20 Nontoxic Ways to Clean Your House
What if the microwave cleaned itself, the shower never grew mold or stains disappeared from white clothing? These green cleaning hacks deliver the look and fresh feeling of a spick-and-span house without harsh chemicals or hard work. In fact, some of these tricks are so effortless, parents can relax and enjoy some self-care time! Since there are no caustic cleaners, even kids can help. Your spring cleaning will be a breeze.
Remove dried-on food particles from the microwave without scrubbing. Place two lemon halves and a cup of water in the microwave. Heat five minutes. When time is up, wait 15 minutes with the microwave door shut. Open and wipe with a dry cloth. Watch baked-on food slide off.
Make a stainless steel sink sparkle by sprinkling baking soda in it. Gently scrub, then rinse away. Soak dish rags in white vinegar; place them in your sink and on the faucets. Wait 15 minutes, then wipe out the sink. The vinegar will remove water spots and leave the sink shiny.
Line the bottom of the kitchen garbage can with newspaper to soak up spills and catch food scraps.
Cover refrigerator shelves with clear food wrap. When there is a spill, peel away the food wrap. No more scrubbing sticky spots out of the fridge.
Put warm water and a few drops of dishwashing liquid in a dirty blender. With the lid on, turn on blender. Dump the dirty water, rinse, and presto! You’re done.
Disinfect the toilet by sprinkling baking powder in the bowl. Scrub the bowl and under the rim with a toilet brush at night before going to bed. Pour in a cup of white vinegar, which causes a foaming action. While you sleep, let the vinegar and baking soda do the work! Flush in the morning.
Keep mildew from growing in a clean shower by wiping it down with a dry hand towel after each use, saving scrubbing time later. For a dirty shower, mix equal parts white vinegar and dishwashing liquid; use a sponge to gently scrub the shower with the mixture, then rinse. (Don’t use vinegar on marble or natural stone.)
Hate mildew on your plastic shower curtain liner? Wash it in the gentle cycle of your washing machine on warm and hang to dry. To keep mildew from growing back, spray the liner with equal parts of water and vinegar.
Clean crusty bathroom faucets by soaking cleaning rags with white vinegar. Wrap the rags around the faucets and wait 30 minutes. Scrub hardened water deposits away gently with a toothbrush and rinse.
Add one-half cup of white vinegar to half a gallon warm water to mop your kitchen floor. Don’t like the smell of vinegar? Add a few drops of essential oil. Again, don’t use vinegar on natural stone or marble, and test an inconspicuous area before mopping a hardwood floor.
Furniture and Fixtures
Use a squeegee to remove embedded pet hair from furniture and carpets.
Use your iron to remove unsightly water rings from furniture. Empty the water out of the iron and heat to high. Cover the water stain with a white pillowcase. Move the hot iron back and forth over the pillowcase. The spot will disappear.
Trap dust rather than relocate it with a Microfiber mitt. When done, toss the mitt in the washer (don’t use fabric softener on it).
Dust fan blades with a pillowcase. Pull the pillowcase over the entire fan blade and wrap tightly. Pull across and off the blade. The dust clumps will be trapped in the pillowcase instead of falling through the air.
Stubborn stains on your favorite white top? Wash and hang the garment out to dry in the sun for a few hours. The sun will bleach the stain and brighten dingy whites. This also works on colored fabric, but don’t leave it in the sun too long because the colors will fade.
Clean blinds by making a solution with equal parts water and vinegar. Spray or soak some of the solution on an old sock or rag and wipe the blinds with it.
Forget scrubbing – use a squeegee to clean windows and mirrors. Put a squirt of dishwashing liquid in approximately half a bucket of water. Use a sponge to apply the soapy water. Squeegee off for streak-free windows.
Instead of using commercial air fresheners with strong perfumes, steam fresh ingredients in a pan on the stove or in a potpourri burner or small Crockpot. Add water and then throw in your favorite scents like cinnamon sticks, vanilla beans, fresh thyme or mint, cloves or eucalyptus.
Wash dishwasher-safe plastic toys in the dishwasher using an eco-friendly detergent.
Dust dirty stuffed animals with baking powder and put in a pillowcase for an hour. Remove the stuffed animals and vacuum with an attachment tool. The baking powder deodorizes the toys and soaks up oily spots.
Green Clean Supply List:
Keep these commonly-used green cleaning supplies on hand.
- Baking soda
- White vinegar
- Dishwashing liquid
- Distilled water
- Essential oils
- Microfiber mitt
- Glass spray bottle
- Old socks and rags