Don’t get me wrong, I love perusing the aisles of my local grocery store for the latest eco-friendly household cleaning products. I’m a sucker for pretty packaging and enticing fragrances. However, at the end of the day my cleaning mainstays are actually good enough to eat and easy on the pocketbook. Seriously!
Lemon is the quintessential cleaning agent fragrance, but have you actually cleaned with a real lemon? I love using lemons to clean my butcher block cutting boards and freshening the garbage disposal with the rinds.
White distilled vinegar is a cleaning marvel. A vinegar solution of equal parts vinegar to water is a wonderful cleaner in the kitchen or bathroom. It’s also perfect to clean dusty cabinet or closet shelves. Vinegar and water also makes a perfect glass cleaner. However, if you’ve been cleaning your windows with commercial glass cleaners, you will likely have a fine wax build up. So, clean the windows first using a mixture with a liquid dish detergent. You’ll want to make sure the build up is removed from the glass before cleaning it with the plain vinegar and water. The soapy mixtures can be made with: 2 cups of water, 1/2 cup vinegar and 1/2 teaspoon of liquid dish detergent.
I also love using vinegar for my hardwood floors. It’s important to use a heavily diluted mixture to protect the finish on your floors. 1/2 cup of vinegar to 1 gallon of warm water will get your floors sparkling clean.
FYI, if you don’t like the smell of vinegar add a little bit of lemon juice to neutralize the vinegar smell!
Olive Oil is another one of those miracle items. A little olive oil makes a wonderful natural wood polish for furniture and woodwork. Also, I like to add a tad to a diluted vinegar and water mixture and spray on my baseboards to remove dust and dirt. As a side note, olive oil does wonders for my skin and hair. I’ll sometimes use olive oil as a deep conditioner and it’s incredible for my nails and hands.
The ubiquitous orange box has been in our homes for generations and it works hard in the kitchen and even harder in other areas of the house. I like to treat my slow drains with 1 cup of baking soda and another cup of vinegar. It will bring you back to elementary school science class when you see the foaming ‘lava’! I let the mixture sit for about 5-10 minutes and then pour very hot water down the drain.
What are your favorite natural and budget friendly cleaning tips?