15 Chemical-Free Ways to Clean Your Home

Updated: Apr. 01, 2022

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.

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lemon slice dripping juice, best natural cleaning products
Apisit Wilaijit/Shutterstock

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.

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lemon juice, best natural cleaning products
Shutterstock / Gayvoronskaya_Yana

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.

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kool aid powder, best natural cleaning products

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.

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club soda, best natural cleaning products

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.

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cornstarch, best natural cleaning products
Pawarun Chitchirachan/Shutterstock

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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vinegar, best natural cleaning products
Michelle Lee Photography/Shutterstock

Clean copper and brass: Try this vinegar mixture

Vinegar is the magic solution to every cleaning problem. 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.

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mayonaise, best natural cleaning products
Valentyn Volkov/Shutterstock

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.

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olive oil, best natural cleaning products
DUSAN ZIDAR/Shutterstock

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.

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salt, best natural cleaning products
Shutterstock / Nitr

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.

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sugar, best natural cleaning products
Alexander Prokopenko/Shutterstock

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.

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baking soda, best natural cleaning products

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.

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baby powder, best natural cleaning products
MIA Studio/Shutterstock

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.

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spray bottle with vinegar, best natural cleaning products

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.

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baby oil, best natural cleaning products
279photo Studio/Shutterstock

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.

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cream of tartar, best natural cleaning 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.

Reader's Digest
Originally Published on Reader's Digest