If you are looking for an alternative to traditional household cleaning products and are tired of toxic, potentially hazardous cleaning products (especially if there are curious babies crawling around in your home), there are good, healthy cleaning supplies for non toxic natural cleaning that can be found right in your pantry. The dream team trio of lemon, baking soda and vinegar offer natural ways to keep your household clean with various homemade cleaning solutions.
Cleaning With Lemon
The acidity of lemon juice makes it ideal for a variety of uses:
* Dip the open side of half a lemon in baking soda to clean countertops. Wipe down with a wet sponge afterwards.
* Mix lemon with salt to make a scouring paste or to remove rust from porcelain cast iron. Gently rub with a soft rag.
* Squeeze a whole lemon directly into a bowl of baking soda to create a lemon juice baking soda scrub that will get your bath tub shiny and clean.
* Cleaning a microwave with lemon requires you to mix water and lemon together in a bowl, place inside microwave, and microwave on high for about seven minutes. Wipe down the inside of the microwave easily.
* Remove food stains from cutting boards or plastic containers by squeezing lemon juice onto the surface and rubbing it in. After letting is sit for about half an hour, wash the item as usual.
* Remove lime scale on faucets by rubbing lemon juice onto the tap and letting it sit overnight. Wipe down with a wet rag the next day.
* Shine brass and copper with fresh lemon juice.
* Add lemon juice to dishwashing soap when washing greasy dishes, and fresh lemon juice is great at removing soap scum.
* Soaking a rusty item in lemon juice overnight helps remove rust. Brush the next day with a soft toothbrush.
* Mix lemon juice with a teaspoon of cream of tartar to make a paste and apply to grout to remove grout stains from spilled foods and coffee. Lightly brush on with a soft toothbrush, then rinse off.
* Add 1/2 cup lemon juice to the laundry’s rinse cycle when washing whites to make whites whiter.
* After you are done using the lemons to clean, place the used lemons into the garbage disposal to clean and deodorize the garbage disposal.
(Do not use lemon on marble or stainless steel)
Cleaning With Vinegar
Another natural cleaner that is effective due to its acidity, white vinegar has an astounding number of uses:
* Mix a solution of 1:2 parts white vinegar and water for a streak-free, non-toxic window cleaner, glass cleaner, and floor cleaner (excluding marble or wood).
* When using a vinegar and water solution for removing the soap scum of tiles in the bathroom and cleaning shower doors, it also inhibits the growth of mold and mildew.
* To inhibit mold growth on walls, spray undiluted vinegar directly onto moldy areas and let sit for 15 minutes, then wipe off with a damp cloth.
* When used as a countertop spray in the kitchen, a 1:1 vinegar and water solution helps kill E. coli and salmonella.
* Pour 1/2 a cup of vinegar into the dishwasher’s reservoir and run an empty cycle to disinfect the dishwasher‘s interior
* Using a 1:1 mix of water and vinegar in a coffee maker, run an empty cycle to clean out the inside. Follow up with two empty cycles of clear water for a disinfected, clean coffee maker.
* Pour baking soda down the kitchen drain and follow it up with undiluted vinegar to clean drains and pipes. After letting it sit for 15 minutes, wash it all out with hot water.
* Add half a cup of white vinegar to your laundry’s rinse cycle as a natural fabric softener (the vinegar smell won’t linger). It also helps cut down on static cling.
* Remove mineral deposits from a showerhead by attaching a plastic bag filled with vinegar around the showerhead with rubberbands and leaving it overnight to soak. Rinse off with water the next day.
* Remove mineral deposits from a steam iron by filling the iron with a 1:1 water and vinegar solution and pressing the steam button. After turning it off and letting it cool, empty out the vinegar solution and rinse out with water.
White vinegar is very acidic, and can strip wood and stain marble as well as damage other fragile or porous surfaces. If you are not sure, test a small area of whatever you are planning to clean to make sure the vinegar doesn’t damage the finish.
Cleaning With Baking Soda
Baking soda is naturally abrasive and has terrific deodorizing power, and a combination of lemon juice, baking soda, and vinegar is the best natural cleaning recipe for fighting dirt, grime, grease, and stains. Other great uses for baking soda:
* Baking soda teeth whitening recipe: mix a small amount of baking soda with water, and add a small amount of mint oil for great flavor. Brush teeth gently with your natural paste and a soft bristled brush. Stains on teeth from coffee, red wine, etc will gradually fade.
* Clean your can opener with a toothbrush and a baking soda/water paste mixture. Allow to sit for 20 minutes on areas that come into contact with foods and liquids if needed before scrubbing. If the blade is rusty or especially grimy, soak in vinegar overnight first.
* Pour baking soda on oil and grease stains on concrete floors or the driveway cement, then sprinkle on water to form a paste. Leave on for 24 hours then scrub with a brush thoroughly. Wash area with copious amounts of water.
* Remove grease stains on barbecue grills and grilling utensils by scrubbing metal with a baking soda and water paste.
* Removing stains from porcelain and coffee mugs is possible with a baking soda and water paste. Let paste sit on stains for a few hours, then rub area with a wet sponge.
* Sprinkle baking soda on carpet before vacuuming to deodorize the carpet, and sprinkle on upholstered furniture to deodorize the fabric, and vacuum.
* Leave an open box of baking soda in the refrigerator and freezer to absorb food odors and deodorize the inside of the refrigerator (change the baking soda box every few months).
Do not use baking soda on aluminum tools or cookware.
photo credits: bing images