Stocking your cleaning cabinet with the best green products can be expensive! A good solution to this is utilizing natural cleaning products. Many
store-bought products say they are natural, but we are talking about actually 100% natural. The best three are vinegar, lemon juice and baking soda. These three natural cleaners can be used in the kitchen, bathroom and laundry room. Here is a quick guide to how to use them, where in your home and what to avoid when using these natural cleaning products. It’s always best to test any cleaner on a hidden area first to make sure no color change or damage occurs. Vinegar:
Vinegar works much like an all-purpose cleaner. Use an old spray bottle, mix equal parts of water and vinegar and you have a solution that will clean most areas of your home. Vinegar is a great natural cleaning product in addition to being a disinfectant and deodorizer. Be wary that improperly diluted vinegar is acidic and can eat away at tile grout. The smell of vinegar will disappear when it dries so your home won’t reek like salad dressing.Bathroom: Clean the bathtub, toilet, sink, and countertops. For the toilet bowl, use pure vinegar to get rid of unsightly rings. Flush the toilet to allow the water level to go down before pouring the undiluted vinegar around the inside of the rim. Scrub down the bowl. You can also mop the floor in the bathroom with a vinegar/water solution. It also eats away the soap scum and hard water stains on your fixtures and tiles leaving them shiny.
Kitchen: Clean the top of the stove with the equal parts vinegar to water solution. Most appliances can be cleaned with this same all purpose mix. Counter-top surfaces can be clean and disinfected with the same spray. Use vinegar to clean floors and be pleasantly surprised at the fresh shiny results.
Laundry Room: Vinegar can be used as a natural fabric softener, it’s especially helpful for those with sensitive skin issues. Simply add ½ cup of vinegar to the rinse cycle in place of store fabric softener. Vinegar has the added benefit of break down laundry detergent more effectively. You can also use vinegar to clean your washing machine.
Don’t use it on: Marble Lemons and Lemon Juices:
Lemon juice can be used to dissolve soap scum and hard water deposits. It is also a great substance to clean and shine brass and copper.
Kitchen: Try mixing lemon juice with vinegar or baking soda to make cleaning pastes. Cut a lemon in half and sprinkle a little baking soda on the cut section
of the lemon. Use this to scrub dishes, surfaces, and stains. Be aware that lemon juice can act as a natural bleach. So it’s always a good idea to test it out on a hidden area first. Put a whole lemon peel through the garbage disposal. It freshens the drain and the kitchen. Orange peels work for this effect, too.
Throughout the Home: Mix 1 cup olive oil with ½ cup lemon juice and you create your own furniture polish for hardwood furniture.
Laundry room: Lemon juice can also be used to treat stains because of its natural bleaching qualities.
Baking soda can be used to scrub surfaces in much the same way as commercial non-abrasive cleansers. Baking soda’s mild abrasive quality helps to gently scrub things that need to be scrubbed, not scratched.
Kitchen: It is a great deodorizer. Place a box in the refrigerator and freezer to absorb odors. Actually, put baking soda anyway you need some powerful deodorizing action. Use it in trash cans, laundry and shoes.
Laundry room: Baking soda can be added to loads as a fabric softener.
All three of these products are significantly cheaper and safer than buying a product at the store that you cannot tell for sure what is in it. Going green can save you some green!