With our lives becoming busier and more stressful, it isn’t hard to give in to buying products that promise to make annoying chores easier. For example, commercial cleaners that claim to make household cleaning tasks a breeze!
While a lot of these products fail to deliver, several of them contain harmful chemicals that can affect your health and the environment negatively. Of course, you can’t go about cleaning surfaces and objects with plain water, but you needn’t spend money on store-bought cleaners to disinfect your home either.
The solution? Green cleaning products that are earth-friendly and do an amazing job at cleaning and disinfecting surfaces!
If you’re ready to know more about using natural ingredients to keep your house sparkling clean, read on for some useful tips.
Fill a glass bowl with half a cup of water. Slice a lemon in half and squeeze both halves into the bowl. Leave lemon halves inside the bowl and microwave it for 2-3 minutes until the liquid starts to boil. Keep the door closed for 5 minutes to allow the steam to work on loosening the gunk. Remove the bowl and wipe all surfaces with a soft cloth. For tough stains, dip the cloth in the lemon juice-water mix and scrub.
Mix water and vinegar in equal amounts in a glass bowl; don’t fill it to the brim. Place it inside the microwave and heat for 2-3 minutes. Grab a soft cloth and wipe away buildup easily.
Mix 2-3 tablespoons of baking soda in a quart of hot water. Wipe down fridge interiors with a soft cloth dipped in this solution, rinse with a clean damp cloth, and wipe dry. Moisten tough residue with the same solution and let it remain for 5-10 minutes, rehydrating if needed, and wipe it away with a cloth.
To eliminate odors, spread fresh coffee grounds on a tray and leave it inside the fridge till the stench goes away. Placing activated charcoal in a tray inside the fridge with the temperature set low can also help. Alternatively, just keep an open packet of baking soda in your refrigerator at all times.
Sinks and Drains
To clean sinks and faucets, lightly sprinkle baking soda on them and gently scrub with a moist sponge or rough cloth. Adding a small amount of fine sea salt or regular table salt can provide a robust scrubbing action to help you tackle stubborn stains and residue.
Unclog and deodorize drains by emptying half a cup of baking soda down the drain, followed by pouring in a cup of white vinegar. Immediately, block the drain with the stopper and let the two react to create carbon dioxide; the trapped gas will clear blockage by exerting force on it. Unplug the drain after 15-20 minutes and pour boiling water to loosen buildup and carry it away.
Note: Plastic pipes can melt if you pour boiling water down them; do so only if you have metal plumbing. Also, avoid using vinegar with commercial cleaners or mixing different commercial cleaners together as it may create dangerous fumes.
For fresh grease spots, sprinkle cornstarch and let it sit for 15-20 minutes. Vacuum the stained area and repeat if necessary. To make a heavy duty cleaner, mix salt, borax, and vinegar in equal amounts. Rub this paste onto spots and wait for a few hours before vacuuming.
Mix ½ cup olive oil and ¼ cup vinegar in a spray bottle vigorously. Spray onto leather surfaces lightly and rub with a soft cloth to remove dirt, oil, and fingerprints. Buff with a dry cloth to let the olive oil seep in.
Note: Always test cleaners on an inconspicuous area before treating stains to prevent damaging the fabric.
Windows and Blinds
Distilled water and vinegar mixed in equal parts makes for a great window cleaner. Fill the solution in a spray bottle and spray onto window panes, and wipe clean with a squeegee or lint-free cloth. You can also mix 2 cups of water with 2 tablespoons each of white vinegar and rubbing alcohol to make a glass cleaner. Add a few drops of lemon or peppermint essential oil to the solution to leave behind a pleasant smell.
Revive washable blinds by wiping them clean with a mix of 1 gallon of warm water, 1 cup of ammonia, ½ cup of white vinegar, and ¼ cup of baking soda. A good idea is to put on a cotton glove, dip the fingertips in this solution, and wipe each slat one after the other.
Shampooing carpets leaves behind a residue that can attract dirt. To make carpets stay cleaner for longer, rinse them with a mixture of water and vinegar. Be sure to make a diluted solution- about half a cup of vinegar for every gallon of water. To deodorize carpets and get rid of dust mites, fill a spray bottle with vinegar, add in a few drops of your favorite essential oil, and spritz lightly.
Bid adieu to scuff marks on wood floors by rubbing in a bit of baking soda using a damp sponge. White spots caused by water spills can be removed by gently rubbing in natural citrus solvent with the help of fine steel wool. To buff, apply some jojoba oil.
A microfiber cloth can get most of the dirt off surfaces and everyday objects. To disinfect as well as clean items like switches, doorknobs, adult and children’s decorative hangers, remote controls, cell phones, etc., use a solution of water and vinegar.
Mixing a cup of hydrogen peroxide, 2 cups of water, and ¼ cup of lemon juice will also make an effective disinfectant. Mix rubbing alcohol and water in equal parts and use this solution to disinfect points of contact and surfaces like cutting boards.
Now that you’ve read these tips, needn’t buy commercial cleaners to keep your home clean and germ-free. Get started with these tips as soon as you can, and do what’s best for your health and for the environment!