While you may have an arsenal of traditional cleaners in your home for both everyday and deep cleaning, you probably have an array of natural products you can use as well. Not only are all-natural cleaners better for you and your family's health and the environment, but they may be better for your pocketbook as well.
Another good thing about natural cleaning supplies is that they are safe for your septic system, which is especially important if you live in a historic home with older pipes. Some products, such as vinegar, are even known for their antibacterial and germ-killing properties. You can also combine one or two of the eco-friendly products for extra cleaning power.
Here are some household items you can use to safety and effectively clean your home:
Distilled White Vinegar
One of the most versatile non-toxic cleaners you can buy, distilled white vinegar, is used in a wide variety of applications. This vinegar does everything from cutting grease to removing mildew. It can also deodorize foul-smelling drains.
To use vinegar as an everyday cleaner on kitchen countertops, mirrors, floors, and almost any other surface in your home, combine it in a clean plastic spray bottle with plain water at a 1:4 ratio. This solution will remove greasy fingerprints, stuck-on food, dirt, and other debris. You can also use it to clean, sanitize, and neutralize pet stains, such as urine and vomit.
Because vinegar has mildew-killing properties, you can spray the solution on bathroom walls and shower curtains instead of toxic bleach-based cleansers. Although vinegar has a strong smell, it isn't harmful and the odor dissipates quickly.
Another household superstar, baking soda, is ideal for scouring sinks and other heavily soiled surfaces. Baking soda also absorbs odors, so it's especially good to use to clean sinks that stink like onions, garlic, fish, or other strong-smelling foods.
To clean out a sink or tub, simply sprinkle the baking soda onto the surface, moisten it with water, and scrub with a non-abrasive scrub pad. Since baking soda is safe for groundwater, you can just rinse it down the drain.
A staple in most kitchen pantries, corn starch can be used for more than cooking. You can sprinkle it liberally on a grease stain, such as from fried food, on carpeting, rugs, furniture, or any other fabric. The corn starch will absorb the excess grease so you can vacuum it away.