Cleaning & Organizing
15 Chemical-Free Ways to Clean Your Home
Products used to clean furniture, carpets, and appliances are full of toxic chemicals that are known carcinogens. Try these alternative cleaning solutions to keep your home safe and sparkling.
Remove stains from marble: Use lemon juice and salt
Combine lemon juice and salt into a paste and scrub the stain. Just make sure you don’t scrub too hard, and rinse well when the stain is gone. If you’re using these natural cleaning products, also try these simple ways to reduce your carbon footprint.
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Clean your microwave: Heat up lemon juice
Some foods should never, ever go in the microwave. Luckily, lemon juice isn’t one of them. Combine 2 cups of water with ¼ cup of lemon juice in a microwave-safe glass dish. Then, cook on high for eight minutes. The steam from the solution will loosen crusty food particles on the interiors, making it easier to wipe off.
Remove dishwasher rust: Try Kool-Aid
Dishwasher interiors can get rusty due to mineral buildup. Put a package of lemonade Kool-Aid in the soap dispenser, and run a hot cycle. Your dishwasher will sparkle! Then use it to clean your dishes and these other things you never knew you could put in the dishwasher.
Eliminate stains from clothes and carpets: Use club soda
One of the most popular natural cleaning products is club soda. Instead of using a chemical stain-remover, douse the stain with club soda. If you’ve spilled onto the carpet, scrub the stain gently with a towel.
Polish silver: Try cornstarch
You can gently polish your silver without harsh chemicals by mixing cornstarch with water into a thick paste. Cover your silver in the mixture and let it try. Then, buff off the solution with a cloth to reveal a brilliant shine.
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Clean copper and brass: Try this vinegar mixture
Vinegar is the magic solution to every cleaning problem; it has over 100 uses for cleaning your house alone! Mix together 2 tablespoons of flour, 2 tablespoons of white vinegar, and 2 tablespoons of regular iodized table salt. Rub the paste onto uncoated copper and brass and let it dry. Then, buff off with a lint-free cloth.
Take sap off of auto paint: Use mayonnaise
Don’t scrub with anything abrasive. Instead, rub a dab of mayonnaise onto each spot and let it sit for 10 minutes. Then with a soft rag, remove the mayo and sap. Wash your car as usual and it should be good as new. As for the interior, find out how often you should really be cleaning the inside of your car.
Polish wood surfaces: Use olive oil
Most chemical polishes are mostly silicone, which can dull over time. Instead, wipe a bit of pure olive oil all over with a clean cloth and buff for a polished, environmentally-friendly surface. Read these 10 cleaning myths, including the wood polishing mistake that wastes your time.
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Clean a sticky stovetop: Sprinkle with salt
Whether there’s an overflow at the bottom of your oven or on your stovetop, sprinkle a thick layer of salt while it’s still liquid (or dampen with water if it’s heavily stuck on). When the area cools, just wipe away with a sponge. You can also use salt to clean bacteria-ridden cutting boards.
Get rid of roaches: Use sugar and baking soda
Another great combination for making natural cleaning products is baking soda and sugar. If you have children or pets, you might not want to use toxic products to kill pests. Instead, mix together equal parts sugar and baking soda and sprinkle in corners and behind cabinets. The roaches will be attracted to the sugar but die upon eating the baking soda. Baking soda isn’t just for cleaning though.
Remove water rings from wood surfaces: Rub on baking soda
If someone forgot to use a coaster, mix a tablespoon of baking soda with a teaspoon of water. Then, rub in a circular motion until the stain is removed. Baking soda got its cleaning reputation for a reason.
Clean your carpet or rug: Start with baby powder
No need for harsh carpet cleaner on an area where kids or pets might play. First, take the odor out by dusting baby powder over the surface with a flour sifter and leave overnight. Vacuum away the powder in the morning. Then, dip a clean broom into a mixture of 1 gallon of warm water and 1 cup of white vinegar. Brush it onto the rug and let it dry.
Clear glass windows: Spray with vinegar
Mix together equal parts water and white vinegar in a spray bottle and spritz glass surfaces. Then, polish with a soft cloth. This solution works just as well—and is much cheaper—than anything you can buy at the store. Here are 43 more new ways to use household staples you already own.
Polish shoes: Buff with baby oil
Just place a few drops of baby oil onto leather surfaces (shoes, bags, even jackets) and buff with a soft cloth. Make sure to wipe away excess oil. Don’t miss these other smart ways adults can use baby products.
Michelle Lee Photography/Shutterstock
Take stains off tile and tubs: Use cream of tartar
This is one of the best natural cleaning products for stains. Put a few tablespoons of cream of tartar and add hydrogen peroxide (a great non-toxic cleaning agent) drop by drop until the mixture turns into a thick paste. Spread onto the stain and let dry. Then, just rinse off with warm water. Check out these other 8 household staples you never knew could remove stains.