Natural Cleaning With Things You Already Have at Home

*Enjoy another great post by Wellness Mama!!

Transitioning to natural cleaning options is much easier than most people expect. In fact, you likely already have most of the necessary ingredients in your pantry!

From floors, to bathrooms, to glass, most surfaces can be cleaned just as well or better with natural options. You can save money and keep your house clean with exposing yourself or your family to the chemicals in most common household cleaners and products.

The natural ingredients I always keep on hand are:

  • Distilled White Vinegar
  • Baking Soda
  • Washing Soda (on laundry aisle of most stores)
  • Borax (on laundry aisle of most stores)
  • Liquid Castille Soap
  • Essential Oils (for scent only)

With these simple ingredients, you can clean practically anything in your house naturally. For instance:

Natural All-Purpose Cleaner

In a spray bottle mix:

  • 1 tsp borax
  • 1/2 tsp washing soda
  • 1 tsp liquid castille soap
  • essential oils as preferred- I use 4 drops lemon, 4 drops lavender and 10 drops orange

Add 2 cups of warm water. Distilled is best, but any water that has been boiled will work. Cover bottle and shake well. Use as needed. I use as bathroom cleaner, floor pre-treater, kitchen cleaner and on toys to disinfect.

Natural Glass Cleaner

In a 16 oz or bigger spray bottle mix:

  • 1 quart water
  • 2 tablespoons vinegar
  • 10-15 drops essential oil (optional, but helps the vinegar smell)

Shake bottle and spray on windows. Use crumpled newspaper or cotton cloth to wipe off. If you have always used commercial window cleaner in the past, mix a couple drops of liquid castille soap or liquid dish soap in some of this mixture the first time you clean the windows to remove detergent residue.

Natural Cleaning For Wood Floors

Combine 1/2 cup white vinegar and 1/2 cup vegetable oil (finally a good use for it!) Mix well and rub lightly into floors to bring back shine and clean spots. Add a few drops of essential oil of choice for nice scent.

Natural Cleaning for Tile or Linoleum

Mix equal parts of vinegar and water and damp mop. For really tough stains, pre-treat with 2 T washing soda dissolved in 16 ounces of water. Mop well and damp mop with pure water to rinse.

Natural Stain Removal for Carpet

Mix equal parts of vinegar and water. Spray on stains, let sit for 5 minutes and scrub with soft brush. Add 1-2 drops of dishwashing liquid for tough stains.

For tough grease stains, pour cornstarch liberally on the stain and let sit until dry. Vacuum up and then use method above.

For heavy duty stains that won’t come out, mix 1/4 cup each of salt, borax and vinegar and rub into the stain. Let sit until dry and vacuum up. Use methods above if any part of the stain remains.

Natural Scouring Powder for Tough Stains and Tubs

Ingredients:

  • 2 parts baking soda
  • 1 part salt
  • 1 part borax powder

To Make:

  1. Pour ingredients into jar or bowl.
  2. Mix or stir until well mixed.
  3. If you want to make a shaker, put in a pint or quart mason jar and poke some holes in the top (carefully) with a sharp serrated knife.

To Use:

  1. Lightly wet surface with water or undiluted white vinegar (for really bad messes)
  2. Sprinkle powder on and let sit 5 minutes
  3. Scrub with sturdy brush until clean
  4. Rinse with water or vinegar (for really bad messes)

Effortless Natural Oven Cleaning

Though it seems like a simple fix, baking soda is really effective and makes the daunting task of oven cleaning a little easier. All I have to do to get a shining oven is spray the whole oven down with a water bottle so that it is damp, and pour on a thick layer or baking soda, especially on the bottom, until there is about 1/4 inch layer of baking soda paste on the bottom. If any of the baking soda is still dry, I mist it with the water bottle.

Then, I walk away, and leave the baking soda there for a few hours (with the oven off, unless you want to see some amateur special effects… I don’t recommend this!) After a few hours I simply wipe up the paste with a cloth and all the grime comes with it. For really baked on grime, this may take a couple applications, but it always works and it is 100% natural!

Check out some more natural living ideas here.

What is your best natural cleaning secret? Share below!

Comments

  1. says

    Thank you so much! I never really thought about what chemicals are in cleaners until I started to be around toddlers. It is SO scary to think of them getting and residual cleaner on the little hands and ingesting that stuff, even if it is a tiny amount!

  2. says

    Thanks so much for the tips! These are really helpful to get me started on using more natural methods of cleaning…I just printed off this post and plan on trying it. :)

  3. Pam S. says

    Katie always gives such neat tips. Love the oven cleaning thing. I hate the smell my oven gives off in the “self cleaning” mode, not to mention how much it heats up the house.

  4. Elle says

    To clean our toilets (including the hard water staining) I dump in the toilet bowl vinegar, and then baking soda. I don’t know the exact amounts because I don’t measure. You’ll know you have the correct amounts when the liquid in the toilet bowl starts foaming up. I make sure the foaming action comes up high enough in the bowl to reach the top of the hard water stain. You can either let the concoction sit in the bowl awhile, and then scrub it with a toilet bowl brush, or scrub right away. It doesn’t seem to make a noticeable difference if you scrub right away or later.

  5. Spring says

    I love using vinegar to clean with! It works on just about everything. I found it’s great in the washing machine to use instead of fabric softener. It also cleans the grimy buildup in the machine itself. I also recently got rid of a lingering odor in a thermos by filling it with white vinegar and letting it sit for about 24 hours…smell gone!

  6. Wenchypoo says

    Rubbing alcohol is the BEST de-greaser, even when diluted 50% with water. For all-purpose surface cleaning, I use bleach diluted 50% with water.

    Note about rubbing alcohol: don’t use it around an open flame, or a place that was recently used (like a burner). Alcohol is FLAMMABLE. Wait to clean the stove top until after it has cooled down. Once cold, this stuff works like a charm.

    Hydrogen peroxide is the main ingredient in OxyClean, so why not just pour some into your wash instead of shelling out for some TV loud-mouth’s product? I use this instead of bleach, and it works like a charm. Pour it in after the tub is full of water and has started agitating. For laundromat use, mix with regular detergent and add to wash when appropriate.

    Natural cleaners like you and I use are SO much cheaper, and they gain you freedom from that smelly Proctor & Gamble-owned aisle in the grocery store! When the ingredients are bought in bulk (like at a warehouse store), the per-use cost goes down to a penny or below–MUCH cheaper than the chemical-laden stuff.

    To cut costs on soap, I’ve decided that we can use the same liquid-type for hands, hair, body, dishes, and the dishwasher: a diluted liquid soap that costs about half what a bargain laundry detergent costs per-use. Because I’ve made this an all-purpose soap, I get more uses from it…meaning I’ve lowered my soap costs even more. My first experiment was with a diluted shampoo bought in bulk at Sally Beauty Supply, but I’ve found that either an antibacterial soap or liquid hand soap from Sam’s janitorial section is cheaper, then I dilute it 50%.

    Years ago on the Dollar Stretcher site, I proposed using dishwasher soap in place of the sudsless soap people have to use when they buy front-loader washing machines, and nobody ever got back to me–dishwasher powder is also sudsless, and is probably cheaper than the high-efficiency machine soap the manufacturers make you buy. I then posed a question of why it was necessary to use this soap AT HOME, but not in a LAUNDROMAT machine…same machine type, yes? So where’s the efficiency?

    When I need a front-loader, I just go to a laundromat, and use my own little cleaning concoctions–everything comes out fine, and the machines don’t get hurt.

  7. dave says

    After going paleo I have been eating more Saturated fat.(Just made tallow!) What are the best practices for cleaning up saturated fats? That stuff is hard to remove and can clog up a drain really quick.

    What to do if you have a clog or a possible forming clog from saturated fat.
    Thanks

    • says

      With the saturated fat if you add sugar to your dishwashing liquid you’ll find it comes off easy, and much cheaper than going out and buying the expensive sugar-soap concoctions from the store. With the clog in the drain you could use caustic soda (beware of its toxic nature) or you can put 1/2 cup of bicarb soda in the drain then add 1/2 cup of vinegar, the foaming action will clean the drain, then send one litre of boiling hot water down to flush out the residue. hth

  8. Julie says

    When I decided to reduce the chemicals used in my home, I turned to steam. I have a steam mop that does a FABULOUS job and is easy to use. I have a smaller tea kettle shaped steamer that sprays a stream of steam that I then wipe with a microfiber cloth. I do most of my cleaning with water only. The microfiber cloths I use are washable and reusable, so I have reduced my waste too.

  9. says

    Norwex!! You don’t even need the basics like white vinegar and baking soda when you can clean AND SANITIZE using only water and Norwex cloths. I just discovered these products this summer while visiting friends in the midwest. Well, they are so great that I’ll be spreading the love in San Antonio, TX, via in-home parties where I’ll be demonstrating the awesome power of these cloths developed in Europe.

    If you haven’t seen how this stuff works I hope you can soon!

  10. Jennie says

    I use Norwex Antibacterial Microfiber Cleaning Products to clean my entire house. You only use water and the cloths to clean! These cloths are AMAZING. I was convinced of their greatness when I saw how clean my windows and mirrors were with just washing them down with their envirocloth and drying it with the polishing cloth – there are no streaks! Effortess cleaning is how I look at it ;) And all you use is water – what can be better than that?

    • Karen says

      I am agreement wtih Jennie. I use the cloths with water only and everything comes out beautifully clean, even the greasy stove top after cooking bacon!

  11. lisa says

    I take natural cleaning to another level and have changed up to the ‘no-poo’ method – I have only washed my hair with a baking soda/water mix, and my hair has never been better. Who knew that shampoo wasn’t necessary? I sure didn’t. Very environmentally friendly and inexpensive too!

  12. Joanne says

    I have found that nothing works better than baking soda to clean my pots and pans! Let it soak with some baking soda and when you wash, it should come right off!

  13. Chris says

    Those recipes could not be simpler….. but being a male, I am lazy! Is there or do you think there will be a ‘paleo-cleaning range (or another name for such all-natural products).

  14. says

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    I’ve truly enjoyed surfing around your weblog posts. After all I will be subscribing in your feed and I am hoping you write again soon!

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