With the holidays approaching and colder weather forcing us to spend more time indoors, autumn is the perfect time to clean your home! But giving your home a deep clean doesn’t mean you have to put a cocktail of chemicals in the air and on the surfaces you touch. By using a combination of the following 6 ingredients, you will be able to clean your home naturally and affordably.
When it comes to eco-friendly cleaning, white vinegar is a wonder product. Among other things, vinegar cuts grease, disinfects and removes calcium build-up. Use it in a 1:1 ratio with water to clean windows, hard flooring and even carpets. For a clogged drain, pour in ½ C. baking soda and then 1 C. vinegar. Flush after ½ hour with boiling water and no more clog! Just avoid using vinegar on marble and granite.
Bonus tip: Add 1-2 tsp. lemon juice and 5-7 drops lemon or orange essential oil for even more cleaning power and a great citrus scent.
2. Lemon Juice
Lemon is an amazing natural cleaner with antimicrobial properties that annihilates mold and mildew, shines hard surfaces and cuts through grease. It also smells awesome! Use it as a laundry enhancer by adding ½ C. strained lemon juice during the rinse cycle. It will brighten your clothes and give them an amazing, fresh scent.
3. Baking Soda
This naturally-occurring substance fights against dirt, grease and odor and has virus-killing abilities. Sprinkle it on carpets and mattresses to freshen and deodorize. Just remember to vacuum it off after! And to scrub your tub and tile sparkling clean, mix 1 C. baking soda with ¼ C. castile soap and 3-5 drops lemon essential oil. It also works great on carpet for pet accidents. Just sprinkle baking soda over the area, let it absorb the moisture, and vacuum dry. If a spot remains, gently brush a mixture of baking soda and water into it, let dry and vacuum.
4. Castile Soap
Sometimes when cleaning, it’s nice to have some suds and this vegetable-based soap can be your best friend in the bathroom. To clean your sink and tub, mix a 2:1 ration of water and castile soap in a spray bottle, spray liberally, scrub with a brush and rinse with warm water. Water and just a squirt of castile soap is also great for cleaning baseboards, doors and floors. It’s gentle on your skin and can even be used to clean your pets!
5. Olive Oil
Who knew this great-tasting cooking oil is also great for lifting dirt? To use as a stainless steel cleaner, put 1 T. of it on a soft cloth and rub on the surface to remove smudges, then dab 1 T. of vinegar on the other side of the cloth, wipe and let dry. Olive oil also makes a great furniture polish. Mix ¼ C. olive oil with ½ C. lemon juice in a bowl or spray bottle, polish furniture with a soft cloth and wipe dry.
Bonus tip: Olive oil also make a great facial cleanser. Give it a try!
6. Essential Oils
These concentrated oils derived from plants add a 100% natural fragrance and who doesn’t love a little scent when cleaning? Mix a few drops into any homemade cleaning product to freshen the air and diffuse odors and to turn your vacuum into a diffuser, vacuum up a tissue with essential oil on it. Essential oils also have disinfectant properties and any of them can be used so pick your favorite scent and green-clean away.
There you have it- 6 simple, inexpensive ingredients for eco-friendly cleaning. So check your pantry, because you might already have them and help keep your home and our world a more sustainable place.