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by Kelly MarraSpring cleaning is always a big deal in my house. It’s the one time of the year when I feel compelled to dust, mop, wipe down, disinfect and vacuum every square in of living space all at once. But there’s no point to all of that hard work when I’m just spreading toxic chemicals around the house with cleaning supplies!
Using natural, green cleaners is important not only to your household’s health but also the planet.
People buy bottles and bottles of cleaning supplies because each one has a specific job: you’ve got something to clean the kitchen counters, windows and mirrors, bathtub and shower, the toilet bowl, not to mention separate bottles for disinfecting things too. That’s a whole lot of plastic bottles filled with toxic ingredients and those will all just end up in a landfill.
When I used commercial cleaning products to clean my house, I opened all the windows and turned on all the fans to try to get rid of the caustic cleaning smells. When it was too cold to open windows I’d always find myself feeling lightheaded and coughing like crazy. Those signs were telling me I was inhaling a lot of toxic fumes into my body. Just remember if it smells caustic, it’s probably toxic! If it says “keep away from children”, or “if ingested, call physician immediately”, how safe can it’s fumes be to inhale? If your cleaners aren’t safe enough to eat, they may not be safe enough. How much are they really kept “out of reach of children” if they’re sprayed and wiped all over your home?
In Part II of this series we will go over uses for vinegar and baking soda. Now, let’s talk about other favorite green cleaners: lemons and salt. Use these recipes and replace all of your old commercial cleaners for a non-toxic clean house!
Lemons have antiseptic properties and a high content of citric acid. This makes them perfect for neutralizing stains and adding to laundry, their fresh sent makes them perfect for deodorizing the house.
Salt isn’t an ingredient most people think of when they want to clean the house. However, salt is a great abrasive agent to use when scrubbing pots or tubs and is also good when dissolved in water at removing stains like blood.
Gentle Scrub: mix together ¼ cup salt and ¼ cup baking soda. Use this gentle scrub on everything from the refrigerator to the tub.
Wooden Cutting Board Cleaner: get rid of stains and odors on wooden cutting boards. Just sprinkle ¼ cup of salt on a damp cutting board and let it sit for a few minutes. Use a damp sponge to rub the salt in, lifting the stain and removing the odors. Follow this up by rubbing ½ a lemon on the cutting board too!
Lemon Vinegar: lemon vinegar is a powerful cleaning tool that cuts grease, cleans well and smells great. Simply save lemon peels, filling a small jar with them. Cover the peel with white vinegar, cap and let sit for 3-4 weeks. Strain the lemon peel out and pour the vinegar into a spray bottle. Use the vinegar anywhere and everywhere.
Lemon Tub Scrub: this is my favorite way to clean the bathtub! Sprinkle several handfuls of baking soda on a dry tub. Cut a lemon into quarters. Using one quarter at a time, squeeze and scrub the tub with the lemon until it is clean and soap scum is gone! Rinse well after.
Time-old knowledge like these simple and effective cleaners is sometimes scarce these days. Instead of standing dumbfounded down the grocery store aisle with hundreds of advertisements swimming through your head, wouldn’t you love to confidently know where and how to source the commodities your family needs? Check out our Healthy Homesteader Course, in which you’ll master the most important things you need to know to live with the seasons, find your food & medicine in the forest and thrive on whole foods and a natural lifestyle!
What is YOUR favorite homemade cleaner? Leave a comment!
Kelly Marra is the kitchen and health conscious force behind RawLifeCoaching.com. She spends her time working in her ever expanding garden, creating new, healthy and delicious recipes in the kitchen and playing board games with her husband. With free time she loves to hike and take photos of everything.