grapefruit, etc.
- Essential oils – these are optional, but they leave a nice smell, and certain types like lemon, tea tree, peppermint and eucalyptus essential oils are also good for disinfecting
- Ammonia – effectively removes stubborn grease stains from ovens and stoves
- Castile soap – universal natural cleaner, it can be used for anything from washing hands to cleaning toilets
Citrus and vinegar solution: Fill a jar with lemon, orange, grapefruit and/or lime peels and add undiluted white vinegar. Fill the jar with the vinegar and let it sit for a few days. Remove the peels afterward or pour the vinegar into another container. This mix can be used for cleaning windows, floors and similar surfaces. Always dilute with water before use.
Ready to use window and mirror cleaner: You will need half a cup of white vinegar, a quarter cup of rubbing alcohol, two cups of water and a few drops of citrus essential oils. Mix all the ingredients into a spray bottle, shake it well, and your natural window cleaner is ready. Use an old shirt or a microfiber cloth to remove the cleaner off windows and avoid streaks on the glass.
Wood: Dilute white vinegar (or cider vinegar for darker wood) with water and add a few drops of olive oil, as well as some lavender and lemon essential oil for a nice smell. Put the mixture in a spray bottle and shake it well. Spray it on wooden surfaces and clean them with a microfiber cloth. Vinegar will help to remove any greasy spots or dirt and disinfect the surface, while olive oil adds shine to the wood. It is also advised to put flaxseed oil instead of olive oil in the mixture from time to time, as it is significantly more powerful when it comes to protecting the wood and curing chapped edges.
Marble and granite: These surfaces are very sensitive to acids, so any recipes with vinegar and/or lemon juice are not favorable. It is advised to use a simple mixture of water and a few drops of castile soap as a marble and granite cleaner. Shake the mixture, then spray it on the surface and clean it using a damp microfiber cloth.
Tiles: As you probably already know, baking soda is one of the most powerful natural cleaning agents. It can be used as an abrasive for cleaning water spots and more persistent dirt residues between the tiles. Just take a damp scrubbing brush or a similar tool, pour some baking soda over the fibers and start scrubbing. Wash off the baking soda when you are finished and spray generously the mixture of vinegar and a few drops of lemon essential oil on places where the tiles meet. Leave it to sit for a few minutes and wash it off using some water and an old cloth. That should remove and prevent the development of any molds or bacteria.
Baking soda: It can successfully remove greasy stains from the oven, pans, pots and other surfaces. The easiest way to utilize baking soda for cleaning is to make a paste by mixing it with water. Start by mixing five parts water to one part baking soda; if you need a more powerful paste, add less water into the mix. Apply the paste directly onto the greasy areas and let it sit for a few minutes. The baking soda will loosen up the grease, which can then be easily removed with a cloth or sponge and warm water.
Ammonia: It can be bought in almost any store and it is super effective in cleaning grease from any surface, however, it’s more aggressive than baking soda. Always wear gloves while handling ammonia and do not breathe in the fumes directly. Soapy ammonia is a very powerful degreaser, which can be easily made with some ammonia, water and a few drops of castile soap. Fill a half of a spray bottle with ammonia, another half with water and add 3-5 drops of soap in the mix. Shake well before spraying it on greasy surfaces.
Faucet, showerhead and tub: Vinegar and baking soda are your best allies when it comes to cleaning these surfaces. One part water and one part vinegar solution can be used to successfully remove limescale, as well as soap and dirt stains. Baking soda paste can be used for scrubbing limescale off the shower and faucet.
Toilet: Vinegar solution with a few drops of essential oil will make an excellent toilet bowl cleaner. Spray the solution all over the toilet bowl, including the seat and lid, and let it sit for a few minutes. After that, sprinkle some baking soda inside the bowl and scrub it using a toilet brush. Using water and an old cloth, remove the cleaner from the seat and lid. For more persistent stains and foul odors, add more vinegar and essential oils to the mixture and after you finish cleaning, pour the rest of the cleaner in the bottle into the bowl and let it sit for a few hours. There is also a good recipe with castile soap – mix one and three-quarters of a cup of water, quarter cup of castile soap, a few drops of essential oils and two tablespoons of baking soda. Pour all the ingredients into a spray bottle and shake it good before application. Spray the mixture into the toilet bowl and scrub with the toilet brush.
Mirrors and shower doors: Considering that these surfaces are very similar to windows, vinegar and water solution with a few drops of essential oil should work just fine.
Note: Do not use vinegar and baking soda together in a solution, because that will cause an aggressive reaction between a base (baking soda) and an acid (vinegar), resulting in a very weak cleaning effect.
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