It’s that time of year, folks. Spring marks the start of plant growth, warm weather and participation in outdoors activates for many people, but it’s also a time to de-clutter and deep clean inside the home. Before reaching for commercial cleaners, think of alternatives that will yield the same results in a more environmentally friendly way.
Gather these few simple ingredients: vinegar, baking soda, washing soda, Borax, liquid Castile soap, lemons and olive oil. Then read on to create a multitude of household cleaning products using the recipes below. (It’s environmentally and economically helpful to create some rags by using old t-shirts, towels or even partner-less socks.)
Air freshener: Fill a small bowl with white vinegar and let the bowl simply sit out to absorb many common household odors. You won’t smell the vinegar at all unless you stand by the bowl and really take a whiff!
All-purpose cleaner: In a new, clean squirt bottle, combine one-part water to one-part vinegar. Add a tablespoon of Borax or washing soda, a few drops of liquid Castile soap and a few drops of lemon juice and shake to combine. Use this solution to clean as you would any other commercial all purpose cleaner, on surfaces such as kitchen counters, bathtubs and showers and telephone receivers.
Bathtub Cleanser: Fill bathtub with hot water and a few drops of liquid Castile soap. Let the water to soak in the tub for several hours, which allows the Castile soap o draw out dirt and soap scum naturally. Drain the tub and rinse with hot water.
Carpet freshener: Before vacuuming, sprinkle your carpeting with baking soda. Allow baking soda to sit for several minutes before vacuuming up to create a fresher smell in carpeted rooms.
Drain cleaner: Sprinkle baking soda into the drain. Slowly pour some vinegar down the drain. You will hear a pleasant fizzling sound as the combination works it’s way through soap scum, clogged hair and more. After five minutes, rinse drain clean with hot water for several minutes.
Dusting solution: Simply mix one-part white vinegar to one-part olive oil. Stir to combine and then add a few drops of lemon juice for aroma. Using a rag, apply the solution to wood surfaces and let it sit for up to five minutes. Using a clean rag, buff the surfaces clean and free of residual oils.
Mold killer: Apply white vinegar straight to the stains. Allow the vinegar to sit for several minutes, then rinse clean. You may need to do this a few times to yield fabulous results in a non-toxic way.
Scouring solution: Sprinkle baking soda onto surface and scrub with the rough side of a wet sponge. After, simple spray the surface with your homemade all-purpose cleaner and wipe clean with a rag. This is a great cleaning solution for stovetops, ovens, bathtubs and kitchen counters. For a fresh smelling additional benefit, use the cut side of lemon instead of a wet sponge.
Tile/Laminate floor cleaner: Fill a bucket with equal parts water and white vinegar. Cut a lemon in half and squeeze juice into bucket, then throw the halved lemons into the bucket. Mop or wipe floor as you normally would. It would be beneficial to test an inconspicuous spot before proceeding with the remainder of the floor.
Window cleaner: Simply spray your windows or mirrors with a solution of equal parts vinegar and water. Wipe clean as you would any other window cleaner. For earth-friendly bonus points and amazing steak-free shine, use old newspaper instead of lint producing paper towels.
There you have it… ten recipes that are eco-friendly and cost efficient! You won’t miss the commercial cleaners one bit and our environment will thank you.