Many commercial cleaning products contain hazardous chemicals. More and more people are becoming aware of how sick these pollutants are making us and our environment. The overwhelming message in advertising is ‘Only this or that commercial product will clean your home properly, or wash your clothes properly. We are led to believe that clean laundry has a certain fragrance, and that a clean house will smell in a particular way too.
These days, it seems there are so many different cleaning products available for every cleaning job in the home. There are also more ‘Green’ cleaning and personal products coming on the market all the time, but there are more natural, simple, healthy, safe and cheaper alternatives.
A Simple, Natural and functional cleaning kit can consist of vinegar, bicarbonate of soda, fragrant or essential oils ( eucalyptus, tea tree, lemon, lavender, and rosemary), fresh lemons, salt, and olive oil.
Top of the List for a Natural Clean is Vinegar
Vinegar is chemical free, cheap, safe and can be used for a huge range of purposes. Our Great/Grandmothers knew dozens of ways to use vinegar, some of which are listed below.
Use cheaper (homebrand) white vinegar for cleaning and similar jobs.
Add lemon peel to the white vinegar to make a stronger cleaner. This is a good way to use older lemons or to use the peel of lemons after or before the juice is squeezed out of them.
Cleaning with Vinegar:
- Spray dirty surfaces to help remove grime and grease.
- Clean mirrors and windows using ½ a bucket of hot water, with 1 cup vinegar and 2 tablespoons of baking soda in it. Wash and then dry them with newspaper.
- Clean a refrigerator using a solution of 50% vinegar and 50% water.
- For a general cleaner mix 1 part vinegar with 1 part water, and use as you would normally use any other cleaning product.
- Clean drains by pouring in 1 cup baking soda then one cup hot vinegar. Let it bubble and sit for 5 – 15 minutes. Run hot water down the drain.
- Remove film from the inside a glass bottle or container by letting vinegar sit in them for a few hours. Add a little rice or sand and shake vigorously to loosen stubborn stains. Repeat if necessary.
- Clean the dishwasher by pouring a cup of vinegar inside and run through a cycle.
- Wipe plastic containers with a cloth dampened with vinegar to remove stains and smells.
- Clean Brass by making a paste of 1 part flour, 1 part vinegar and 1 part salt. Wipe on, leave till dry and wipe off with a damp cloth. For bad stains scrub with half a lemon dipped in salt.
- Clean copper with 1 tbs salt mixed in half a cup of vinegar, then dip in ½ a lemon (cut side) in mix and rub on copper.
- Clean Tarnished Metal by making a paste with equal amounts of vinegar and table salt.
- Wipe Mildew and soap scum with undiluted vinegar or spray on shower walls and shower curtain with half vinegar and half water to help prevent mildew. Vinegar is a cheap and safe option and literally causes the mold to explode from the inside out, whereas bleach just burns the tops off the mold.
- Clean Shower Heads by spraying with vinegar and scrubbing with a tooth brush.
- Toilets – pour in a cup or more of vinegar and let it sit several hours or overnight. Scrub well with the toilet brush and flush. When cleaning the toilet, the vinegar can be used undiluted. After flushing, pour it into the toilet bowl and scrub as normal. Always be sure to test it on a small area first to ensure that it will not damage any of the surfaces you intend cleaning. On this note, avoid using vinegar on marble surfaces and tile grouting.
- Remove water rings from wood with a solution of equal parts vinegar and vegetable oil. Rub with the grain.
- Scissors – clean off sticky residue with a cloth dipped in vinegar.
- Wipe wooden cutting boards with vinegar or lemon.
- Wipe your hands with vinegar to remove strong scents like onion and garlic, as well as stains from fruit juices.
1. Never use white distilled vinegar on marble. The acid can damage the surface.
Have you used Vinegar for cleaning in your home?