The Best Household Staples to Green Your Cleaning Routine
Cleaning up our eco act can be tough when there are so many products to buy – most packaged in plastic - for so many different tasks around the house. Luckily, two of the most effective, non-toxic, and affordable ingredients for cleaning green are likely already somewhere in your home. These classics – vinegar and baking soda – are well worth revisiting if you’re looking for greener solutions to keeping your home fresh and clean.
Nothing works like good old vinegar and baking soda to polish away grit and grime around the house. From cleaning sinks to toilets and even hard water stains, the elementary school volcano classic combination does half the work for you as the soda bubbles and foams when you add vinegar. To fight a really tough stain, let the mixture sit for a while, then scrub it down if needed. No icky chemicals, but lots of fresh sparkling clean.
While the mixture can smell strong, you might be surprised to notice that your hands feel super soft after scrubbing in the vinegar baking soda solution! The baking soda helps to exfoliate your skin, leaving it feeling beautifully refreshed. Definitely don’t try that with chemical-based cleaners!
Clean Green Glass and Counters
If you’re not so keen on spraying ammonia on your glass and then leaning into it to wipe it all down, your lungs are about to let out a huge exhale of thanks. Refill an old spray bottle with a few ounces of vinegar and then fill the rest with water to make your own eco-friendly, effective glass cleaner. Spray it on then wipe it down with a microfiber cloth for a streak-free shine. It’ll smell like vinegar until the solution dries, but if that bothers you, add a little essential oil to make the solution smell however you like.
This cleaner can also freshen your countertops. If you want to multitask, try choosing an oil like lemon to add an extra fresh clean scent to your kitchen. If you really want to go green, you can store your used lemon (orange, or lime) slices / halves / peels in your cleaning vinegar to give your kitchen scraps a second lease on life.
Fresh Green Floors
Not only is vinegar a natural disinfectant, it also evaporates without leaving residue behind, making it a great option for natural floor cleaner that doesn’t leave any sticky feelings behind. To make a natural floor cleaner, mix ¼ cup vinegar, a half-gallon of warm water, and your favorite essential oil. The oil will reduce the vinegar smell while you clean, and then it will shine through once your floor is beautifully dry.
One More Bonus Fresh Thing…
In case you need a little extra inspiration, remember that old towels and cut-up t-shirts are great tools for greener cleaning with fewer paper products. When it’s time to wash your reusable cleaning rags, throw the cleaning cloths in with your regular towels and the vinegar baking soda mix will help freshen the entire load to keep towel funk at bay.
Got any other eco cleaning tricks to share? Please pass them on!