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Making Your Own Natural Cleaners

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1-lemons-flickr-Sarah Cady
Photo credit: Sarah Cady / Flickr

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People use commercial cleaners because they want their homes clean and healthy. These products do a fantastic job of making dirt disappear, but they are anything but healthy. The ingredients are toxic and they pose a danger to your family’s health.

With such simple ingredients as vinegar, baking soda and lemon juice, you can make your own natural cleaners, and kick those chemical-laden products to the curb.

Vinegar as an All-Purpose Cleaner

White distilled vinegar acts as an all-purpose cleaner because it works wonders in the kitchen and bathroom. The high acidity level makes it capable of killing bacteria and germs on non-porous surfaces.

Mix a half-and-half solution of white distilled vinegar with water to tackle tough jobs in the bathroom. Spray the mixture on the sink, in the bathtub and on the countertops. Let it sit for a minute and then use a soft, lint-free towel to wipe it off. Vinegar removes hard-water stains and soap scum around sink fixtures and leaves them
glistening.

When you clean the inside of the toilet, flush it to lower the water level and then pour some undiluted vinegar around the rim. Use a brush to scrub the bowl clean. You can also use the vinegar and water solution to mop your bathroom floors and clean the glass.

Vinegar is an acid, so when you are cleaning surfaces dilute it properly to keep it from messing up tile grout. Also, if you’ve never used this ingredient to clean, test it on a hidden area to make sure it won’t cause damage or discoloration to the surface.

Scrubbing and Deodorizing Power of Baking Soda

Instead of spending your hard-earned cash on a non-abrasive scrubber, buy some baking soda. If you have tough stains in the sink, make a homemade scouring paste by mixing one-fourth cup of baking soda with one teaspoon of detergent and a few drops of vinegar. Spread the paste inside the sink and use a towel to scour away grit and stains.

If your toilet could use a deep scrub, pour a little baking soda inside the rim and follow it with a cup of undiluted vinegar. Let the mixture sit for two minutes before scrubbing it with the toilet brush. When you’re done, simply flush the residue to reveal a sparkling toilet bowl.

In addition to its scrubbing powers, baking soda absorbs odors. Open a box and stick it in the refrigerator, closet, laundry room or anywhere else stale odors lurk. You can also sprinkle it in trash cans and in shoes to get rid of the stink.

Lemon Juice to Polish and Shine

If you have copper or brass items you want shined, polish them with a paste made from lemon juice and baking soda. When stuck-on-stains are a problem on dishes and cutting boards, cut a lemon in half, sprinkle baking soda on the cut part and scrub.

You can also mix one-fourth cup of lemon juice with one-half cup of olive oil to make a natural furniture polish. Dip a soft, lint-free cloth into the mixture and polish to your heart’s content. Lemon juice is a natural bleaching agent, so before you use it, test it on an inconspicuous area to make sure it won’t damage surfaces.

Every time you use chemical-based cleaning products in your home, you release potentially harmful toxins. Using natural cleaning products made from vinegar, baking soda and lemon juice is a better option. These simple ingredients can clean your home just as well as commercial cleaners without jeopardizing your family’s health.


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