6 Must-Try Natural Cleaning Shortcuts – Care2.com
As much as I dislike the process of cleaning, I appreciate it when things are clean (and so do our guests).
So, I do my best to clean smarter instead of harder.
With a little planning and a well-stocked pantry, you can make it easier to clean your home in a safe and eco-friendly manner.
Keep reading for some natural cleaning tips that will save you time and protect your health!
Why Natural Cleaning?
The products with which you choose to clean your home can have a tremendous impact on your health. According to studies conducted by The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) “human exposure to air pollutants indicate that indoor levels of pollutants may be two to five times — and occasionally more than 100 times — higher than outdoor levels. These levels of indoor air pollutants are of particular concern because most people spend about 90 percent of their time indoors.”
What causes indoor air pollution? Chemical-based household cleaners top the list, which also includes new carpet, paint, adhesives and certain types of upholstery.
Related: 7 Sources Of Indoor Air Pollution
By simply trading these toxic cleaning agents for naturally-made (but equally effective) products, you can drastically improve your indoor air quality. Ready to get started? Here are some of the basic building blocks of natural cleaning you’ll want to keep on hand.
Natural Ingredients & Supplies For Green Cleaning
Old Socks, T-Shirts, Pillowcases, etc (to be used as cleaning cloths)
Mesh Produce Bags (for DIY pot scrubbers)
Empty Spray Bottles
6 Natural Cleaning Tips & Shortcuts
Once you’ve collected your natural cleaning ingredients and supplies, it’s time to put them to work in your home. It might surprise you to learn that nearly every conventional cleaning product (from glass cleaner to fabric softener) can be recreated, naturally, right in your own kitchen and at a fraction of the price.
Make this paste out of water and baking soda, and spread all over the walls and bottom of your crusty oven (be careful not to get it on the heating elements, though!). Leave it overnight. In the morning, simply use a damp cloth to remove the paste, taking all that grime with it!
“Toss a full cup of baking soda right into the bowl and leave it for an hour. Then pour in a cup of white vinegar, let it sit for a few minutes and flush,” writes Chris Sosa for Care2.
Use distilled water, vinegar, essential oils and some upcycled washcloths to make your own DIY disinfecting wipes! Simply roll, stuff and soak in a glass jar that lives on your kitchen counter. Then, whenever there’s a mess that needs cleaning up, you’ve got a reusable, non-toxic wipe at your fingertips. Bonus! They can also be used in place of Swiffer pads.
Screw a spray bottle nozzle directly onto a bottle of club soda. Instant streak-free window cleaner! (Add a little white vinegar if your windows are particularly grimy.)
Without proper, regular cleaning, your kitchen sponges can become horrifying breeding grounds for bacteria. Throw sponges in the microwave for 2 minutes or add them to your dishwasher’s “sterilize” cycle to kill 99 percent of the stuff hiding in there.
Dirty Ceiling Fan?
“Spritz the inside of an old pillowcase with a vinegar and water solution,” recommends A Part of Life. Place the pillowcase around each fan blade, gently wiping toward the outer end of the blade, trapping the dust inside. Rotate the pillowcase so you have a clean piece of cloth for each blade.
What’s your favorite natural cleaning tip or shortcut? Tell us in the comments!
Images via Thinkstock