We know how unhealthy chemical cleaning products like bleach can be, and the environmental damage they can cause when disposed of improperly. Do we really want to clean our own home with these chemicals, where they can get into the air we breathe, the food we eat, even the clothes we wear? Of course not. Believe it or not, it’s just as easy to clean our homes using three simple natural products: lemons, baking soda, and white distilled vinegar.
Not only are these three items a lot cheaper to buy and healthier to use, we can also avoid buying into the excessive packaging of chemical cleaning agents. Without consuming this stream of cardboard boxes, plastic bottles, and plastic-wrap, you’ll reduce your household’s carbon footprint in an instant. While the Internet is awash with cleaning tips, read on to learn just some of the many ways we can clean our homes with lemons, vinegar, and baking soda.
Removing stains on fabric – Amazingly, these three ingredients can help us remove most of the stains on fabrics. If you have a stubborn stain on white cotton or linen, soak the stain in lemon juice, lay it under direct sunlight, and the stain should disappear. For other fabrics, soak the stained area in a water and vinegar solution, or mix a thick paste of baking soda, vinegar, and warm water and spread it on the stain. Let it sit for at least 20 minutes or even hours for maximum effectiveness. Afterwards, scrub and rinse. The stain or residue should be gone! Some synthetic fabrics like acetone can be damaged by vinegar, so use a paste of just baking soda and water in these cases.
Removing stuck-on residue from hard surfaces – That same paste of baking soda, vinegar, and warm water also treats stains and difficult residue on hard surfaces. Spread it on, let it sit for 20-30 minutes, and the stain or residue can be scrubbed away. Remember, vinegar should not be used on aluminium, cast iron, or waxed surfaces.
Getting rid of limescale – Similarly, the natural acids in vinegar are a great at dissolving limescale on surfaces which come into regular contact with water. Instead of using a chemical descaler, spray a solution of equal parts vinegar and water on your tiles and pipes. Let it soak, and scrub away the limescale. Boil the same solution in a kettle, and after soaking overnight and scrubbing with a clean toothbrush, your limescale should be gone. Or unscrew a clogged showerhead, and soak it overnight in a bowl or bag of the solution for the same results.
Disinfecting ovens, refrigerators, and hobs – Avoid commercial oven cleaners by mixing a solution of warm water, vinegar, and baking soda, with a few drops of lemon juice. Use this to scrub and wipe down your ovens, fridge and freezer interiors, and hobs. It’ll cut through the grease, disinfect the surface, and leave your kitchen smelling lemony-fresh. Again, for burnt-on residue, use the baking soda paste.
Cleaning drains and waste disposals – To clean out your sink, shower, and bathtub drains, pour down half a cup of baking soda, then follow with a cup of vinegar and plug the drain. Leave it for an hour, then pour a kettle of boiling water down the drain, and it should be clear! For your kitchen’s waste disposal, do the same, and then cut a lemon in half and send the two halves down the disposal for a final cleanse.
A natural air freshener – Baking soda easily combats odours, so to keep your fridge smelling fresh, leave an open dish of baking soda on the bottom shelf. You can do the same with microwave and conventional ovens, or microwave lemon wedges for 30 seconds to zap odours. If any garments or fabrics have developed a mildewy smell, soak them in a solution of water and vinegar. And to freshen your house in general, boil a pan of water with shaved pieces of lemon peel. Leave bowls of the lemony water in your rooms, and the air will smell a lot fresher!
These are just some of the countless ways we can do our household cleaning with these three easy ingredients. Say good-bye to buying chemical cleaners, and say hello to an organic, eco-friendly cleaning regime for your home.