Herbal house cleaners are safe, inexpensive, and easy to use. With a handful of ingredients, you can clean everything from the floor to the walls. Products like hydrogen peroxide and vinegar contain antibacterial and antimicrobial properties that help break down stains and prevent bacteria growth. In fact, these nontoxic cleaners deliver a powerful punch at nominal cost. So grab the items below from your pantry and fridge and whip up a batch of green cleaners to tackle every room in the house.
Lift Stains with Lemons
Lemons are naturally acidic. As such, its enzymes work to break up stains like coffee and tomato sauce. In the book, The Naturally Clean Home, author Karyn Siegel-Maier suggests adding salt to a lemon mixture to make a gentle abrasive. Try lemons on:
- Countertops—Cut a lemon in two and dip one-half in baking soda before rubbing over stains.
- Coffee mugs and teacups—Shake salt on a lemon peel and wipe the stained area until clean.
- Plastic food containers—Rub a slice of lemon on stains from acidic foods. Let dry before washing.
Treat Spots with Baking Soda and Vinegar
Separately baking soda and vinegar make excellent cleaning agents. Mixed together they become a powerful cleaning solution. Dirt, grease, and grime loosen quickly, making them easier to remove. Use baking soda and vinegar for:
- Carpet cleaning—After vacuuming, spray the mixture on soiled carpets. Dab with a towel until the stain is gone. It will make it look like your carpet cleaning was done by a professional.
- Oven cleaning—Add one cup of baking soda to 1/3 cup of water. Spread on the oven’s surface and let sit overnight. Spray surface with vinegar and wipe clean using warm water.
- Grout cleaning—Sprinkle baking soda on grout. Then spray vinegar until the mixture bubbles. Scrub with a toothbrush and mop clean.
Disinfect with Hydrogen Peroxide
Hydrogen peroxide disinfects surfaces like bleach. Its antimicrobial and antibacterial properties kill germs and prevent bacteria from forming. Keep hydrogen peroxide capped in its brown bottle until use. When ready to use, remove the cap and add a spray nozzle to squirt the liquid on surfaces. Healthy living expert and best-selling author, Sophie Uliano suggests using it to disinfect everything in the kitchen and bathroom. Use peroxide to:
- Kill bacteria on countertops and cutting boards
- Get rid of and mold and mildew in the bathroom.
- Remove scum from sponges.
Get Streak-Free Shine with Cornstarch
In a spray bottle, combine a 50/50 mix of water and white vinegar with one tablespoon of cornstarch. Shake until the cornstarch dissolves. The mixture cleans windows and glass without leaving streaks behind. Other uses for cornstarch include:
- Absorbing grease stains—Sprinkle cornstarch on carpets or upholstery and let sit for 20 minutes before vacuuming. If stain remains, add a drop of liquid soap and rinse with cold water.
- Removing scorch marks from ironing board—Wet area with water and cover with cornstarch. Let dry and brush away the stain.
- Cleaning silverware—Add water to cornstarch to make a paste. Use a soft cloth to clean silverware.
Clean with Cream of Tartar
As the byproduct of fermented grapes, cream of tartar contains tartaric acid, which is a mild cleaning agent. It works especially well in removing scorch marks as well as lime and rust stains. Make a paste using hydrogen peroxide and rub it on the spot. Let sit for 30 minutes and clean with a damp sponge. Use cream of tartar on:
- Porcelain sinks and bathtubs.
- Aluminum cookware.
- Tile floors and walls.
No recipe is set in stone. Feel free to improvise by adding portions and substituting products until you find a formula that you like. For example, both hydrogen peroxide and vinegar effectively disinfect and remove stains. Add essential oils, if you prefer scents. Lavender, cloves, and tea tree not only release a pleasant smell into the air, they are natural disinfectants. Experiment, have fun and enjoy your naturally clean home.
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