Our sense of smell is an incredible, emotional and mental trigger.
Unfortunately, things “smelling clean” has become synonymous with the smell of chemicals, additives, and man-made products that can be harmful to our skin, our lungs, and our water supply.
Thankfully, there are other options! You just might have to give up the idea that clean clothes need to smell like dryer sheets and clean toilets like, well, like chemicals.
No matter if your personal motivation stems from relieving allergies, reducing chemicals in your well water, or simply doing your part to leave this earth cleaner than we found it, here are a few suggestions on how to get started with effective, chemical-free cleaning.
Natural Chemical-Free Cleaning Ingredients:
Let’s start with a few proven recipes. Luckily, chemical-free cleaning is often less expensive than the alternative. With a few key ingredients, you’ll be up and running in no time.
Here are the essentials:
- White Vinegar.
- Liquid Castile Soap or Sal Suds.
- Natural Salt.
- Baking Soda.
- Washing Soda.
- Hydrogen Peroxide.
- Microfiber Cloths.
You can always add essential oils (such as mint, lavender, and vanilla) to your recipes to make them smell a little more inviting.
Here Are 7 Recipes for Chemical-Free Cleaning:
Place 1 tsp borax, ½ tsp washing soda, and 1 tsp liquid castile soap in a spray bottle (preferably glass). Add 2 cups of warm water. Distilled is best, but boiled tap water is fine as well. Cover the bottle and shake well. Use as a bathroom or kitchen cleaner, for pre-treating floors, or disinfecting kids’ toys.
Collect fresh lemon and orange peels, pour white vinegar over them and let them soak for a few weeks. This makes a great citrus-infused vinegar that cleans windows and most smooth surfaces.
For light stains, use a damp sponge and regular baking soda to scrub the tub or tiles, then rinse with warm water. For tougher stains or dirt, use a damp sponge with full strength white vinegar to wipe down the entire surface. Immediately scour with baking soda and a brush or sponge.
Dump a cup of baking soda into the toilet and let it soak for an hour. Pour in a cup of white vinegar, leave for 5 mins and then flush. There’s no scrubbing needed for normal cleaning. If your toilet is extra dirty you may need to scrub before you flush.
In a spray bottle, mix one cup Dawn dish soap, one cup of white vinegar, and one cup of club soda. Shake well, spray on the stains, let sit for 5-10 minutes. Scrub in small circles to work the mixture into the fabric. Make sure you thoroughly dry the upholstery so no watermarks are left behind.
To remove prints and smudges from stainless steel, spread olive oil across the surface and buff clean to clear the oil. You can use flour or cornstarch to soak up any excess oil and then wipe away with a clean cloth.
To bleach stains from tomato soup and other acidic foods on dishwasher-safe items, rub lemon juice on the spots, let dry in a sunny place, then wash as usual.
And a few other helpful tips:
- If you’re looking for a way to cut grease on pots and pans before washing, sprinkle salt in them to absorb the extra oils, then wash as normal.
- Instead of using paper towels, use microfiber cloths for cleaning. These cloths are reusable and more absorbent than your average paper towel, so you’ll save the earth and your bank account!
Remember, every little bit helps so even if you only swap out one chemical cleaner for a natural one, you are making a difference!
Do you have a favorite recipe for chemical-free cleaning that did not get mentioned here? Please let us know in the comments!