With every spring comes a wonderful sense of renewal, a new beginning from the drab of winter. And with each spring I like to do some very much needed cleaning. A few years ago, I watched a documentary called Chemerical, which goes into detail about the toxins used in commercial cleaning products. What I discovered from this was how unsafe many of these chemicals can be for the environment as well as being bad for your health, your skin, your children, and your pets if they should be exposed to them. So, if making all-natural, eco and budget friendly cleaning products sounds like the best way to refresh, clean, disinfect, and deodorize your home this spring, then keep reading to find out how to make your own. Plus, stay tuned to the end to discover cleaning tips and tricks to get out those stubborn, tricky stains.
These next three items are going to be your new best friends. The first item is vinegar. Distilled white vinegar kills microorganisms, works as an effective disinfectant and deodorizer, plus it’s safe and non-toxic for you and the environment. It also works as a natural bug repellant. And don’t worry about that vinegar smell since it becomes odorless once it is dry. A huge gallon of this only costs a few dollars and lasts for about six months to a year. The second item is Melaleuca oil otherwise known as tea tree oil. This essential oil is very effective as an anti-bacterial, anti-infectious, anti-viral, anti-fungal, and anti-microbial. And the third item that’s an excellent natural cleaner is baking soda. It is anti-bacterial and works well as a deodorizer and mild abrasive.
Now that you know of these natural products, here are two recipes for natural cleaners to use around your house.
ALL PURPOSE CLEANER
In a bowl add:
- ¼ - ½ cup of distilled white vinegar
- 15-20 drops of tea tree oil
- Enough water to fill a spray bottle
Pour cleaner into a spray bottle. For long term storage you will ideally want to use a glass or aluminum bottle due to the acid content of the vinegar. This cleaner works well to clean surfaces, clean messes, or for dusting surfaces. However, do not use this cleaner on granite or marble since the vinegar will erode the stone’s finish.
If you have a small child with plenty of toys, or a dog or two with toys that easily become dirty, a great thing to use after a simple rinse is a disinfectant to kill all bacteria and germs lingering on the surface.
NATURAL DISINFECTING SPRAY
- In a small spray bottle, add 20 drops of tea tree oil to water. Feel free to add any other essential oil drops like lemon or lavender to leave a nice smell behind.
Here are a few tips and tricks for hard to clean appliances using these magical, natural ingredients.
Tip 1 - Coffee Maker: To clean hard water buildup in your coffee maker, make a solution of ½ water and ½ vinegar and run that through your coffee maker. After that process has completed, run your coffee machine with just water twice to rinse out the vinegar. This will help your coffee taste richer and fuller as well clean out an appliance often neglected.
Tip 2 - Microwave: To clean dirt and food buildup inside your microwave put ½ cup of vinegar into a bowl of water. Place bowl inside microwave and run it for three minutes. This will create a steam that will loosen caked on food and allow you to easily wipe it off with a sponge.
Tip 3 - Drain: To unclog and freshen your drain, fill your sink or tub with water about halfway (about ¼ way for a tub) and use ½ cup of baking soda and a cup of vinegar (2 cups baking soda and 4 cups of vinegar for a tub) into the sink. Let this soak for a few minutes, then unplug the sink or tub and let the solution drain. This will remove the buildup that accumulates on your pipes and it will also leave your disposal smelling fresh.
Tip 4 - Oven: To remove caked on food buildup in your oven, combine ¼ cup of baking soda with 2 cups of water. Apply mixture on tough spots and let it sit for 20-40 minutes. For cleaning the oven door, leave the door open so the mixture can stay put on it. Then wipe clean with little scrubbing effort.
I hope these all-natural products and cleaning tips and tricks help you this spring cleaning season and will be of further use to you in the future. If you are interested in learning more about natural cleaners, follow the links below.
- Vinegar as a cleaning agent
- Research on effectiveness of Melaleuca aka tea tree oil
- Antibacterial properties of essential oils