Vinegar from 16 Green Cleaning Products That Really Work

16 Green Cleaning Products That Really Work

16 Green Cleaning Products That Really Work

Shutterstock

16 Green Cleaning Products That Really Work

16 Green Cleaning Products That Really Work

Shutterstock

Spring is here and that means it’s time for a good spring-cleaning. Instead of bringing in chemical cleaners to do the dirty work, opt for a deep, green clean. Using safer cleaning products helps create a healthier home and a healthier family.

Baking soda

Baking soda

Shutterstock

Baking soda works well on most things in the kitchen because it doesn’t scratch. That makes it a good choice for countertops, oven tops, stainless steel, and the sink. If you have stubborn stains, use a baking soda paste of three parts baking soda and one part water.  Let it sit for a while, scrub the area, and then wipe clean.

Vinegar

Vinegar

Shutterstock

White vinegar is a natural disinfectant that works just about everywhere. Mix a 50/50 solution of vinegar and water for a germ-busting disinfectant to clean kitchen counters, bathrooms, and most floors. You can bring this mixture to a boil in the microwave to loosen stuck on food and grease. And 1 cup of vinegar in dishwasher will clean its inner workings. One warning: Don’t use vinegar on marble or other porous surfaces.

Lemon oil

Lemon oil

Shutterstock

Lemon oil is used to clean many objects in the house, including those long-forgotten nooks and crannies. You can add the lemon oil into solutions (usually with water and vinegar) to clean the stove top, appliances, washing machine, trash cans, windows, and even air vents.

Borax

Borax

iStock

Borax is an effective mold killer and works well on hard water deposits.  Use a paste to scrub the sides of the tub to a sparkling white, or mix a solution of 1 cup of borax with 1 gallon of hot water to eat away at mold in tile grout. A cup of borax left in the toilet bowl overnight leaves it fresh and clean.

Soy candles

Soy candles

Shutterstock

Many popular air fresheners contain a host of man-made chemicals that can contribute to indoor air pollution and the manufacturers aren’t required to list the ingredients on the label. These “air-fresheners” can actually leave dangerous levels of hormone disrupting phthalates or formaldehyde (a known carcinogen) behind. Fresh air, baking soda (sprinkled in everything from garbage cans to tennis shoes), soy candles, or essential oils are healthier options.

Natural fabric softener

Natural fabric softener

Shutterstock

“Green up” laundry day by switching to a phosphate-free plant-based detergent. For softer clothes add ¼ cup of vinegar to the rinse cycle as a natural fabric softener (use less for HE machines). The smell of vinegar disappears as the clothes dry.

Hydrogen peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide

Shutterstock

Hydrogen peroxide is a natural and non-toxic option you can use to quickly kill bacteria, mold, and mildew.  Use it full strength on things like cutting boards or dilute it with water for finished surfaces. Mix only what you need as water and exposure to light reduces hydrogen peroxide’s cleaning properties.

Olive oil

Olive oil

iStock

Straight olive oil can get the shine you want on your stainless steel pieces without polluting the air inside your home. Use a rag to polish the appliances all over with olive oil and then wipe away any extra with a soft dry rag. Your stainless steel will look just as shiny as if you had used a commercial cleaner.

Lemon juice

Lemon juice

Shutterstock

You can also substitute lemon juice in place of vinegar to shine your wood pieces while leaving a pleasant scent behind.

Unscented soap

Unscented soap

Shutterstock

Avoid using soaps which contain petroleum distillates, according to EarthEasy. To prevent smells such as fish and onion and to get them off cutting boards, wipe them with vinegar and wash in soapy water. Whatever soap you choose, just don’t go for “antibacterial” soap. This is one household item you should throw out immediately. “Antibacterial” only sounds like a good product, but it’s the triclosan component in the soap that causes problems. The Food and Drug Administration says that animal studies have shown that triclosan alters hormone regulation.

Washing soda

Washing soda

iStock

This simple natural cleaner, which is technically Sodium Carbonate, can be used on its own or in various DIY recipes for natural cleaning. It’s a highly alkaline substance that’s unique chemical composition makes it excellent for household uses like degreasing, brightening and cleaning tough messes.

Isopropyl Alcohol

Isopropyl Alcohol

Shutterstock

Rubbing alcohol is an underrated cleaning product that should be used more often. Its purposes vary widely from homemade disinfectant and stainless steel cleaner to hair spray remover and refresher for sponges and clothes as well as phone cleaner.  You can even use it to dissolve windshield frost.

Cornstarch

Cornstarch

Shutterstock

This powdery carbohydrate extracted from corn has many uses. You can apply it to clean grease strains on clothes and to clean silver.  Cornstarch is also perfect for removing carpet stains and cleaning stuffed animals (which comes in handy if you have kids). You can also use it to scrub pots, pans, and cook tops.

Citrus solvent

Citrus solvent

Shutterstock

Natural citrus-orange solvent based cleaners are concentrated, environmentally safe, ecology friendly, and biodegradable. They leave no residue but a pleasant natural citrus orange smell fragrance. It can be used to clean paint brushes, oil and grease, some stains, and on floors, carpets, tiles, walls, counter tops, sinks, etc.

Liquid castile soap

Liquid castile soap

Shutterstock

Castile soap is not only a great soap for washing your body and hair as part of a natural skin care routine, but you can do the laundry with it, according to Dr. Draxe. It doesn’t lose potency with time and is often seen in the form of liquid Castile soap or pure Castile soap as a bar. It can be used for a tub scrub, glass cleaner, all-purpose household cleaner, and dishwasher soap.

Natural salt

Natural salt

Shutterstock

Salt is a natural cleaner and has a multitude of uses. It dissolves in water and can be mixed with several other natural cleaners such as vinegar and lemon juice. It’s often used to clean oven and hob spills as well as to clean burned pans. Salt can also be mixed with citrus fruit juice to make a handy cleaner for metals, according to GreenFootSteps.