We’re stepping into a new season, and “spring cleaning” doesn’t need to be reserved for March. The fall season is the perfect time to deep clean your home, especially since you will soon be celebrating holidays, putting up decorations, etc.
This is also the time to consider what we’re cleaning with. Our culture has quickly and widely adopted natural and sustainable practices, from the monitoring how much energy we use to ditching plastic straws. We especially see it in cleaning products and practices.
Here’s how to get a deep, thorough clean– naturally.
The Basics (and Acids) of Natural Cleaning
You’ll notice most of these tips have the same ingredients: lemon juice, vinegar, and baking soda.
Why is that?
Lemon is very acidic. The acids in the juice react with deposits in your shower and kitchen sink, like limescale and rust, to break them down. Once they break down, you can easily wipe them away. The acids also eliminate bacteria, since the bacteria cannot thrive in such a harsh environment.
Much like lemons, vinegar is a strong. This property allows it to eat away at build-up and grime, as well as kill bacteria. The main difference between vinegar and lemon for cleaning purposes, really, is the smell. Lemon is much more pleasant to sniff than vinegar! However, you can quickly and cheaply get an abundance of vinegar, as opposed to lemon juice.
Baking soda is a naturally-occurring sodium bicarbonate. It’s job in nature is to help living things achieve their optimal pH balance. It can do this because it’s basic (the opposite of acidic), so when foul odors or stains from other acidic substances are present in your home, baking soda can neutralize them. It naturally absorbs stench and, working hand-in-hand with an acid, can clean up almost any stain, grit, or grime.
Let’s Put These Ingredients to Work
Mix together the following ingredients into a spray bottle:
- 1/2 c white vinegar
- 2 Tbsp baking soda
- 10 drops tea tree, lavender, or lemon essential oil (these plants, and consequently their oils, have chemical properties that make them good disinfectants)
Note, you might need a funnel!
Dish Soap (adapted from Sustain, Create, and Flow)
- 1 1/4 C boiling water
- 1/4 C (tightly packed) grated bar soap
- 1/4 C castile soap
- 1-1.25 T super washing soda
- 10-30 drops essential oils (optional. We recommend disinfectant oils like tea tree, eucalyptus, or lemon. Cinnamon and clove are also excellent cleaners and smell of the season!)
- In a pint jar, combine soap flakes and boiling water
- Stir with a fork until all flakes are dissolved.
- Add super washing soda and stir.
- Add castile soap.
- Allow to cool and add essential oils of your choice.
- Over time it gels up a bit, so shake it up every now and again.
- baking soda
Yup, that’s it. Sprinkle baking soda onto the carpet, let it sit for about 15 minutes, then vacuum. Repeat if necessary.
- 1 tablespoon baking soda
- 2 cups distilled water
- 10 drops essential oil
Mix the ingredients in a spray bottle, shake it up, and spray. You’ll need a funnel for this one, too!
Natural Mop Bucket
Hopefully, you haven’t been mopping your floors with just water. If you have been adding a cleaner to your mop bucket, it’s probably bleach, ammonia, or another chemical cleaner. Here’s a recipe to mix up the next time you scrub your floors:
- 1 gallon warm water
- 1/2 cup of vinegar
- essential oils or a couple table spoons of lemon juice (or both!)
We hope these recipes can help you create a healthier home. Happy cleaning!