Neatniks rejoice! The arrival of spring is a chance to refresh and begin anew...and a time to spring clean! Go green before you clean with this easy-peasy DIY household cleaner.
Simply fill a spray bottle 1/3 to 1/2 with white vinegar (available at pretty much every grocery store) and fill the rest with water. If you want to add a little bit of fragrance, add a few tiny drops of your favorite essential oil to the mix. Spray away! The scent of vinegar might take some getting used to, but rest assured—the smell goes away as soon as your surface is dry!
Below are a few more items to clean with that you may already have in your pantry or medicine cabinet. They are natural, effective, and economical ingredients that are not harmful to people or the environment.
1. Baking Soda: This mildly abrasive and highly odor absorbent powder has an abundance of uses. It is great for cleaning surfaces in the kitchen and bath, as a deodorizer, removing scuff marks, unclogging drains (combined with vinegar and boiling H2O ), removing burnt on food from pots and pans, and can even put out a grease fire. Best of all, it is really inexpensive.
2. White Distilled Vinegar: Vinegar is a great all purpose cleaner for just about any room and most surfaces in your house. It removes stains, softens fabrics, freshens laundry, cleans glass, cuts grease and removes soap scum. It is a non-toxic and all-purpose cleaner. Its acidic properties make it an effective antimicrobial but do not use it on porous surfaces.3. Unfiltered Apple Cider Vinegar: ACV can be used much like white vinegars as an all purpose cleaner. It is a particularly good toilet cleaner and can be used in place of a dish washing detergent. And just a reminder, it is also a fabulous all purpose cleaner/”alkalinizer” for the inside of your bod, too.
4. Hydrogen Peroxide: This one should be kept out of the reach of children but works well as a disinfectant while killing germs, bacteria, fungi, and mildew. You can also use hydrogen peroxide to whiten and remove stains in the laundry.
5. Olive Oil: Combine 2 parts olive oil and one part lemon juice and you’ll have the best furniture polish ever.
6. Castile Liquid Soap: Honestly, castile soap is my #1 pick for the best all purpose cleaner. My favorite brand is Dr. Bronner’s. I’m partial to the lavender but also use the peppermint for many things including warding off pests in my garden. And yes, this is the same castile soap you bathe with. I don’t think this company has any product that isn’t A-rated with the EWG.
7. Club Soda: Club soda’s simple formula makes it a good glass cleaner, water softener and stain remover.
8. Vodka: Forget the store bought fresheners. Put undiluted (bottom shelf) vodka in a spritzer bottle and have an instant refresher for your furniture and fabrics. It is also good to have on hand for red wine stains. Bonus: It also kills mold.
9. Essential Oils: Look for pure essential oils. Combine them with water in a mister bottle to be used as air fresheners, disinfectants, as well as fabric and carpet refreshers. Follow the directions specific to the oil type to get just the right combinations. Tea tree oil and lavender, in particular, have antibacterial qualities.
9. Lemon Juice: Citric acid makes lemon juice a natural germ killer and grease cutter. Rub a juicy lemon all over your cutting board to help get rid of any lingering germs. Grinding a few lemon slices in your garbage disposal both disinfects and smells great.
10. Course Salt: Salt will clean copper pans, scour cookware, lift off oven spillage, and combined with lemon and a bit of soaking can remove rust stains.
11. Ditch The Paper Towels: Go for microfiber cloths and natural cellulose sponges and loofas….and save a few trees in the process.
12. Check out some simple cleaning formulas/recipes here.
Need a little help feeling the seasonal spirit? Put down your shopping bags, kick off your shoes, curl up with a cup of cocoa (or something a little stronger) and take in this candlelit version of a yule log. It’ll lend a hand with some much-needed serenity.