When you clean your home, your home should smell and look great. Cleaners with heavy chemicals may be effective but can damage surfaces, leave chemicals in the air, and break down fabrics. Regularly using mild, environmentally safe cleaners helps keep your home clean and the environment safe. Here are 4 versatile cleaners that you can use safely around your home.
4 Great Natural Cleaners You Can Use At Home
This is an easily available abrasive scrubs away dirt, scum, burnt foods on pots and pans, and scuff marks. It also removes strong odors. Use it to deodorize carpet, clothing, or patio furniture. Use it also to scrub tile, shower doors, pots, ovens, and grills, Mix baking soda with a small amount of water or soap to scrub surfaces. Sprinkle on dry to use as a deodorizer.
Baking soda, also known as sodium bicarbonate, is indeed a versatile and effective natural cleaner for various reasons:
- Abrasive properties: Baking soda has a slightly abrasive texture, making it useful for scrubbing and removing stains without scratching surfaces. It can be used to clean kitchen countertops, stovetops, sinks, and bathroom fixtures.
- Odor neutralizer: Baking soda has excellent odor-absorbing properties, which help eliminate unpleasant smells in the home. It can be sprinkled on carpets, upholstery, and even inside refrigerators to absorb and neutralize odors.
- Mild alkali: Baking soda acts as a mild alkali, which means it can help dissolve and remove dirt, grease, and grime. It can be used to clean pots, pans, and other kitchen utensils, as well as remove baked-on food from ovens and stovetops.
- Stain remover: Baking soda can be effective in removing stains from various surfaces and fabrics. It can help lift stains from carpets, upholstery, and clothing when combined with water or other cleaning agents.
- Non-toxic and environmentally friendly: One of the significant advantages of using baking soda as a cleaner is its non-toxic nature. Unlike many commercial cleaning products that contain harsh chemicals, baking soda is safe to use around children and pets. It is also more environmentally friendly, as it does not contribute to air or water pollution.
- Versatile applications: Baking soda can be used for multiple cleaning tasks. It can be combined with water to form a paste for scrubbing, mixed with vinegar for additional cleaning power, or used as an ingredient in DIY cleaning solutions.
Despite its many benefits, it’s important to note that baking soda may not be suitable for all cleaning tasks. It is not recommended for use on surfaces that are sensitive to abrasion, such as polished marble or granite. Additionally, it may not be as effective on tough or heavily soiled areas. In such cases, you may need to use specialized cleaning products or seek alternative cleaning methods.
How to Use Baking Soda as a Cleaner:
Using baking soda as a cleaner is relatively straightforward.
Here are some common ways to use it for various cleaning tasks:
- General surface cleaning: Sprinkle baking soda on a damp sponge or cloth and use it to clean countertops, sinks, stovetops, and other surfaces. Scrub gently in circular motions to remove dirt and stains. Rinse the surface with water afterward.
- Oven and stovetop cleaning: Make a paste by mixing baking soda with a small amount of water. Apply the paste to the inside of the oven or on the stovetop, focusing on areas with stubborn grease or baked-on food. Let it sit for a few hours or overnight. Then, scrub the surface with a sponge or cloth and rinse thoroughly.
- Carpet and upholstery deodorizing: Sprinkle baking soda liberally over carpets, rugs, or upholstered furniture. Leave it on for a few hours or overnight to absorb odors. Vacuum the area to remove the baking soda along with the absorbed odors.
- Drain cleaning: Pour about half a cup of baking soda into the drain, followed by an equal amount of vinegar. The mixture will fizz and bubble, helping to remove built-up residue and odors. Let it sit for a few minutes, then flush the drain with hot water.
- Silverware and metal cleaning: Create a paste by mixing baking soda with water. Apply the paste to tarnished silverware, brass, or copper items. Gently rub the paste onto the metal surface with a cloth or sponge. Rinse thoroughly and polish with a soft cloth to restore shine.
- Laundry stain removal: For stained clothing, make a paste of baking soda and water and apply it directly to the stain. Let it sit for a while before laundering as usual. Baking soda can help lift and loosen stains before washing.
Remember to always test baking soda on a small, inconspicuous area before using it on a larger surface. This will ensure compatibility with the material and avoid any potential damage.
This cleaning solution is found in most kitchens. Less toxic than bleach, this cleaner disinfects and breaks down stains and hard water. Use it to clean bathrooms and kitchen surfaces as well as glass, mirrors, as well as carpet and fabric stains. It also helps your home smell clean because it neutralizes nasty odors.
White vinegar is a popular natural cleaner that offers several benefits when used around the home:
- Non-toxic and safe: White vinegar is non-toxic, making it safe to use around children, pets, and food preparation areas. Unlike many commercial cleaners that contain harsh chemicals, vinegar is a more environmentally friendly option.
- Antibacterial properties: Vinegar has antimicrobial properties that can help kill bacteria and inhibit the growth of mold and mildew. It is particularly effective against common household germs and can be used for cleaning kitchen and bathroom surfaces.
- Odor eliminator: Vinegar is known for its ability to neutralize unpleasant odors. It can be used to remove odors from various sources, such as cooking smells, pet accidents, and cigarette smoke. Vinegar absorbs odors rather than masking them, leaving a fresher environment.
- Stain remover: Due to its acidic nature, white vinegar is effective at removing various types of stains. It can be used to tackle stains on fabrics, carpets, and upholstery. Vinegar is particularly useful for removing stains caused by coffee, tea, wine, and food.
- Grease cutter: Vinegar’s acidity also helps break down and dissolve grease and grime. It can be used to clean kitchen surfaces, appliances, and cookware. Vinegar mixed with water or combined with baking soda creates a potent cleaning solution for tackling greasy surfaces.
- Scale and mineral deposit remover: Vinegar is excellent at removing mineral deposits and scale buildup. It can be used to descale coffee makers, kettles, showerheads, and faucets. The acidic properties of vinegar dissolve the mineral deposits, leaving surfaces clean and functioning properly.
- Versatile applications: White vinegar can be used for a wide range of cleaning tasks. It can be applied directly or mixed with water to create a cleaning solution. It is effective on various surfaces, including glass, tiles, countertops, and stainless steel.
Despite its many benefits, it’s important to note that vinegar is an acid, and as such, it may not be suitable for all surfaces. It can potentially damage natural stone surfaces like marble or granite, so it’s essential to use it with caution and always test it on a small, inconspicuous area first.
How Do I Use White Vinegar as a Cleaner:
Using white vinegar as a cleaner is simple and versatile.
Here are some common ways to use white vinegar for cleaning purposes:
- All-purpose cleaner: Mix equal parts white vinegar and water in a spray bottle. This solution can be used to clean various surfaces, including countertops, tiles, appliances, and sinks. Spray the mixture onto the surface, let it sit for a few minutes, and then wipe it clean with a cloth or sponge.
- Glass and mirror cleaner: Dilute white vinegar with water in a 1:1 ratio and pour the mixture into a spray bottle. Spray the solution onto windows, mirrors, or glass surfaces, and use a lint-free cloth or newspaper to wipe them clean. This will help remove streaks and leave a sparkling finish.
- Floor cleaner: Add 1/2 cup of white vinegar to a gallon of warm water to create a homemade floor cleaner. This solution can be used to clean a variety of hard floors, such as tile, laminate, vinyl, or linoleum. Mop the floors as usual, ensuring not to saturate them with excess liquid.
- Bathroom cleaner: White vinegar is effective in removing soap scum, hard water stains, and mineral deposits in the bathroom. Apply undiluted vinegar to the surfaces using a sponge or spray bottle. Let it sit for a few minutes, then scrub with a brush or cloth. Rinse thoroughly with water afterward.
- Toilet cleaner: Pour one cup of white vinegar into the toilet bowl. Let it sit for a few hours or overnight to break down stains and mineral deposits. Scrub the bowl with a toilet brush and flush to rinse away the vinegar and residue.
- Microwave cleaner: Fill a microwave-safe bowl with a mixture of equal parts white vinegar and water. Place it in the microwave and heat on high for a few minutes until the mixture boils and creates steam. Keep the microwave door closed for a few more minutes to allow the steam to loosen food splatters and stains. Carefully remove the bowl and wipe the interior clean with a cloth or sponge.
- Removing odors: Place a small bowl of white vinegar in areas with persistent odors, such as the kitchen, bathroom, or refrigerator. The vinegar will help absorb and neutralize unpleasant smells over time.
Remember to always test vinegar on a small, inconspicuous area before using it on a larger surface, especially delicate or porous materials. Additionally, while vinegar is generally safe to use, avoid using it on surfaces that are sensitive to acid, such as natural stone or certain metals.
Every home needs soap, and this all-natural, olive oil based soap is great for almost any cleaning task. A great degreaser and cleanser, this soap is available in various scents. It is pricey but non-toxic and environmentally friendly. Use it to in place of other detergents.
Castile soap is a versatile and effective natural cleaner for several reasons:
- Natural ingredients: Castile soap is made from vegetable oils, such as olive oil, coconut oil, or hemp oil, instead of synthetic detergents or animal fats. It typically contains minimal or no chemical additives, making it a more natural and environmentally friendly cleaning option.
- Gentle and non-toxic: Castile soap is gentle on the skin and non-toxic, making it safe for use around children, pets, and individuals with sensitivities or allergies. It does not contain harsh chemicals or artificial fragrances that can be harmful or irritating.
- Multi-purpose cleaner: Castile soap can be used for a wide range of cleaning tasks. It can effectively clean surfaces, dishes, laundry, and even personal care needs. Its versatility makes it a useful all-in-one cleaner for many areas of the home.
- Effective cleaning power: Despite its gentle nature, castile soap has excellent cleaning properties. It helps to remove dirt, grease, and grime from various surfaces without leaving behind residue. It can be used for general cleaning, stain removal, and even as a natural degreaser.
- Eco-friendly: Castile soap is biodegradable, meaning it breaks down easily and does not harm the environment. It is a more sustainable alternative to conventional cleaning products that often contain harsh chemicals that can pollute waterways.
- Safe for different surfaces: Castile soap is generally safe to use on a variety of surfaces, including countertops, floors, tiles, wood, and even delicate items like fine fabrics or jewelry. However, it’s always a good idea to test it on a small, inconspicuous area before using it on a larger surface to ensure compatibility.
- DIY cleaning solutions: Castile soap can be easily incorporated into DIY cleaning solutions. By combining it with water, essential oils, or other natural ingredients, you can create customized cleaners for specific cleaning tasks or preferences.
It’s worth noting that while castile soap is a versatile cleaner, it may not be suitable for all cleaning needs. It may not provide the same strength or efficacy as some commercial cleaners, especially for tough stains or heavily soiled areas. In such cases, you may need to consider alternative cleaning methods or products.
How to Use Castile Soap as a Cleaner:
Using castile soap as a cleaner is simple and straightforward.
Here are some common ways to use castile soap for cleaning purposes:
- All-purpose cleaner: Mix 1-2 tablespoons of castile soap with 1 quart (4 cups) of warm water in a spray bottle. This solution can be used as an all-purpose cleaner for various surfaces like countertops, floors, tiles, and walls. Spray the mixture onto the surface, wipe it clean with a cloth or sponge, and rinse if necessary.
- Dish soap: Add a small amount of castile soap to a sink or basin filled with warm water for handwashing dishes. The soap’s gentle nature makes it suitable for cleaning dishes, utensils, and glassware. You can also use it in a dishwasher by adding a teaspoon or two to the detergent compartment.
- Laundry detergent: Use castile soap as a natural alternative to commercial laundry detergents. Depending on the size of the load, add 1/4 to 1/2 cup of castile soap directly to the washing machine. It is suitable for both regular and high-efficiency (HE) machines. For extra cleaning power, you can add baking soda or vinegar to the wash cycle.
- Bathroom cleaner: For cleaning bathroom surfaces like sinks, showers, and toilets, dilute castile soap with water and use it as a scrubbing solution. You can also mix it with baking soda to create a paste for tackling tougher stains or soap scum. Scrub the surfaces, rinse thoroughly, and wipe dry.
- Floor cleaner: Mix 1/4 cup of castile soap with 1 gallon of warm water to create a natural floor cleaner. This solution can be used for mopping a variety of floor types, including tile, laminate, and hardwood. Mop the floors as usual, ensuring not to saturate them with excess liquid.
- Pet shampoo: Dilute castile soap with water and use it as a gentle and natural shampoo for your pets. It can help clean their fur without irritating their skin or stripping away natural oils. Rinse thoroughly after application.
- DIY cleaning solutions: Castile soap can be incorporated into various DIY cleaning solutions. You can mix it with water, vinegar, essential oils, or other natural ingredients to create customized cleaners for specific needs. For example, combining castile soap, water, and a few drops of tea tree oil can create an effective mold and mildew cleaner.
Remember to follow the specific dilution instructions on the castile soap packaging, as the concentration can vary among different brands. Additionally, it’s always a good idea to spot test the soap on a small, inconspicuous area before using it on a larger surface to ensure compatibility and avoid any potential damage.
Find this great cleaner in your produce drawer. It smells good and cleans cutting boards, copper pans, and garbage disposals. Combine lemon juice with other natural cleaners to transform them into more potent cleaners while giving your home a fresh smell.
Lemon is a great natural cleaner due to its numerous beneficial properties:
- Natural acidity: Lemon contains citric acid, which gives it natural cleaning and disinfecting properties. The acidity helps break down grease, grime, and mineral deposits, making it effective for various cleaning tasks.
- Fresh fragrance: Lemon has a refreshing and pleasant aroma that can help eliminate odors. Its scent can leave a clean and fresh-smelling environment without relying on artificial fragrances.
- Antibacterial properties: The acidic nature of lemons, along with their high vitamin C content, gives them natural antibacterial properties. Lemon juice can help kill bacteria and inhibit their growth, making it useful for sanitizing surfaces.
- Stain remover: Lemon juice can be used as a natural stain remover for clothing, fabric, or hard surfaces. It is particularly effective against stains caused by rust, ink, wine, and certain food stains. Lemon juice can help break down the pigments and dissolve the stains.
- Natural bleaching agent: Lemon juice acts as a mild bleaching agent and can be used to brighten white clothing, remove yellowing from white fabrics, or lighten stains on surfaces. It can be particularly useful for brightening up items that have become dull or discolored.
- Grease cutter: The acidity of lemon juice makes it an effective degreaser. It can help cut through grease and grime on kitchen surfaces, cookware, and appliances. Lemon juice can be used to remove sticky residue from labels or adhesive as well.
- Natural polish: Lemon juice can be used to polish and shine various surfaces, including stainless steel, copper, brass, and chrome. It can help remove tarnish and restore the shine to metal items.
- Natural disinfectant: Lemon juice can be used as a natural disinfectant by applying it to surfaces or diluting it with water in a spray bottle. It can be particularly useful for disinfecting cutting boards, countertops, and other food preparation areas.
- Non-toxic and eco-friendly: Lemon is a natural ingredient that is non-toxic, making it a safer alternative to many commercial cleaning products. It is biodegradable and does not contribute to environmental pollution.
When using lemon as a cleaner, it’s important to keep in mind that its acidity can potentially damage certain surfaces or materials. Avoid using lemon juice on sensitive or porous surfaces like marble or natural stone. Additionally, its bleaching properties may cause discoloration on colored fabrics or surfaces, so it’s advisable to test it on a small, inconspicuous area before applying it more widely.
How to Use Lemon as a Cleaner:
Using lemon as a cleaner is simple and can be done in various ways.
Here are some common methods of using lemon for cleaning purposes:
- All-purpose cleaner: Mix equal parts lemon juice and water in a spray bottle. This solution can be used as an all-purpose cleaner for countertops, tiles, and other surfaces. Spray the mixture onto the surface, let it sit for a few minutes, and then wipe it clean with a cloth or sponge.
- Stain remover: For stains on fabrics or surfaces, apply lemon juice directly to the stain. Let it sit for a few minutes, then blot or gently scrub the area with a cloth or sponge. Rinse thoroughly with water afterward.
- Grease cutter: Cut through grease and grime by applying lemon juice directly to the surface or diluting it with water. It can be used to clean greasy kitchen surfaces, stovetops, or even cookware. Scrub with a sponge or cloth, then rinse with water.
- Natural polish: Use lemon juice to naturally polish and shine various surfaces. Rub lemon juice onto stainless steel, copper, brass, or chrome items using a cloth or sponge. Let it sit for a few minutes, then rinse and dry for a shiny finish.
- Cutting board cleaner: Sprinkle coarse salt onto a cutting board, then rub half a lemon over the surface. The combination of the salt and lemon juice helps disinfect and deodorize the cutting board. Rinse with water afterward.
- Microwave cleaner: Place a bowl of water with lemon slices or lemon juice in the microwave. Heat the bowl on high power for a few minutes until the water boils and creates steam. The steam will help loosen food splatters and stains, making them easier to wipe away. Carefully remove the bowl and wipe the interior of the microwave with a cloth or sponge.
- Freshen up garbage disposal: Cut a lemon into small pieces and place them in the garbage disposal. Run the disposal with water for a few seconds to grind the lemon and release its fresh scent. This can help eliminate odors and leave a fresh aroma in the kitchen.
- Natural air freshener: Simmer water, lemon slices, and other aromatic ingredients like cinnamon sticks or herbs on the stove. This creates a pleasant scent that can freshen the air in your home.
Remember to avoid using lemon on sensitive surfaces like marble or natural stone, as the acidity can potentially damage them. It’s always a good idea to test lemon juice on a small, inconspicuous area before using it on a larger surface.
A slightly more chemical based cleanser Borax is mild and safe to use. This powder is great for heavy cleaning jobs that require more than baking soda and vinegar. Use it for jobs such as cleaning laundry, tile, rust stains, and killing pests. Using throughout your home is safe.
Borax, also known as sodium borate, is a naturally occurring mineral that has been used for cleaning purposes for many years.
Here are some reasons why borax is considered a natural cleaner:
- Cleaning and deodorizing properties: Borax has excellent cleaning abilities and can effectively remove dirt, stains, and odors. It acts as a mild abrasive, making it useful for scrubbing and polishing various surfaces.
- Natural disinfectant: Borax has disinfectant properties that help kill bacteria, fungi, and other microorganisms. It can be used to sanitize and deodorize surfaces, making it a useful cleaner for kitchens and bathrooms.
- Stain remover: Borax can be effective in removing stains from fabrics, carpets, and upholstery. It can help lift and break down tough stains, including grease, oil, food, and even some types of ink or dye.
- Laundry booster: Adding borax to your laundry can enhance the cleaning power of your detergent. It helps to soften hard water, brighten whites, remove stains, and eliminate odors from clothes.
- Pest control: Borax is often used as a natural pest control agent. It can help eliminate certain insects, such as ants, cockroaches, and fleas. When ingested by pests, borax disrupts their digestive system and causes dehydration, ultimately leading to their demise.
- Odor neutralizer: Borax can help neutralize odors in various areas of the home. It can be used to freshen up carpets, mattresses, trash cans, and pet areas by absorbing and eliminating unpleasant smells.
- Versatility: Borax can be used for a wide range of cleaning tasks, from general cleaning to specific applications like cleaning toilet bowls, removing soap scum, and cleaning outdoor furniture. It is a versatile cleaner that can be applied to many different surfaces.
It’s important to note that while borax is generally considered safe to use, it should be handled with care. Avoid ingesting it or allowing direct contact with the skin or eyes. Keep borax out of reach of children and pets. Additionally, it’s always a good idea to follow specific instructions on the packaging and test borax on a small, inconspicuous area before using it on a larger surface to ensure compatibility.
How to Use Borax as a Cleaner:
Borax can be used as a cleaner in various ways.
Here are some common methods of using borax for cleaning purposes:
- All-purpose cleaner: Dissolve 1/2 cup of borax in 1 gallon of warm water to create a homemade all-purpose cleaner. This solution can be used to clean countertops, tiles, sinks, and other surfaces. Apply the solution to the surface using a cloth or sponge, scrub as needed, and rinse with water.
- Carpet cleaner: Sprinkle borax directly onto carpets, rugs, or upholstery to help remove stains and odors. Gently work the borax into the fibers using a brush or broom, let it sit for a while (ideally overnight), and then vacuum thoroughly to remove the borax and any loosened dirt or debris.
- Laundry booster: Add 1/2 cup of borax to your laundry load along with your regular detergent. Borax can help boost the cleaning power of your detergent, soften hard water, brighten whites, and remove stains and odors from clothes. Follow the instructions on your detergent packaging for proper usage.
- Toilet cleaner: Sprinkle borax into the toilet bowl and let it sit for a few hours or overnight. Scrub the bowl with a toilet brush and flush to rinse away the borax and any stains or residue. Borax can help clean and deodorize the toilet.
- Grout cleaner: Create a paste by mixing borax with a small amount of water. Apply the paste to the grout lines and scrub with a brush or sponge. Let it sit for a few minutes, then rinse with water. Borax can help remove dirt and stains from grout and revitalize its appearance.
- Kitchen cleaner: Sprinkle borax onto a damp sponge or cloth and use it to clean kitchen surfaces, such as countertops, stovetops, and sinks. The abrasive nature of borax helps to remove stubborn stains and grease. Rinse with water after cleaning.
- Dishwasher cleaner: Sprinkle a tablespoon of borax into the bottom of the dishwasher before running a cycle. Borax can help remove residue, grease, and odors from the dishwasher and leave it clean and fresh.
- Outdoor cleaner: Borax can be used to clean outdoor furniture, decks, and other surfaces. Create a solution of borax and water and apply it to the surfaces using a brush or spray bottle. Scrub as needed, then rinse with water.
Remember to always follow the specific instructions on the borax packaging for proper usage and safety precautions. Additionally, it’s advisable to test borax on a small, inconspicuous area before using it on a larger or delicate surface to ensure compatibility.
Using natural products helps to keep your home clean and safe for children and pets. As much as possible stay away from home cleaners that contain heavy chemicals.
In conclusion, natural cleaners like baking soda, white vinegar, castile soap, lemon, and borax offer several benefits for cleaning around the home. These ingredients are readily available, affordable, and safer alternatives to many commercial cleaning products. They are effective for various cleaning tasks, environmentally friendly, and often free from harsh chemicals.
When using natural cleaners, it’s important to consider the specific instructions and recommendations for each ingredient. Some may require dilution, while others can be used directly. It’s also essential to test the cleaner on a small, inconspicuous area before using it on larger surfaces to ensure compatibility and avoid potential damage.
Remember to exercise caution and practice proper safety measures when using any cleaning products, including natural cleaners. Follow the instructions, avoid mixing different ingredients unless specified, and keep them out of reach of children and pets.
Overall, incorporating natural cleaners into your cleaning routine can help create a healthier living environment, reduce your exposure to potentially harmful chemicals, and contribute to a more sustainable lifestyle.