But potentially toxic ingredients aren’t the only secret cleaning manufacturers are hiding. They’d also rather you not know that you can clean just as easily with common non-toxic household staples that are infinitely safer. They’re also cheaper.
So this spring, keep your cleaning healthy with the following natural DIY recipes:
1. All-Purpose Cleaner
- 1/2 teaspoon of washing soda (aka sodium carbonate)
- 2 teaspoons of borax
- 1/2 teaspoon of plant-based liquid soap
- two cups of hot water
Combine all of the above in a spray bottle. Shake well. (Keep in mind that while washing soda and borax are natural minerals, they’re still caustic, and borax can be toxic if swallowed. Keep them away from children! You can also omit them from the following recipes, using other, natural ingredients in their place.)
2. Disinfecting Cleaner
- 2 teaspoons borax
- 1/4 teaspoon plant-based liquid soap
- 4 tablespoons white vinegar
- 3 cups hot water
Combine all of the above in a spray bottle. A hydrogen peroxide-based cleaner can also work well.
3. Oven Cleaner
- 1 cup baking soda
- 1/4 cup of washing soda
Mix with enough water to make a paste. Apply to oven surfaces and let sit overnight. Wipe and rinse.
4. Tub & Tile Cleaner
- 1 2/3 cups baking soda
- 1/2 cup plant-based liquid soap
- 1/2 cup water
Mix thoroughly then add 2 tablespoons white vinegar. Apply immediately, scrub, and wipe. A scouring scrub can also be made from blending baking soda and liquid soap to your desired consistency.
5. Toilet Bowl Cleaner
Pour 1 cup of borax and 1/4 cup of white vinegar into the bowl. Let sit overnight. In the a.m., scrub and flush.
6. Furniture Polish
Use a 1:1 mixture of olive oil and white vinegar (shake well!), and polish with a soft cloth.
7. Glass & Window Cleaner
Spray a 1:1 combination of white vinegar and water. You may have to remove the waxy build-up left behind by conventional glass cleaners. To do that, add 1/2 teaspoon of liquid soap to 1 cup each of water and white vinegar.
8. Mold & Mildew Cleaner
- two cups of water
- two teaspoons of tea tree oil
Combine ingredients above in a spray bottle. Shake well, spray, and let sit for several hours before wiping. Hydrogen peroxide is also good for mold and mildew.
9. Floor Cleaner
- Use 1/4 cup washing soda
- 1 tablespoon of liquid soap
- 6 tablespoons of cornstarch
- 1/4 cup white vinegar
- 2 gallons of hot water
Mix ingredients above on linoleum and other no-wax floors. For wood floors, use 1 cup of vinegar in a bucket of hot water.
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