7 Natural Cleaning Hacks For Keeping Your Home Clean and Green

7 Natural Cleaning Hacks For Keeping Your Home Clean and Green

Cleaning
By Contractors.com Team July 02, 2021

In a world where sustainable living is more important than ever, it pays to make every aspect of our lives just that little bit more eco-friendly. Sometimes, it can seem like an environmentally-friendly lifestyle is too impractical, expensive, or complicated. But this isn’t necessarily the vase for most aspects of more sustainable living.  

You just might be surprised to know that the road to making your house more environmentally friendly is mostly made up of small, simple changes that can radically reduce your environmental footprint. That’s especially true when it comes to house cleaning. Many of the natural cleaning solutions you can use as alternatives to harsh chemicals like bleach can probably already be found in your house. The rest is just down to changing buying and cleaning habits.  

All You Need For a Number of Homemade Cleaning Solutions

All You Need For a Number of Homemade Cleaning Solutions

Vinegar

White vinegar is a very versatile solution. You of course know it as that bitter, strong-smelling liquid everyone likes to put in salads or other foods. However, white vinegar has some interesting qualities that make it quite effective as a household cleaner with multiple uses. White vinegar is a natural disinfectant, which is a great item to have these days. Its acidity allows it to easily remove rust, water stains, and any other grime that can accumulate on a surface. For example, vinegar can also be used to effectively clean out a coffee machine that’s begun to pour out bitter, burnt-tasting coffee. 

Simply run the vinegar through your machine at least twice to allow it to take out all the grime and buildup. Just be sure to run some hot water through the machine after the vinegar so your coffee doesn’t become even more bitter. White vinegar’s strong smell is another asset in tough-to-clean places because it helps to absorb the musty, moldy smell that can develop in wet places such as a toilet or a kitchen. 

Baking Soda

Baking soda is another one of those ubiquitous kitchen ingredients that sit in almost every kitchen cabinet. It’s very useful for baking muffins, but it’s also a pretty handy and affordable natural cleaning agent. Just sprinkle some on the surface you want to clean, and scrub away with the abrasive side of a wet sponge to defeat even the toughest stains. Plus, baking soda works wonders for removing stains and odors from many fixtures and surfaces in the house, including your shower, litter box, sink, oven, stove, stainless steel cookware, toaster, and tub. 

But you don’t always have to put in the elbow grease to enjoy the benefits of baking soda. Simply place an open container of the stuff in a fridge if you want to absorb unpleasant smells. When combined with vinegar, baking soda can even act as a drain cleaner and can unclog drains, assuming the clog is relatively small. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that the vinegar+baking soda combo is a replacement for the purpose-made drain cleaner though, because that’s a natural cleaning hack that only works on the Insta Reels

Baking soda can also be used to freshen up your dog. Just sprinkle some on your furry friend during his next bath to free him of that wet dog smell. A bath with baking soda is good for your dog’s skin and will make their coat shine. It can even kill parasites like ticks and fleas, making this a truly universal cleaning hack that even your doggie can enjoy.   

Borax

Consider borax to be baking soda plus, because it has many of the same qualities as baking soda, but with a little something extra. It’s a natural cleaning alternative to bleach and can be found in the laundry detergent aisle of any supermarket. As such, it is pretty handy for removing stains from laundry, but can also be used for removing especially stubborn surface stains and getting rid of mold and fungi. Borax is also a good pesticide and can be quite effective at controlling pests like roaches and ants. Just sprinkle it in areas where the critters roam so they ingest it. Borax can kill a roach quite quickly — especially if the roach eats the substance — and it can decimate an ant colony; so, it’s pretty potent. 

However, while it is quite a bit safer to use than some commercial insect poisons (which can cause nerve damage if ingested), Borax can still irritate your skin and eyes. When using borax, avoid touching it with your bare hands and be careful not to inhale it. If you choose to use borax for cleaning, be sure to keep it away from children and pets. You should also keep it away from houseplants since borax has a tendency to snuff out plants by drying them out. 

A Magical Home Cleaner Could Be Sitting In Your Pantry

A Magical Home Cleaner Could Be Sitting In Your Pantry

Mix ‘Em Up

For a good all-purpose natural cleaning solution that smells good and is easy to get, simply mix half a cup of vinegar and a quarter cup of borax with around six cups of hot water. Top this off with a tablespoon of lemon juice for a refreshing all-purpose cleaner you can use to remove stains and odors. The main drawback of this natural household cleaning hack is that this solution will need to sit for longer to get the job done. 

It will also need more scrubbing for a more thorough clean. But given that it's an entirely natural cleaning solution, those are pretty small drawbacks to put up with when all is said and done. If, however, you happen to have a granite or marble countertop, it’s best to avoid this blend since it could damage the surface of your worktops.   

Beat Grease Naturally 

Many of the grease-busting products that can be found in your local supermarket are petroleum-based, which means they are made from nonrenewable fossil fuels. While these products can be pretty effective at stripping grease away, they’re definitely not the most environmentally friendly choice. For a natural cleaning hack that fights grease well, you need to turn to ammonia. 

How to Beat Greasy Stains with Natural Cleaning Products

How to Beat Greasy Stains with Natural Cleaning Products

Ammonia is a naturally occurring substance that is sold as an all-purpose cleaner in supermarkets nationwide. It's great as a fertilizer, but it’s also quite good at breaking down grime, stains, and grease that comes from animal fats and vegetable oils. For the ultimate natural anti-grease solution, all you have to do is mix half a cup of sudsy ammonia with around a gallon of warm water. You can add more ammonia if you plan to clean especially greasy surfaces. This is the best natural cleaning solution for oven racks, stove hoods, and for scrubbing grease off the grill. 

Tip: If you have neglected, greasy stovetops, you can soak the greasy bits in an ammonia-water mixture in your sink before scrubbing them.     

Because it evaporates quickly, ammonia is also useful as a window cleaner. It can therefore strip the grease and dirt that build up on windows without leaving behind streaks as other household cleaning products do. 

What You Can Clean With An Ammonia-Water Mixture

What You Can Clean With An Ammonia-Water Mixture

When Life Gives You Lemons...

Lemons have some pretty surprising abilities when it comes to natural cleaning solutions. There are a whole bunch of household cleaning hacks that use lemons as a natural cleaner and disinfectant. If you have any tarnished brass items, you can use a sponge soaked in squeezed lemon juice and salt to give the brass a like-new shine. This is thanks to the acidic properties of lemon, which eat away at the oxidation that plagues brass metals. 

How You Can Use Lemon As A Cleaning Agent Around the House

How You Can Use Lemon As A Cleaning Agent Around the House

The lemon and salt combo is also an excellent natural cleaning solution for cutting boards, since it scrapes off any food particles, disinfects, and gives the board a fresh smell. Just be sure to rinse off the board after scrubbing, and then dry it off. 

If you want to freshen up your interior air with some fresh citric aromas, lemons are the answer. Just slice up a lemon and put the slices in a small saucepan filled with water. Once this is done, it’s just a simple matter of bringing the water to a boil, and your house will then be filled with the lovely fragrance of lemon. 

Lemons can also be used to buff up chromed items in your house, such as faucets and sinks. Simply take half of a lemon, coat the flat side with baking soda, and then scrub away. Once that’s done, all that’s left to do is wipe the surface off with a cloth. This is great for removing rust from chrome and keeps it from reappearing as quickly. You can even use this technique (minus the baking soda) to remove rust from chrome on vehicles such as cars and motorcycles. 

Tip: If you do choose to use this technique for chrome on your car, be sure to add car wax afterward to seal in the chrome and slow down rust growth.    

No Club For Germs

Club soda isn’t just something used to make Canada Dry; it can even be used as an effective sanitizer for surfaces in your home. That’s pretty good to know in a world where hand sanitizer shortages are not a distant memory. A cup of vinegar and a cup of club soda are all that is needed to make a natural cleaning solution that is especially well-suited for kitchen worktops. Just spray it on a surface and scrub away with a sponge. Be sure to create the mixture on the day that you intend to use it since this natural cleaning solution loses its potency after 24 hours.     

Avoid Waste and Toxic Chemicals In Your Home with Homemade Cleaning Products

Avoid Waste and Toxic Chemicals In Your Home with Homemade Cleaning Products

Written by
Contractors.com Team

Written by Contractors.com Team