Just how bad are cleaning products for your health?
A 2018 study from the University of Bergen in Norway found that people exposed to cleaning products for 20 years have lung function equivalent to smoking 20 cigarettes per day! They are also 40% more at risk to develop asthma.
We all know to try to avoid them in large doses, and keep areas properly ventilated but some chemicals—especially spray cleaners—can remain in the air for hours after putting you and your family at risk. Finding natural alternatives to harmful chemical cleaners can help protect the long term health of everyone in your home. Natural cleaners are also better for the environment, and they are often much less expensive than regular cleaning products.
Making the switch to natural products can seem overwhelming. But there are likely several things already in your home that you can use to make natural cleaners. Here are some of our favorite natural cleaning hacks to keep your home safe and spotless. You can see them below or click here to view the full infographic.
Natural Kitchen Cleaning Hacks
Your kitchen is one of the first places people see when they enter your home. It’s also the place that you’ll be preparing the food for you and your family. Keeping this area clean and sanitary is incredibly important. These natural cleaners can do the trick without the negative effects of chemicals.
- Clean sensitive surfaces: Use lemon and salt to clean wooden cutting boards, surfaces and cast iron skillets.
- Cleanse the oven: Form a paste out of equal parts baking soda and vinegar to clean baking sheets, burnt pots and pans, or the inside of your oven.
- Wipe the stovetop: Concoct a stovetop cleaning paste using one part olive oil to two parts baking soda. Apply it to the stove top and let it set overnight. Wipe away the cleaning paste with a damp cloth the next day.
- Shine stainless steel appliances: Rub cream of tartar on stainless steel appliances. Rub it off for a polished look!
- Clean the microwave: Fill a microwave-safe dish with water and a small amount of dishwashing liquid. Heat it in the microwave for one minute, then wipe it with a wet sponge.
- Shine silverware: Boil one liter of water, one tablespoon baking soda and one piece of aluminum foil together. Toss your silverware in and let them boil for a bit. When you take them out they will be polished!
- Clear the garbage disposal: Mix one part baking soda, two parts vinegar and pouring it down the drain. Rinse with warm water, then toss some citrus peels down the disposal and run it to clear it of buildup.
- Disinfect the dishwasher: Use hydrogen peroxide to wipe out your refrigerator and dishwasher. It’s a natural disinfectant.
- Sanitize sponges: Sanitize your sponges with hydrogen peroxide—soak them for ten minutes in a 50/50 mixture of hydrogen peroxide and warm water in a shallow dish. Rinse thoroughly afterward.
- Wash kitchen surfaces: Use citrus peels to make an all-purpose cleaner with vinegar. Fill a spray bottle half full of peels and mix in equal parts vinegar and water. Let it sit for two weeks for citrus to infuse. Strain the peels, pour it into a bottle!
Natural Bathroom Cleaning Hacks
Your bathroom, as one of the dirtiest rooms in your house, is the place where it’s most tempting to use harsh chemicals. However, these natural cleaning concoctions are more effective than you might imagine. Use these tips to keep your bathroom shiny and clean, without the toxic chemicals.
- Shine facets: Use lemons to remove stains from facets by simply rubbing a halved slice on the fixture.
- Clean the toilet: Use duct tape and vinegar to perfectly clean your toilet. Cover the siphons with duct tape, put vinegar in toilet bowl and flush. Let it sit overnight before removing the tape.
- De-grime the showerhead: Fill a bag with vinegar and hang it around your showerhead to clean the metal of stains.
- Scrub grout: Use a paste of equal parts baking soda and borax mixed with water to clean grimy grout off your bathroom. Simply apply the paste and then scrub with a scrub brush or old toothbrush until clean.
- Wash the shower curtain: Use hydrogen peroxide to wash your shower curtain. Place your curtains in the washing machine with a bath towel, your regular detergent and a capful of hydrogen peroxide.
- Clear bathtub rings: Clean bathtub rings by rubbing them with salt and a cut grapefruit.
- Keep the toilet brush clean: Keep your toilet brush clean by spraying it with vinegar after you are done cleaning the toilet then let it dry.
- Whiten shower tiles: Use hydrogen peroxide to whiten shower tiles. Dry the shower thoroughly, then spray it liberally with hydrogen peroxide and let it sit for a few minutes. Come back and scrub the tiles and grout with an old toothbrush. Repeat if necessary.
- Prevent mold on shower curtains: Mix 5 tablespoons salt with water together and spray on shower curtains often to prevent mold. If it’s already moldy, scrub off the salt and watch the mold disappear.
- Scrub the toilet bowl: Mix equal parts baking soda and water until it forms a paste. This can be used as a sink scrub or toilet bowl cleaner. It works great on porcelain surfaces too!
Natural Home Cleaning Hacks
The rest of your home can benefit from the use of natural cleaners as well. From your living room to your garage, there are plenty of helpful cleaning tips to keep these areas sparkling.
- Clean the sofa and mattress: Baking soda can be used to clean your sofa and mattress. Simply sprinkle it on and then vacuum it off!
- Dust the blinds: Create a solution with equal parts vinegar and water. Spray it on your blinds and wipe away with an old sock.
- Remove oil stains from carpet: Use baking soda to remove oil stains from your carpet. Scrape away the excess oil, sprinkle with baking soda and let it set for 15 minutes. When it’s ready, vacuum it up.
- Eliminate skunk smell: Create an anti-skunk solution by mixing one-quart hydrogen peroxide, ¼ cup baking soda, one teaspoon dish soap and two quarts warm water. Work the mixture into the affected person or animal’s hair and rinse immediately after.
- Protect the baseboards: Rub dryer sheets on your baseboards to prevent hair and dust from congregating on them.
- Remove nail polish: Use rubbing alcohol and a microfiber cloth to remove nail polish from carpet. Just pour it on and blot the nail polish away.
- Ban spilled glitter: Use play dough to clean spilled glitter off the floor.
- Lift oil stains in the garage: Use Coca-Cola to clean oil stains off garage floors. Just pour it on the affected area then mop it up!
- Brighten the floors: Combine half a cup of hydrogen peroxide with one gallon of hot water then mop your floors to brighten.
- Freshen the air: Make homemade air freshener by mixing 15-20 drops essential oils of your choice with one tbsp of baking soda in large bowl. Add two cups of water and mix until dissolved. Pour in spray bottle and freshen!
Remember, you don’t have to make all of these changes at once to reap the benefits. Swap out a few at a time, test their effectiveness and make a permanent transition if you are satisfied with the performance. Once you experience the benefits of natural cleaning products, it’s hard to stop using them!