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How to Keep Your Home Clean Naturally

Written by Angelle Batten M.A., H.H.C.

Green cleaning doesn’t have to be expensive. In fact, it can be very inexpensive if you have a few non-toxic products on hand. You can find some of the basics listed below. These are some of the things our great-grandmothers probably used to keep their homes clean for their families.
  • Baking Soda can be used in place of harsh and toxic cleansers. It also deodorizes and softens water. You can use it to clean your oven by sprinkling it on the oven floor, spraying with water until damp and letting sit overnight. Scrub in the morning and you’ve got a clean oven!
  • Castile Soap is great for disinfecting, cutting grease and it is a great all-around cleaner. The term castile tells you that the soap is vegetable, rather than animal-based.
  • Lemon Juice is effective for bleaching, deodorizing, cutting grease and removing stains.
  • Olive Oil is a great furniture polish.
  • White Vinegar actually kills bacteria, as well as deodorizing and cutting grease and wax buildup. It also removes mildew and dissolves hard water lime buildup on the inside of teapots. Just add four ounces of vinegar to a pot of water and boil. Rinse well.
  • Cornstarch will clean windows and pick up spills on your carpet, especially the ones from juice, coffee and wine.
If you would like to create your own safe cleaning solutions, here are some ‘recipes’ for you:

A Safe Soft Scrub

Mix ½ cup of baking soda with enough vegetable-based liquid soap to create a frosting-like mixture.
Use with a sponge to wash your surfaces. Doesn’t leave any grit and rinses easily.

You can make this as you need it, or store it in a covered glass jar with 1 teaspoon of vegetable glycerin, which will help keep it moist.

Non-Toxic Window Cleaner

 What You'll Need:
  • 1/4-1/2 teaspoon natural liquid detergent
  • 3 tablespoons vinegar
  • 2 cups water
  • Spray bottle
Mix all of the above ingredients in a spray bottle and shake it up. The soap in this recipe cuts the wax residue from the commercial brands you might have used in the past.

Oven Cleaner

What You'll Need:
  • 1 cup or more baking soda
  • Water
  • A squirt or two of natural liquid detergent
Wet the bottom of your oven generously and then cover all the grime with baking soda. The surface should be totally white. Spray some more water over the top and let the mixture sit overnight. Wipe up the grease the next morning. When the worst is cleaned up, go ahead and wipe up the rest with a sponge and a little castile soap. Using enough baking soda and water is the key – no skimping.

All-Around Cleaner

What You'll Need:
  • 1/2 teaspoon washing soda
  • A dab of natural liquid soap
  • 2 cups hot tap water

Mix the ingredients in a spray bottle until the washing soda is dissolved. Spray and clean!

Furniture Polish

What You'll Need:
  • 1/2 teaspoon oil, such as olive (or jojoba, a liquid wax)
  • 1/4 cup vinegar or fresh lemon juice 

After mixing the ingredients in a glass jar you can use on a soft rag to wipe onto wood surfaces. Keep covered when not in use and store indefinitely.

Vinegar Deodorizer

Straight 5 percent vinegar in a spray bottle is a great deodorizer to use on your cutting board, on the counters and in the bathroom. You can let the vinegar sit on the cutting board overnight without wiping. The smell will dissipate. It is also great for getting the toilet rim clean.

Mold Cleaner

Combine 2 teaspoons of tea tree oil and 2 cups of water in a spray bottle. Shake well and spray on moldy areas. Do not rinse. Vinegar also works well to kill a lot of mold. Just spray at full strength and let sit. 

Both of these homemade products have strong odors, but they dissipate and they are much safer than the majority of mold products on the market.

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