Go no further than your refrigerator and your pantry to make your own natural, non-toxic cleaners.
Avoid harmful chemicals in store-bought cleaners! They have been found to damage lungs, skin and other organs. It couldn’t be easier to create your own for peace of mind, especially if you have children in the home. You don’t need to go out and buy any special soaps for these recipes!
- WINDOW CLEANER – All you need is white vinegar and water. Mix up 10 parts vinegar to one part water. Dip a cloth in the solution or spray on your windows and your claim to fame will be the cleanest panes! Don’t worry the vinegar smell will go away quickly. If you want a citrus scent, use the citrus-based cleaner recipe mentioned for the BBQ Grill below.
- COUNTERTOP CLEANER – Put white vinegar in a spray bottle and use it straight without diluting to clean your counters and kill some bacteria. Although we can’t guarantee all strains of bacteria will be eradicated, vinegar has been proven to kill some strains of E. coli and salmonella. Want a more powerful vinegar? Grocery stores are now selling a “cleaning” vinegar at 6-7% strength versus the regular 5% acidity. Just be careful, some cleaning vinegars are not meant for food consumption. Therefore, it might be best to stick with the traditional white vinegar at 5% acid content.
- SINK AND SHOWER SCUM BUSTER – Cut one lemon in half and rub the lemon on the most scummy areas of the sink. Sprinkle the sink with 1/4 cup baking soda making sure to apply to the worst areas first. Wait 5 minutes and use the lemon half to scrub the sink clean.
- OVEN CLEANER – Remove as much loose grime as possible with scrap paper first. Create a thick paste of 1/2 cup baking soda, 1/4 cup dishwashing soap and 1/4 cup water. Apply to the burnt on spots ONLY and let sit for an hour. Do not wipe the entire oven surface inside! Wash off the mixture completely with hot water. You may need to scrub. BBQ GRILL CLEANER – Before grilling season begins, prepare a citrus-based cleaner in a jar. Fill the jar up with citrus peels, then add vinegar to the top. Let sit for 3-4 weeks and you will have a nice smelling citrus oil cleaner that you can mix with baking soda to clean your grill. Be careful, baking soda is abrasive. Do not scrub your control panel area with it or leave it on top. It will remove the labels. For the grates of the grill, mix the baking soda and citrus oil using equal parts (estimate), then apply and let sit for an hour to loosen the grime. For the outside of the grill apply and wipe off right away. If the grates are rusty, coat with molasses, then submerge in a shallow container to soak. Let soak for a few DAYS. Ration of molasses to water should be 9 parts water to one part molasses. Use a piece of aluminum foil to scrub away the rust and then condition the metal lightly with cooking oil before heating the grill up. Molasses has also been shown to take rust off cast iron skillets and dutch ovens. Soak for at least 3 days using the same ratio of 9 parts water to one part molasses. If the rust doesn’t come off, soak another 2-3 days. Make sure to immediately apply a light coat of cooking oil to the washed and dried skillet or dutch oven and then season it. To season, preheat an oven to 325°F and place the object upside down on a rack. Place aluminum foil on a rack below it to catch drips. Bake for 1 hour. Let cool.
- DUSTING SOLUTION – Olive oil works great to clean furniture and if you like a nice smelling home, mix a teaspoon of olive oil with a drop of lemon essential oil. Place your hand in a stray sock and dab the oil around the surface. Scurry around the home and hit the dustiest spots first before company visits!
- ALL PURPOSE, HEAVY DUTY BULK CLEANER – Need a lot of cleaner on hand for multiple jobs and don’t want to mix up separate concoctions for each issue? Prepare the citrus-based cleaner explained in the BBQ GRILL entry above. Use a gallon-size jug with top. Place at least enough citrus peels in the container to about 1/4 full. Add about the same amount of vinegar. Let sit for 3-4 weeks. Then add 4 tablespoons borax and a teaspoon of tea tree oil. Put the cap on and shake gently to incorporate the oil properly. Fill the rest of the jug with hot water. Put the cap on and shake gently to mix the ingredients. Place the solution into spray bottles to use around the house on multiple surfaces. Always shake the large jug first before adding to other bottles and always shake before applying.
- GREAT SMELLING, KID FRIENDLY CLEANER – Don’t let your kids suffer by allowing chemicals from commercial cleaners to penetrate their skin or their lungs. Create the citrus-based cleaner profiled in the BBQ Grill entry above. In a spray bottle fit for your children, the citrus cleaner to 1/4 of the bottle. Add 20 drops of lavender essential oil and shake to mix. Fill the rest of the bottle with water. Shake again and shake periodically while using.
- WATER/HEAT STAIN REMOVER FOR WOOD – If the white stains were caused by heat or moisture, for example a hot dish or sweating glass, mix a dab of white toothpaste with 1/4 teaspoon baking soda and rub in the direction of the wood grain. Finish with a dab of olive oil to condition the wood.
- MATTRESS STAIN REMOVER – Unsightly stain on your mattress? Pee stains and sweat stains be gone! Add two tablespoons of baking soda to a tablespoon of water. Mix thoroughly. Apply to the stain and let sit for several minutes, wipe off. Follow with a spray of hydrogen peroxide, dabbing with a cloth until the stain is gone.
- UNDERARM PERSPIRATION STAINS ON CLOTHING – Dip the underarm area in a cup of water mixed with 3 tablespoons borax. Let sit for an hour. Rinse and spray hydrogen peroxide on the stain and let sit for several minutes. Rinse.
- DAILY TOILET CLEANER – Let’s face it, without a daily dose of cleaner, toilets can get downright nasty. Keep a box of baking soda and a bottle of vinegar nearby. Every time you feel you need to freshen up the bowl, use one OR the other ingredient and brush away yukky smells and stains. We wouldn’t recommend baking soda and vinegar together because the baking soda will be less effective.
Disclaimer: It’s always a good idea to test a small area before applying any of these natural cleaning solutions. We can’t guarantee these ideas will work for you. They work for us but conditions, locations, situations and materials vary. We cannot be held responsible if you ruin your furniture, appliances, clothes, windows, BBQ grills, sinks, showers, vehicles, toilets or countertops.