A growing number of people are waking up to the harm caused by traditional cleaning products.
That fragrance bathroom cleaner you like? It’s probably emitting fumes that can cause allergies, migraines, and even respiratory problems.
Not to mention the environmental impact of using such products.
So, if you’re looking for ways to reduce your personal carbon footprint while protecting your family’s health, keep reading for creative and eco-friendly cleaning tips that’ll get rid of any lingering germs while giving your home a fresh start.
1. The Bathroom
You’d be surprised at how squeaky clean your bathroom can be using simple, natural items found in your home.
For example, one of the best ways to clean your toilet bowl is with baking soda.
Simply flush the toilet bowl first to wet it then sprinkle ½ cup of baking soda onto the sides of the bowl. Dump another ½ cup of baking soda into the bowl and let it sit for 30 minutes before scrubbing it down with a firm bristle brush.
Your toilet bowl will be much brighter, cleaner, and more hygienic afterward.
But, what about those pesky hard-to-reach crevices? Simply scrub them down with an old toothbrush.
2. The Kitchen
Everything you need to clean around your kitchen is already in your kitchen.
For instance, you can create the most effective cleaning solution using baking soda, lemons, and white vinegar.
Put lemon slices in a bowl and then pour white vinegar on.
Let the solution sit overnight, and then the following morning, use it in a spray bottle to clean all the surfaces in your kitchen.
If you’ve got funky residue on your cutting board, add some coarse salt and scrub it down with a lemon slice.
Then, treat it with mineral oil to lock the moisture in.
The lemon will instantly disinfect it and it’ll smell divine.
You can do this whenever your cutting board looks a little dried out and you can see the cut marks on it.
Plus, this solution is food safe and won’t get into your food to position you. It will also help your cutting board to last for a very long time.
Baking soda and water paste will take care of any rust in your kitchen.
To get rid of any odors that might be coming from your garbage disposal or dishwasher, pour baking soda into the affected area followed by vinegar.
Leave it for a few minutes and then flush it out with hot water.
Sugar is pretty handy around the house too.
You can use it to keep cut flowers fresher for longer. Simply put 3 teaspoons of sugar and 2 teaspoons of vinegar into a water vase with flowers.
The sugar will feed the flower stems while vinegar prevents bacteria formation.
To clean your microwave, mix half a cup of water into a small bowl with 3 to 5 drops of grapefruit essential oil.
You can also use lavender, lemon, or tea tree oil if you prefer. Microwave the mixture for 1 ½ minute and leave it for another minute or two so the steam can dislodge all the food stains. Afterward, you can dip a rag into the mixture and clean the microwave with just a few swipes.
The essential oils smell heavenly.
Cover oil spills with uncooked oatmeal and leave it on for 10 minutes before wiping it away.
You can also place an open container of oatmeal inside your refrigerator to remove bad odors. This is one of the best eco-friendly cleaning tips that I’ve ever used in my kitchen.
3. The Laundry
Put the laundry away as you go to prevent that dreaded pile-up that can quickly get out of hand. It’s so much easier to organize and maintain.
When doing laundry, make sure to put your loads on short spins and at 30 degrees.
This is all you need to wash a normal load of laundry and can make your items last a lot longer too. And only use higher temperatures for particularly muddy or dirty washes.
Opt for wool dryer balls instead of fabric softener and dryer sheets.
And you can use distilled vinegar in the rinse cycle to help soften the clothes.
Afterward, your clothes will smell fresh and clean as well.
You can also create your own natural laundry detergent for a cost-effective and natural way to do the laundry. Simply grate 1 bar of natural olive oil soap to make soap flakes.
Then, combine borax, 4 cups of soda crystals, 1 cup of soap gratings, 20 drops of lavender essential oils, and mix all of these together in a bowl.
Pour it all into a jar that you can keep in your laundry room for easy access and you’ll only need a few tablespoons per load.
4. Make Your Own Multipurpose Cleaner
Many standard cleaners bring chemicals into your home that make it dirtier instead of clean.
There are some really interesting studies that show a correlation between using bleach and having an overly sterile environment with negative health effects like allergies, mood disorders, and autoimmune disorders.
That’s why it’s better to buy natural, non-toxic, and even plant-based cleaning products if you don’t like the idea of filling your house with chemicals.
Luckily, there are loads of green cleaning solutions available today.
One of the best ways to find eco-friendly green products is to use the EWG.org website.
Or google a product and put WEG after the name of the product.
For example, “bleach EWG” will bring up what’s in the bleach and why it’s a product you would or wouldn’t want to use.
It’s a great way to figure out the best products to use when cleaning your home.
If you can’t find a lot of eco-friendly products at your local stores, simply make your own. It’s remarkably simple and easy. With just a few ingredients, you can make everything you need to keep your home clean.
Plus, there are so many different ways to make your own natural, eco-friendly multipurpose cleaner that there’s no reason to use toxic cleaners that are harmful to you and your family. Here are a few recipes to get you started:
- All-purpose Cleaner
Make a safe all-purpose cleaner by mixing ½ cup of water, ½ cup of vinegar, and 15 to 20 drops of your favorite essential oils in a spray bottle.
You can use this mixture to clean mirrors, stovetops, and pretty much your entire bathroom.
This cleaning tip is perfect for really tough build-up like calcified water stains on your faucets as well.
Just spray the entire surface and let it sit for 10 to 15 minutes.
The acid in the vinegar will break down those tough stains and you can just scrub it off after with a brush.
- Hydrogen peroxide cleaner
Hydrogen peroxide is another great, natural ingredient to make a multipurpose cleaner with. Simply pour 8 ounces of it into 8 ounces of water followed by 4 tablespoons of all-natural Castille soap.
Then, mix in lemon oil essential oil and tea tree essential oil, which is a natural disinfectant, all into a spray bottle.
Give the mixture a little swirl and use it on wood or other countertops, except for granite, as the hydrogen peroxide can be tough on granite.
Otherwise, you can use this cleaner on your stovetop, bathrooms, everywhere.
- Natural multipurpose surface spray
Make your own natural surface cleaner by combining ¼ cup of vinegar, 1 tablespoon of baking soda, and a liter of warm water in a bowl.
Then take the rind of a lemon, put it into the spray bottle you’ll be using in the product to add scent to the product while making it look pretty.
Then, add a few sprigs of rosemary, which also looks good while adding a scent to the product.
Lastly, take ½ of the lemon and squeeze it into the mixture.
This surface spray is so effective that you won’t smell the vinegar at all and you’ll notice the difference in your countertops immediately.
5. Living Room
One of the best ways to freshen up your living room is by spraying your upholstery.
Make your own upholstery refreshing spray by mixing ¼ cup of baking soda and 10 to 20 drops of essential oils such as lavender with a cup and a half of water.
Pour the mixture into a spray bottle and spray it onto your upholstery.
Baking soda is a great deodorizer and just spraying it onto your couch with the essential oils will leave your living room smelling absolutely heavenly.
Finger paint on the wall? Wipes may not help, but a magic white eraser will take all kinds of marks and stains off the wall.
Plus, it’s natural, effective, and sustainable.
To remove stubborn carpet stains, mix milk with cornstarch and apply to the affected area.
Let the paste dry and vacuum the residue away.
6. The Exterior
The easiest way to tackle dirty windows is to mix 50% water and 50% vinegar in a spray bottle and wipe your windows down using a microfiber cloth.
You only need to do it about once a year and it’s super easy.
If you’ve got mold and mildew that’s accumulating on the bricks outside your house, avoid bleach and use oxygen bleach instead.
It’s friendlier on the environment and it’s less caustic yet very effective at attacking mold and mildew both indoors and outdoors.
If your doors are creaky, get a piece of paper towel, pour some vegetable oil, and wipe it all over your door hinges.
Not only is the vegetable oil safer than WD40 it also protects your door hinges from rust.
Keep both indoor and outdoor plants happy and healthy by dusting them with banana peels. This will leave them clean and shiny.
7. Declutter and Minimize
Decluttering and organizing your space regularly is another eco-friendly way of keeping your home clean without using unnecessary chemicals.
Get rid of excess clothes, toys, or anything you no longer use.
Especially if it’s not bringing you joy or adding value to your life.
If it’s still in good condition, you can donate it to someone who needs it, or if it’s broken, consider recycling it.
Decluttering helps to keep your home and your mind clearer.
Once your home has been decluttered, you can get to organizing.
Organize smartly in ways that work for you so that it’s easier to maintain and keep up.
The most important thing is to have a place for everything.
You can use baskets, drawers smart storage furniture, and systems to keep everything in its designated place.
When dealing with toys, try to organize your toy spaces and only keep a few toys out.
You can always rotate toys in and out when needed and store the extras. Have a place for all the toys and let them be neatly organized so that the kids can easily figure out where to put things.
What Makes Natural Ingredients Better?
Vinegar is a natural disinfectant and deodorizer and, as a mild acid, it can remove stubborn stains, unclog drains and remove greasy grime.
Plus, when vinegar dries it doesn’t leave behind any odor.
Lemon is a natural antibacterial that works like bleach.
It can lighten things up and can even be used on a cutting board to get rid of bacteria.
And baking soda is an amazing deodorizer that works all the time.
However, the best thing about these products is that they’re safe for your pets and kids too.
Plus, they don’t leave behind any bubbles or leave a residue that needs to be scrubbed up.
So you see? It is possible to keep your home hygienically clean while making minimal impact on the environment.
Eco-friendly cleaning is not only good for the earth, but it’s good for your health and that of your family too.
Nothing gives you more peace of mind than knowing that you’re creating an environment that contributes to a cleaner, greener earth. Hopefully, these cleaning tips will bring you closer to enjoying that same state of peace of mind too.