There are a few things that are unavoidable in life; taxes, death, and cleaning.
That’s right, I added cleaning in there. If you have parents like mine who like to casually drop in to “visit” (mostly to judge my habitat and make sure I’m not eating ice cream for dinner), then cleaning is a necessary evil. I mean, unless you want to end up on an episode of Hoarders, but that’s definitely not my ideal avenue of Internet fame. So, as a twenty-something, I had to learn pretty early on my way around the cleaning section of my closest grocery store.
Here’s the thing, though, there’s a catch 22 with cleaners. If you want them to be cheap, they’re probably pretty caustic, and if you want them to be safe around kids and pets, they’re probably pretty expensive. Even the ones that are safer for small hands to be around are still going to make them sick if they get into them. Making your own cleaners is both cheaper and safer. Plus, your kid or dog won’t be too bad off if they accidentally chug some vinegar! With that in mind, here are a few natural cleaning recipes that you can make with simple ingredients found around your home or local grocery store!
There are tons of these on the market, but you don’t really need to buy them. Since everyone needs a general cleaner, this is one recipe that you should really have up your sleeve.
Just mix equal parts water and vinegar in your spray bottle and mix it up. Really, that’s all you have to do. You can add essential oils if you want because they will help to mask the vinegar’s smell. Additionally, some oils have antibacterial properties, but the vinegar should take care of that. To use it, just spray your surface, let it sit for about five minutes and wipe it off. It’ll disinfect, clean and polish. Plus, you’ll never need to worry about running out of cleaner again.
Granite has been a popular countertop choice for the past several years. With tons of chemical-laden options out there, here is a green cleaning solution that will keep you and your family safe.
Pour the rubbing alcohol into a spray bottle, then the dish soap. Fill up the spray bottle almost to the top with water, then add your favorite essential oil. Swirl the liquid around in the bottle so it mixes thoroughly, then use it to make your granite countertops shine!
Anyone with kids or animals knows that wood takes a beating, and the spray-on cleaners just don’t seem to help. While no quick fix is going to do the job that sanding and restraining will, you probably don’t want to do all of that while you still have young kids or animals. Plus, wood stain isn’t exactly kid-friendly.
Mix equal amounts of vinegar and olive oil. You don’t need much, maybe one-half cup total – so one-quarter cup each – since a little of this stuff goes a long way. Clear off and dust the surface you plan to work on, dip a rag or paper towel into the mixture, and rub it onto the wood. Go over the whole area, let it sit for about five minutes, then go back and wipe up any excess. That’s it. You’ll be amazed at the difference.
Dryer sheets are awesome, but they’re so stinking expensive! Plus, they’re single-use items, which generally makes them less-than-awesome for the environment. They don’t have to be single-use, though, if you’ve got an old flannel shirt and some scissors.
One of the easiest containers to use is probably going to be a reusable baby wipes container. Cut the flannel into sheets, preferably ones that are approximately baby-wipe sized. If you don’t fill up the whole box, it’s no problem. You can always make more or just rotate them often.
Fold your flannel sheets together so they pop up from the diaper pail one after another. You can also just lay them in there, open the lid and pull them out.
Then mix three-quarters cup warm water with one-quarter cup fabric softener and pour it over the wipes you just folded. It might feel like sacrilege the first few times, but you’ll get used to it. Let them sit for a while so the wipes can soak up as much of the softener as possible, and then they’re ready to use. Just grab one and toss it into the dryer.
Depending on where you live, you might be looking at some snow this weekend. If that’s the case, you’d probably love to have a simple way to clear off your windshield, without having to sit in the car and stare at your breath, or scrape at the windshield and try to see around your breath.
Mix about one part water to three parts vinegar in the spray bottle. Put on shoes, run outside, spray your windshield and windows, and come back in for the night. This will prevent ice buildup on your windshield and windows. You can use it in the morning as well to help loosen the ice and make scraping easier, but don’t expect it to melt it off for you. It’s vinegar, not a blowtorch.
Want a sparkling clean bathtub without having to air it out for a day afterwards? This is the trick for you! As an added bonus, you probably don’t have to buy anything. This recipe consists of only two ingredients! Well, three, if you count elbow grease.
Get your bathtub wet and sprinkle the salt all over it. Then, cover the grapefruit half with more salt and scrub your bathtub until the stains come off. Feel free to use the rind on stubborn areas and add more salt as you go. Rinse it out when you’re done, or don’t if you’re dreaming of the ocean. The grapefruit may have some antimicrobial properties as well, so you can step out feeling extra clean.
As you can see, you can clean basically anything in your home with water, vinegar and citrus, so stop spending so much money on more expensive, irritating items. Make some of your own, open the windows and get the spring cleaning done.