Cleaning Green – A Simple Guide to Natural Cleaning

There are numerous products sitting around every household that are super heroes of the natural cleaning world. Most people just don’t realize that they don’t need to go out and buy so many cleaning products, because their kitchen pantry is filled with natural alternatives.
Natural cleaning has several benefits, it is better for the environment, it cuts down on harmful chemicals in the air we breathe and it keeps more packaging products (plastic bottles…) out of our landfills. It’s also cheaper, why spend money on a separate cleaning product for every task. The benefits go on and on, grab a good book about natural cleaning and find out more of its benefits at your local library.
Here are a few of my favorite natural cleaning recipes and tips:
Baking Soda:
• Mix a small amount of baking soda with liquid castile soap to get countertops, sinks and tubs sparkling like new.
• Sprinkle the carpet with baking soda before you vacuum to release pet odors.
• Take one cup of baking soda and four cups of water and let it dissolve then put in a spray bottle and spray on stubborn stains. (Make a thick paste to rub on with your hands for tougher stains.)
• Clean your toilet by pouring one part baking soda to four parts vinegar into the toilet. Let it sit 15-30 minutes (depending on the degree of the stains) before scrubbing.
Lemon Juice:
• Clean copper with lemon juice. Cut a lemon in half. Dip it in salt, and rub gently in a circular motion to clean spots from your copper.
• Countertop stains can be zapped away by applying lemon juice to sit on to the stain for a few minutes (not too long, it can damage certain surfaces). Follow up by scrubbing the stain with baking soda.
• Lemon juice is a natures bleach. Apply lemon juice to white linens and clothing and lay them in the sun to dry. Stains will be bleached away.
Hydrogen Peroxide:
• To treat mold in the bathroom, fill a spray bottle with 1/2 cup hydrogen peroxide and 1 cup water. Spray onto moldy areas, let sit for an hour, then rinse off.
• Keep a spray bottle of hydrogen peroxide and another of white vinegar (don’t mix the two in one bottle). For a disinfecting spray, for vegetables and surfaces, spritz with one, then the other, then wipe clean.
Olive Oil
• Polish your furniture by mixing together equal parts olive oil and white vinegar.
• To brighten brass surfaces, rub with a cloth dampened with olive oil after cleaning. This will keep the brass from tarnishing.
• Keep stainless steel surfaces free of streaks and finger prints by rubbing olive oil onto stainless steel surfaces.
• Mix 1/4 cup olive oil with a few drops of lemon juice for a natural shoe polish. Buff the mixture on and then buff away.
If you’re one of those people (like me) that loves a fresh smell after cleaning try adding a few drops of essential oils like lavender, jasmine or eucalyptus to any of the mixtures. The oils can add cleaning power to the mixtures too!

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