Stephanie Koathes

Easy Green: Keeping Your Home Clean With Natural Ingredients

Most commercial housecleaning products are full of chemicals that aren’t so good for us or the environment. Luckily, many non-toxic substances can be used to keep your home clean and tidy.

Here are a few natural ingredients you can add to your cleaning arsenal.

White vinegar

Glass bottle of white vinegar in front of cleaning brushes.

Distilled white vinegar is incredibly versatile. Thanks to its natural acidity it’s a great natural antifungal and antibacterial, and it’s a fantastic degreaser. Vinegar is good for getting rid of mildew, cleaning floors and kitchen surfaces, getting rid of grease and soap scum. Plus it’s cheap too.

Mop up: Rather than turn to chemical-filled all-purpose cleaners add half cup vinegar to a gallon of water to clean your floors. Or make your own all-purpose cleaner by combining one cup vinegar, two teaspoons borax, four cups hot water, five drops liquid Castile soap, 10 drops tea tree oil, and 10 drops your favourite essential oil.

Baking soda

Glass jar of baking soda.

Baking soda is something most of us have in our homes. It’s a powerful all-natural cleaner, works wonders on stubborn smells and even whitens teeth. Baking soda is a must in your green cleaning arsenal.

Unclog drains with baking soda: To clear a clogged drain without turning to harsh chemicals all you need is baking soda and white vinegar.  Pour ½ cup of baking soda, then ½ cup vinegar, down the drain. Cover it with a wet cloth, wait five minutes, uncover, and flush with steaming-hot water.

Lemon

Lemon juice in small glass bowl.

When life gives you lemons, forget lemonade, use them to clean. Lemons are a natural, mild disinfectant and are pretty handy around the house. These citrus fruits can be used to clean and deodorise leaving a lovely fresh scent.

One way to use lemons: Combine lemon juice and salt until the mixture reaches the consistency of toothpaste. Apply this to brass, copper, or stainless-steel sinks and fixtures. Scrub gently, and then rinse with water. This solution also removes rust stains.

Liquid Castile soap

Castile soap dates way back to the 12th century is made with all-natural plant oils. This kind of soap is very popular with vegetarians and vegans as it has no animal-derived products. Castile soap can be used to bathe, wash hair, to clean and do laundry.

Laundry detergent with Castile soap:

Dissolve ¾cup of baking soda and ¼ cup of sea salt into 2 ¼ cups of warm water. Pour the mixture into a gallon container and add 1 cup of liquid Castile soap; fill to the top with water.

Sources: Dr Axe, The Kitchn, Today, Good Housekeeping, Real Simple, How Stuff Works.