With sustainable living, caring for the environment around us and just all round better health, there is a significant focus these days on doing things more organically and naturally. Cleaning the house is no different, so in this post we’ll be taking a quick look at the top 10 natural cleaners you can use each and every day.
These cleaners are NOT cleaning products on the market in the traditional sense, such as buying a bottle of “Windex” or “Spray ‘n’ Wipe”. These are just natural household types of items that you can use individually, or combine with other products, to clean all of your house.
For each of the 10 I’ll mention the product, possibly what you can combine it with and what it’s useful for when it comes to cleaning.
So let’s get started and see what we can come up with.
#1 – Baking Soda
Also often known as card soda, or bi-carbonate of soda, baking soda is one of the most versatile natural household cleaners that gets results without harming you or your furniture, decor or possessions.
What’s really good about baking soda is it’s slightly abrasive without being damaging. It’s also a mild bleach (think baking soda in toothpaste for whitening teeth). You can make a paste out of it and use it to clean the dishes and even lightly soiled pots and pans. It also has oil busting properties.
Actually, it’s one of the most versatile natural cleaners. You can scour the tiles in your bathroom with baking soda and water and it’s quite effective at cleaning that tile grout, with the help of a scrubbing brush.
Use it on a damp cloth and wipe down those kitchen benches. You’ll be amazed how it removes built up grime, grease and stains with ease.
Some people even use it to remove marks from walls.
There are many other uses for it, such as cleaning jewellery, absorbing fridge odours, cleaning furniture, mopping up engine oil in the garage or driveway, even unclogging slow or blocked drains.
It’s also a well known oven cleaner.
#2 – White Vinegar
Many a naturalist swears by the many household uses of white vinegar, either on its own or mixed with water or another natural substance.
One of the most common ways white vinegar is used to clean house is to mix it with about 50% water in a spray bottle and use it to clean windows, glass furniture and mirrors. It’s very similar to the window cleaning products you can buy, as it tends to evaporate and doesn’t leave streaks.
It can be a little smelly while you use it, but that vinegar smell soon dissipates.
It’s also great for when you want to mop the floors. You won’t want to use a fifty-fifty mixture for this. Instead, add about a half cup to a cup of vinegar to your mop bucket filled with hot water. The vinegar with work as a cleanser, disinfectant and permeate the home with a mild, fresh aroma.
With the spray bottle method, you can even use it to spray on and wipe down those kitchen benches and well as the bathroom cabinets. It’s pretty useful for cleaning inside microwave ovens as well.
#3 – Lemon Juice
Lemon juice is a little like baking soda, except for the strong citrus scent. It’s a mild bleach and also has grease busting capabilities.
It’s because of it’s fresh citrus scent that it’s a popular and very natural cleaner. It’s hard for something not to smell clean and fresh when it smells like lemons.
Mixed with a bit of salt, it can be used to bring a gleam back to copper and real brass, as it’s excellent for removing tarnish from metal surfaces, such as on furniture. Chrome is another metal that loves a bit of lemon TLC.
Lemon juice kills bacteria and germs, so it’s good for using in the kitchen, especially for sanitising those cutting boards.
Mix with water in a spray bottle and use to clean kitchen benches and bathroom cabinets.
Place a slice on a plate in the fridge to remove odours, and even add some to your dishwashing for an added grease busting and freshness boost.
#4 – Tea Tree Oil
Possibly one of the most common uses for tea tree oil when it comes to cleaning the home is to add a little to a bucket of warm water to mop the floors. More than anything else, it really leaves your entire home smelling fresh and amazing.
A few drops of tea tree oil mixed with water is good for cleaning and dissolving mould build up in bathrooms, kitchens, laundries and anywhere else mould might be prevalent. It also helps prevent mould from returning anytime soon.
It has quite strong antiseptic and antiviral properties, which makes it a very handy household item, both for cleaning, as well as treating wounds.
Mixed with water in a spray bottle, you can even use tea tree oil as a natural air freshener. Not only does it permeate the air with its fresh scent, it can also kill airborne germs.
#5 – Eucalyptus Oil
Eucalyptus oil can really be used in exactly the same ways as tea tree oil. Many of the properties mirror that of tea tree, so you can utilise it for mopping the floors, as a disinfectant, room deodoriser, germ killer and more.
Some people swear it’s an awesome toilet cleaner. Simply add some to warm water and clean the bowl with a toilet brush. It removes grime, mould and disinfects all at the same time, as well as leaving the toilet smelling lovely and fresh.
#6 – Borax
Apart from being a known pest repellent and killer, borax is also a very handy household cleaning agent, either used on its own, or mixed with other stuff.
It can be used for cleaning carpets for starters, by adding a small amount to the carpet cleaner’s water reservoir. It helps to lift stains and that deep down dirt in the pile.
As a toilet cleanser, it really does get results. Much like baking soda, borax is a mild bleach and also great at removing stubborn stains on porcelain. It also has natural bacteria fighting properties which make it perfect for use in bathrooms and kitchens.
It’s great for killing off mould and cleaning tiles and grout. It has mild abrasive properties just like baking soda and is a really neutral kind of cleanser with numerous uses around the home.
It’s even a flea deterrent, if you want to sprinkle some around where your pets like to lay, either indoors or outside.
Some people even use borax in their dishwashers, both for washing the dishes and for cleaning the dishwasher itself.
#7 – Hydrogen Peroxide
You’ll find this in many tooth whitening agents and hair bleach. It’s actually a pretty natural substance that has many bleaching, cleansing and medicinal uses. Super versatile.
What can you clean with hydrogen peroxide?
Pour it directly onto a cloth and use it to wipe down your kitchen benches, cabinets in the bathroom, and even use it to remove rust stains on sinks and porcelain.
Pour a healthy dose into the toilet bowl to remove stains, give it a scrub, then flush for a beautiful clean toilet.
Peroxide is a natural bacteria killer, so anywhere around the home that you want to clean and kill germs at the same time, hydrogen peroxide should be one of your go to products.
What’s really great about this very handy substance is it’s potent, but also very cheap to buy.
You can even use it to clean glass and mirrors, as well as kill off mould growth in the bathroom. It’s uses are practically endless, and I haven’t even talked about the many ways you can use it to treat wounds and improve oral health.
#8 – Salt
I mentioned earlier that you can mix salt with lemon to polish up brass, copper and chrome, but it has a few other uses around the home as a cheap and natural cleanser as well.
Just like with baking soda and borax, salt acts as a gentle scourer, so you can use it when washing the dishes, or even cleaning the kitchen sink, bathtubs and tiles.
When mixed with other substances, such as vinegar, it really acts as a catalyst to boost the cleaning, germ killing and deodorising properties.
Mix will a little baking soda and dishwashing liquid and use it for cleaning porcelain and appliances.
Salt is also a natural germ killer, helps to prevent the build up of mould and mildew, and is a mild form of bleach.
#9 – Corn Starch
Corn starch is something that has some very effective cleaning abilities when mixed with other natural substances.
For example, blend it with baking soda, lemon juice and water to use as a highly potent tile and grout cleaner, which removes stains, built up grime and keeps mould and mildew at bay.
Another application is to mix corn starch with white vinegar to form a paste and use it to absorb stubborn stains from carpets, rugs and fabric furniture. Apply the paste, let it sit for a few minutes, then remove using a dull knife, followed up by a vacuuming, preferably wet and dry vacuuming for best results on carpet.
#10 – Toothpaste
Maybe not a totally naturally occurring substance, but it’s certainly not made from harsh chemicals.
Most toothpastes will contain a very mild abrasion and actually very good for cleaning jewellery and buffing it up, along with other metals.
Toothpaste also kills germs and bacteria.
Okay, so apart from cleaning jewellery and metals, what else can you use toothpaste for when it comes to cleaning your home?
It can be used to remove fine scratches from plastic and acrylic surfaces, such as desktop organisers and anything else made from acrylic, such as an acrylic vase. You can even remove scratches from CDs with toothpaste on a toothbrush or soft cloth.
Use toothpaste to polish up your chrome taps in the kitchen, bathrooms and laundry, and it even brightens up the keys on a piano.
Even give your iron surface a scrub and polish with the application of toothpaste, followed by a rinse with fresh water.