In honor of earth day here are some simple tips for household cleaning that are easy on the planet AND your pocket. We seem to get so caught up in a fast pace environment that it seems easier just to grab a cleaning product off the shelf instead of finding safer ways to create our own products. And when was the last time you took a serious look at the cost of cleaning products? They’re expensive! Well these are much cheaper and you don’t have to worry about your children, pets, our yourself ingesting harmful chemicals. And.. I bet you already have all these items around your house.
Remember, if you smell it… It’s getting into your lungs! So avoid the chemicals and go with safe alternatives.
For The Love Of Food Blog has the BEST recipe for an all purpose cleaner. Add citrus peels to a jar. Fill with vinegar, cover and let sit for 2 weeks. Then dilute with water. Pour in a spray bottle for countertop cleaning or dump some in a mop bucket to clean the floors. She also recommends mixing a little with Dr. Bronners Soap or baking soda for an even more intense cleaner.
2. Glass Cleaner
I know… Some of you like the smell of Windex. Unfortunately Windex contains ammonia which can be corrosive and can damage cells. A much safer and cheaper way to clean glass is by using dish soap, vinegar, and water in a spray bottle. (Combine 1 cup of water with 1/4 cup white vinegar and 2-3 drops of dish soap in a spray bottle. Spray glass and wipe away. If you want it to smell nice, simply add a couple drops of your favorite essential oil. If there are streaks, simply polish them out with a dry wadded up newspaper. THIS WORKS ON STAINLESS STEEL APPLIANCES TOO!
3. Hard Water Stains
LEMON! That’s it. Cut a lemon in half and rub it over the hard water stains. It will pull them right off. Hard water stains are left by mineral deposits in your water. The acid in lemons pulls them right off.
Simmer 3 cups of water for 5-10 minutes with a couple sprigs of rosemary and 1/2 a lemon. Then combine the fragrant water with 1 cup of vinegar and 1/2 teaspoon olive oil in a spray bottle. Shake well and spray furniture then wipe off with a rag.
5. Carpet Cleaner / Deodorizer
Place baking soda in a jar with a couple drops of your favorite essential oil. Give a good shake. Hammer a couple holes in the top of the lid then sprinkle a layer across your carpet. Let set for 5 minutes then completely vacuum up. Baking soda neutralizes carpet odors while essential oil will provide a fresh scent.
6. Dirty Washing Machine (or moldy gaskets) AND super stinky clothes
Run a hot wash cycle (and throw in your stinky towels or gym clothes) with baking soda and vinegar. Place the baking soda in the detergent slot and the vinegar in the softener slot and run on its hottest setting. The heat, baking soda and vinegar will kill the mold, scrub the dirt out and neutralize odors.
7. Wooden Cutting Boards
Cutting boards can hold a lot of germs which is why they need to be cleaned regularly. Cut a lemon in half and rub the cut side all over your board. Cover in course salt and let sit 10 – 15 minutes. Then come using the cut side of the lemon again, scrub your board and the salt on it. This will kill germs and pull up any ground in particles. Rinse and dry. More details are found in the All Kinds Of Yum blog.
8. Stained Baking Dishes and Stove Burners
I HATE the gunk that builds up on my cookie sheets and cake pans. There is an easy fix to cleaning them by simply using baking soda and hydrogen peroxide. Laying the two on a pan and letting it sit will do wonders! Check out the how to over at One Good Thing By Jillee blog. THIS WORKS FOR CERAMIC STAINS AS WELL! – Like rings in a tub or toilet. Just be sure to wash all the baking soda away.
Ice & a lemon! Turn the disposal on and throw in some ice. The ice will actually sharpen the blades. Then throw in a lemon which kills bacteria and odor.
10. TOYS! (Dogs or Kids)
Lets face it. If you have children or dogs then there are probably some seriously GROSS toys laying around. Clean then simply by throwing them in the dishwasher and using about 1 1/2 cups of white vinegar. Thats it!