With the Twin Cities weather hitting 50-plus degrees later this week, I’m starting to get the spring cleaning itch. If you are too, here are some recipes to make your home cleaning eco-friendly from our guest blogger Dmitri Kara.
Toxic-free home cleaning solutions
Before commercial cleaning solutions were developed, people still cleaned with homemade recipes. While some DIY products are far from efficient, in most cases, they are safer and more eco-friendly than most of the products we use today.
The basic home cleaning DIY
Let’s start with a handful of toxic free ideas for you to consider, generally around these ingredients:
Baking Soda (Sodium bicarbonate)
White vinegar (Distilled)
Lemon Juice (grapefruit can often be substituted) Hydrogen Peroxide Washing Soda (sodium carbonate decahydrate) BlackTea
Baking soda is one of the common organic substances available. Throughout the decades it has been used mostly for cooking and occasionally for medical care. Now that’s absolutely great, but there is more to learn here, because it’s simple to use and eco-friendly. In the past, baking soda has been used to disinfect silverware for the royal court. It’s served as a solution to unclog blocked drains in bathrooms. It’s a great way to fight grease and scuff.
Try this recipe: Mix soda and water in a 3:1 ratio. This paste works really well for metal surfaces or silverware. You can apply it to polish microwaves, kitchen worktops, hobs, ovens etc.
The natural acidity of white vinegar makes it an efficient and eco-friendly antifungal and antibacterial agent. It’s a non-toxic degreaser, and perfect for cleaning various stains & molds.
Here’s a fantastic DIY cleaner: Blend white vinegar with equal amounts of water and baking soda. Use a spray bottle to clean mirrors and windows throughout your entire home. This DIY cleaning agent works great for wooden floors and plastic trash bins. It will sterilize and freshen up. What’s more, it tackles persistent mold from shower heads and faucets.
Shower heads done easy with white vinegar. Just fill a plastic bag with vinegar, tie it securely around your shower head and let it soak overnight to get rid of scaly buildups.
Another quick trick with white vinegar is to soak a piece of cotton in equal parts white vinegar and olive oil. The mixture is perfect for cleaning water ring leftovers from your wooden table, worktop or any other surface you often use. It is also great to polish old furniture.
Some people call lemons nature’s little hand brushes. You can use lemons as a bleaching solution and even deodorizer. The juice is a well known solution to mold and mildew. Simply apply it to your desired surface and let it do its magic. Lemon juice is so strong, you can apply it to grease and the majority of worktop stains, you would otherwise have to clean with specialized products.
Among the most common recipes is simply mixing lemon juice and water.This is a great way to disinfect and add a lemony fresh aroma to your home. You can use it to clean your cutting board from both stains and germs. Another trick to clean your butcher countertop is to add a bit of salt as well. Leave for a couple of hours and rinse with water.
Another homemade cleaning option for those more persistent stains, i.e. red wine and soft drinks, is hydrogen peroxide and water. Simply dab onto the dirty spot with a cloth and give it a good scrub, You could also add salt and clean your dirty blender.
Washing soda is better known as sodium carbonate decahydrate or simply soda ashes. Many people mistake it for baking soda, but it isn’t the same. Washing soda is a eco-friendly way to dissolve grease and thus remove dirty stains at home. And, for those with fireplaces, it’s great for cleaning smoke and soot.
Cleaning with washing soda: you’ll need a bucket of warm water, and a tea cup full of washing soda. It is highly advisable to use gloves. Mix it well and apply to your chosen surface, Let it work for a while and rinse afterwards. The mixture is so strong it could peel wax off wooden flooring, and it’s important to never apply to aluminium! Use the homemade cleaner for surfaces such as windows, bricks, stone or wood (before you paint).
**Cleaning the grill with washing soda – most BBQ lovers strip down grill cleaning to merely scrubbing it with a steel brush. But, to clean one properly, just fill the grill with water and add a cup or two of washing soda. Let it stay for a couple of hours (or even overnight). Dispose of the water properly and give it a good rinse.
Simply brew a pot and use it to clean your mirrors. It’s a great way wipe and polish without the hassle and nerves. Using black tea for cleaning mirrors and even windows is both efficient and organic as a solution.