With spring just around the corner, many of us are gearing up for the annual tradition of spring cleaning.
While it can be satisfying to give your home a deep clean, it's also important to consider the products you use to do so. Many traditional cleaning products contain harsh chemicals that can be harmful to both your health and the environment. Luckily, there are natural alternatives that you can make at home using ingredients you may already have on hand.
In this article, we'll explore six natural cleaning products that are not only effective but also affordable and easy to make that can easily be made at home with everyday products from your pantry. If you're looking for ways to make your spring cleaning routine more eco-friendly and budget-friendly, these natural cleaning solutions are definitely worth checking out.
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Kitchen cleaner and deodorizer
- 4 T. baking soda
- 1 4 cups of warm water
Baking soda is invaluable for making surfaces shine and absorbing bad smells.
The substance is also a natural buffer, removing dried and stuck materials while still being gentle enough not to scratch surfaces. Baking soda can be used on any appliance or surface in the kitchen. Mix the baking soda and water until a paste forms. Rub onto dirty spots with a sponge or cloth, then rinse.
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- 1/2 lemon
- 1/2 cup of borax powder
Borax is particularly adept at removing rust that forms in the bathroom and kitchen. Although this recipe is most useful for hard surfaces like tubs, sinks, and counters, borax can also be used for carpets, to clean floors, and even in gardens.
For the scrub, mix borax powder and juice from the lemon with water and apply to spots with a sponge. Alternatively, you can cut the lemon in half and dip one of the halves directly into the borax and use it to scrub. Wait a few minutes before rinsing.
Note that borax has low toxicity levels, which can cause skin irritation, so avoid using too much. Never use borax in personal care products, kids' toys such as slime or near food and pets.
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- 1/2 cup of lemon juice (roughly four lemons' worth)
- 1/4 cup of water
- 1/2 tsp of liquid soap or detergent
- A few drops of olive oil
Though only added in small amounts, olive oil adds powerful natural shine and moisture to wood. Liquid detergent or soap cleans out grime, while lemon juice adds a pleasant smell. You can also swap out lemon juice with vinegar, allowing you to make more of the solution and store it for future use.
To use this cleaner, mix all ingredients, then use a sponge to apply it to wood surfaces. Before whipping up this recipe, consider the type of wood you're cleaning: Oil and wax finishes require a gentle scrub, while hard finishes are more durable.
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- 2 cups of water
- 2 tsp of tea tree oil
- 1/4 cup of baking soda
- 24-ounce spray bottle
Creating this cleaner is easy: Add the ingredients to the spray bottle and shake well. Getting rid of mold is a matter of killing the growth rather than just scrubbing it off. Baking soda and tea tree oil are both antimicrobial, meaning they will naturally eat away the spores.
After combining the baking soda and oil with the water, use it to spray down the mold-affected area. Allow the solution to sit for 24 hours, then mix an additional 1/4 cup of baking soda with the solution to form a paste. Slather some on top of the area being cleaned, rub with a sponge or brush, then rinse.
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- 2-3 oranges, lemons, and/or limes, sliced
- Handful of fresh herbs (basil, rosemary, or lavender)
- 2-4 cinnamon sticks
- 1 tsp. whole cloves
Combine all the ingredients in a small pot, filling with water until three-fourths full, cover, and boil. When boiling begins, remove the lid, bring the pot down to a simmer, and let the scents travel through the air. Remember never to leave a simmering pot unattended. Add small amounts of water as the mixture simmers.
Preserve the excess for a few more uses by storing it in an airtight container and repeating the boiling and simmering process. To maximize the effectiveness of this recipe, use fresh fruits and herbs, and choose longer-lasting picks, such as citrus and woody herbs.
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- Baking soda
- White vinegar
Only two ingredients are needed to clear drains with an at-home solution. No prior preparation is necessary—just pour some baking soda down the drain, followed by the vinegar. The ingredients naturally react together to break down dirt and grease.
After 15 minutes, pour hot water down the drain to wash away excess soda and vinegar. Not only will buildup be removed, but the drain will also be disinfected and deodorized. If the drain continues to work slowly afterwards, repeat the process with the combo one or two more times to eradicate stubborn materials.
By incorporating these natural cleaning products into your routine, you can keep your home clean and healthy while also doing your part for the planet.
This story originally appeared on The Rounds and was produced and distributed in partnership with Stacker Studio.