Creating a green kitchen and house is a great way to keep your family safe from harsh and damaging chemicals in cleaning products, and help the environment at the same time.
With a few simple green cleaning hacks, you can eliminate the need for chemicals and freshen up your house with the smell of fresh lemons, rather than bleach and chlorine.
My grandmother used things like lemon juice for laundry stains and baking soda to clean out the refrigerator. It used to be a way of life to use natural products to clean with, before there were so many cleaning products on the market.
Why not get back to cleaning with natural ingredients? See the 25 simple green cleaning hacks below to get started.
Cut Out Paper Products
- It really is not necessary to go through a case of paper towels every month for the sake of cleaning your home. Saving paper by avoiding disposable paper towels is a top-notch way to save trees. When you save trees, you save the environment.
- Use newspaper and a vinegar and water solution for sparkling clean windows.
- Use microfiber clothes to wipe down countertops and tables instead of disposable sponges.
- Use old clothing cut into squares for polishing furniture. They can be thrown into the washing machine occasionally.
Use Natural Cleaning Products
Start by gathering a few of the natural ingredients you need to start cleaning green. These are easy to find items that you can add to your grocery list.
Common things found in your home such as baking soda, lemon juice, and vinegar go a long way in green cleaning.
- Borax – disinfects, whitens and deodorizes
- Baking soda – Eliminates odors, works well with lemon & vinegar
- White vinegar – disinfects and loosens dirt
- Lemon juice – disinfects, cuts through grease
- Olive oil – picks up dirt, polishes wood
PRO TIP: You can’t clean everything with these cleaners. One thing to remember is that acid can damage certain surfaces, like natural stone countertops and flooring, and anything that is brass plated, or wood floors.
Always test a small area before cleaning with a new product, to make sure the solution you’re using won’t damage the surface.
- Pour ½ cup borax and 1 tbsp lemon juice into your drain to loosen up clogs. Leave it for two minutes, then pour a quart of boiling water into the drain.
- Get rid of sticky residue from stickers that don’t come off easily with a mixture of two parts borax and one part water. Rub the mixture onto the mess until the adhesive dissolves, then rinse clean.
- Use borax to clean your bathroom by sprinkling it directly onto a damp sponge or soft cloth and use as you would a powdered cleanser. You can use it to clean fiberglass surfaces without scratching the finish. Rinse thoroughly with clean water.
- Remove stains from stainless steel or porcelain sinks. Make a paste with 1/2 cup borax and 1/8 cup lemon juice. Use a sponge or cloth to rub the paste into the stains, leave it for 5 minutes, then rinse with warm water.
- Clean your hardwood floors by adding 2 tbsp borax and 4 tbsp vinegar to your mop bucket. Add a pinch of dish soap to it and fill the bucket with warm water.
- Put some baking soda on a damp sponge with a little kosher salt and watch your bathroom sparkle.
- Baking soda is an excellent cleanser for your refrigerator mixed with water and lemon juice. The lemon juice gives your refrigerator a nice, clean scent.
- Baking soda added into your rinse cycle of your wash will create a soft, clean feel to your clothing.
- Sprinkle one cup of baking soda across the bottom of the dishwasher. Run a short, hot water cycle. The dishwasher will be fresh-smelling and have a brightened, stain-free interior.
- Clean the grout in your shower or bath tub. Mix together two parts baking soda and one part hydrogen peroxide. Use a cloth or an old toothbrush to apply the mixture to the grout. Leave for 10 minutes. Wash with water.
- Add a tbsp of white vinegar with 1 cup of water to your tea kettle and boil to remove hard water stains from the bottom of the kettle.
- Clean windows with a streak-free shine by mixing 2 tablespoons of white vinegar with a gallon of water and dispense it with a spray bottle.
- Clean your dishwasher by placing a large glass measuring cup filled with two cups of vinegar on the top rack of your dishwasher, then run a cycle as usual with no detergent or heat dry.
- When your towels lose their fluffiness, put them in the washing machine with 1/2 cup of white vinegar and no detergent. This will help remove detergent residue and minerals that are make them feel stiff.
- Remove hard-to-clean microwave splatters and stains by placing 1/2-cup vinegar and 1/2-cup water in a glass bowl. Microwave 2-3 minutes, or until it boils, then wipe away buildup with ease.
* Always spot test a small area before applying lemon juice to countertops and other items you want to clean.
- Lemon juice can remove tough stains such as cosmetics from your bathroom countertop.
- Instead of using bleach, try a half cup of lemon juice in the rinse cycle for brighter whites.
- Water, vinegar, and lemon juice will tackle the inside of your refrigerator and leave it smelling lemony fresh.
- A little squeeze of lemon mixed with your dish detergent or with borax can make it easier to scrub pots and pans.
- Soak plastic food storage containers in dilute lemon juice to remove stains and odors. Add baking soda and scrub, rinse and dry.
- Clean bits from your cast iron pans with salt and a bit of olive oil, so you can remove the scraps while preserving your seasoning.
- Put a dab of olive oil on a soft cloth and rub stainless steel appliances, pots, and sinks to prevent streaks, water spots, tarnish, and corrosion. Finish by buffing with a soft cloth.
- Bring back the beautiful look of wood by using a bit of slightly warm olive oil to cover small scratches and water rings. Apply the oil with a soft cloth and then buff with a dry cloth.
- House plants like ferns and palms will be lush if you add two tablespoons of oil to the base of the plant about once per month.
- Shine and polish wood furniture. Combine 3 parts olive oil and 1 part lemon juice in a bottle. Spray the surface and buff with a dry cloth.
Eliminating paper products and harsh cleaning chemicals from your home is a great way to “go green”. You’ll see how all those extra products were never necessary to keep your home spotless.
What things do you use to clean your home? Have a tip you want to share with us? Tell us in the comments.
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