Cleaning is an important part of maintaining and caring for your home and family. How often you clean, where you clean, and the ingredients you use to clean will determine the health and safety of your home and its dwellers.
Chemically based cleaning agents are superfluous nowadays. If you walk into Walmart or even visit Amazon’s website, you will come across countless options for detergents, disinfectants, window cleaners and toilet cleaners. Making it very easy for you to just grab the most toxic products to wash your clothes, clean your floors and scrub your dishes due to convenience.
However, cleaning your home with natural ingredients is no harder or inconvenient than using harsh chemicals, and in the end, you are rewarded with better indoor air quality and a safer environment for your family.
Today, we give you 7 natural cleaning ingredients that are already used around your home almost on a daily basis. These ingredients will not only reduce the amount of money you spend on toxic cleaning products but also leave your home smelling like essential oils and citrus.
So, grab those gloves and let’s start cleaning.
1. Vinegar (Apple Cider, Plain White)
Vinegar is a great natural alternative to harsh chemicals. Not only is it good for cleaning and disinfecting but it is an awesome way to remove toxins from your body. Vinegar, whether apple cider or regular plain white are awesome natural ingredients to clean anywhere in your home that you would otherwise use disinfectants or bleach.
It works well cleaning bathrooms, kitchens and also windows, walls, and laundry. Vinegar can be mixed with hot water and baking soda to clean places like bathroom or kitchen counters, sinks, and most surfaces. You can also use it as a fabric softener, glass cleaner and even to shine stainless steel.
Vinegar has a very strong smell depending on how much is used. It is normally advised to use about 50/50 when making a vinegar cleaning solution so as to balance out the acidity of the vinegar and also reduce the smell.
2. Citrus (Lemon, Grapefruit, Sour Oranges)
Similar to vinegar, citrus makes a good cleaning agent because of its acidity. Those lemons and grapefruits pack a punch I tell you. Plus, the peels of citrus fruits have limonene, which is the active ingredient of citrus oil, making it a great degreaser. You can use citrus to:
- Remove soap scum and rust
- Clean microwaves
- Soften fabric
- Whiten surfaces
- Polish furniture
- Scented all-purpose cleaner
3. Baking Soda
Baking soda or sodium bicarbonate is a powdery white substance that I’m sure you have tucked away in your kitchen cupboard somewhere. It comes in handy for those tough cleaning jobs that require a little abrasion.
This substance is a trooper when it comes to diversity, making cookie dough rise, spotlessly cleaning dirty surfaces, and killing odors around the home. You can use baking soda to:
- Clean hairbrushes and combs
- Shine silver
- Deodorize carpets and rugs
- Clear clogged drains
- Fight household chores
- Clean your oven
4. Essential Oils
Essential oils might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of cleaning agents, but on the contrary, they are a great way to freshen and odorize the crevices, surfaces, and corners of your home.
They are eco-friendly and helps clear the air, removing toxins and making breathing a whole lot easier. Essential oils such as those of lavender, eucalyptus, lemon, and mint are perfect to use as fragrances as they are packed with antimicrobial properties. You would definitely opt for the scent of lavender over toxic bleach any day.
You can use essential oils as a:
- Toilet bowl cleaner
- Stovetop cleaner
- Vaccum freshener
- Air freshener
5. Natural Salt
No matter your diet, if you say you don’t have some sea, kosher, table, iodized or non-iodized salt in your kitchen then you are really on a super strict diet. Those same crystals that you use to season your pots can also be used to clean counters, coppers, carpet and a barrage of other items. Not to mention, salt is super affordable and available everywhere.
You can use salt to:
- Remove coffee stains from mugs
- Clean cast iron
- Remove water stains from wood
- Bleach perspiration stains
If you did not take Chemistry in school you might not be acquainted with this one, but sodium borate (a.k.a. borax) is one of the best natural cleaners you will find. Long before laundry detergent, like some 4,000+ years ago, this substance was discovered in the dried saline lake beds of Tibet.
This white mineral powder can be used as a:
- Dishwasher detergent
- Insect deterrent
- Outdoor furniture cleaner
- Utensils cleaner
- Laundry booster
7. Liquid Castile Soap
Castile soap is an awesome vegan alternative to your harsh chemical filled cleaning agents found at the store. Made from vegetable oil, this soap is perfect for cleaning dirt and grime from almost any water-safe surface. Plus, it can also be used as a shower gel to wash your body, face, and hair.
The soap can be purchased in bar form but of course, most cleaning regimens call for it in a liquid form.
You can use castile soap to:
- Clean windows
- Clean dishes
- Laundry detergent
- Clean cupboards