Natural Cleansers to Help You Ditch the Chemicals When Cleaning

Ever wonder what makes you want to sneeze when you’re cleaning? It’s not always the dust. Cleansers have tons of nasty chemicals in them that can cause your body to react immediately, but those chemicals can also have long term effects on you and your family. This is why many moms are choosing to go back to the basics by using homemade cleansers that are made completely of non-toxic ingredients. The best part? They work and save you money!

Countless parents are in the dark when it comes to the potential dangers of household cleansers, but those dangers are very real. In fact, it has been proven that  prolonged inhalation, absorption or ingestion of certain chemicals used in every day cleaning products can be linked to serious health issues such as asthma, as well as various forms of cancer.

The irony of it all is that many of the companies manufacturing products that use these chemicals actually advertise them in a such a way as to make you believe that they are safe to use in your home and around your children. Lysol, for instance, is actually loaded with denatured ethanol. Denatured ethanol is toxic to humans. If consumed, it can cause ethanol poisoning, which can be deadly. Yet, the product is widely advertised as a fabulous disinfectant for children’s toys. It may kill the germs, but if it can also kill my child, I want no part of it.

With the information available online, you can look up nearly any product to find out what it contains. If you are uncertain what a specific ingredient can do, look it up. You will be shocked at the potential dangers lurking in your cleanser cabinet and throughout your nice clean home. However, you might also be pleasantly surprised at the wide array of natural products that you can use to clean your home.

Using natural household cleaners is not only a great way to be environmentally friendly; it’s also a proactive approach to ensuring that health issues don’t crop up due to prolonged use of the harsh chemicals present in widely manufactured household cleansers. I have integrated these recipes into my home cleaning routine and have noticed a much more pleasant cleaning experience. (No more burning, watery eyes and no more sneezing!)

Below, you will find some truly awesome recipes that I’ve come across in the past few years. You can use these solutions to replace those dangerous cleansers when you do your housecleaning. You’ll notice that these natural cleansing solutions have very few ingredients and, in most cases, the ingredients can be found around the home.

Natural Disinfectant:

Contrary to popular belief, antibacterial cleansers do not fight infection any better than plain old soap and water. In fact, several studies have been conducted over the years to determine whether antibacterial products were more effective in killing germs. These studies show that, instead of being effective, antibacterial products are actually a primary contributor to the development of resistant bacteria, which in turn create super viruses.

That said, it may be wise to steer clear of any products touting antibacterial properties. If you want to keep your home disinfected, be sure to regularly clean it with some old fashioned elbow grease (aka: soap, water and scrubbing).

Natural Cleanser For Scrubbing:

Mix 4 tablespoons of salt with 2 cups of white vinegar. I suggest using a bowl or bucket, as the salt tends to clog spray bottle nozzles. However, if you do choose to use a spray bottle, be sure to rinse it well with hot water after use.  You can use this solution to scrub pots and pans, walls, counters, back-splashes, bath tubs and shower stalls.

You can also use a mixture of 2 tablespoons salt (you can also use baking soda), one quart of hot water and a teaspoon of borax for any scouring job that you would like to add disinfecting properties to.

Natural Way to Remove Grime from Coffee Carafes:

If you’ve got grime built up inside your coffee pot and have a hard time reaching the area to clean it, try adding some ice cubes (6-8 should do), 3-4 fresh lemon wedges (squeezing them as you drop them in) or a few squirts of lemon juice and 2 teaspoons of salt. Cover the open top with your hand and shake it up and down, back and forth, then in a clockwise motion for a few minutes. The salt and ice act as a scrubbing agent, while the acid from the lemon acts on the stains. The lemon also gives it a great smell!

Natural Way to Clean the Inside of Your Coffee Maker:

If you feel the inner workings of your coffee maker are due for a good cleaning, you can pour a mixture of 2 cups of Vinegar and 1/8 cup of lemon juice into the coffee maker and run it through. The vinegar and lemon juice will act on any build up present in the machine and the lemon will also help to decrease the strong vinegar smell.

Natural Way to Remove Ink Stains:

You can remove ink stains by applying rubbing alcohol to the stain to saturate it. Do not rub it in. Take a piece of paper towel and gently blot it. The ink should absorb right into the paper towel.  (You can achieve the same results with any alcohol based hairspray.)

Need to remove a blood stain? Try pouring peroxide on the stain. Again, do not rub it in. While the peroxide is bubbling, take a paper towel and gently blot the area.

Club soda is great for removing red wine stains. Apply club soda directly to the stain and blot it dry.

Lye soap is also a great stain removing agent, though it is rarely found in households today.

Natural Cleanser to Polish Metals:

You can use a mixture of lemon juice and baking soda to polish your metals. The result is a clean and shiny metal surface, worthy of being displayed.

Silverware (and really any shiny metal) can also be polished with a smooth linen napkin or coffee filter dipped in club soda. The result is streak-free silverware that you can almost see yourself in.

Natural All Purpose Cleaners:

Add 2 tablespoons of baking soda per quart of warm water for a fragrance-free cleaner that will work well when just a light cleaning is needed.

Add 3 tablespoons of salt and 1 cup of vinegar to a quart of warm water to make a stronger all purpose cleaner that will help you keep your house spotless.

Natural Window Cleaners:

Mix equal parts of club soda and warm water in a spray bottle. This solution is great for windows and mirrors.

Mix 1 cup of vinegar with warm water in a spray bottle and spray on windows or mirrors. You can wipe the window or mirror dry by using a sheet of newspaper or paper towel.

Natural Wood Furniture and Wood Floor Polish:

You can mix 2 cups of olive oil with 1/2 cup of lemon juice for use on wood furniture and wood floors. The oil acts a polish for the floor, while the lemon juice adds shine and a pleasantly fresh smell.

Natural Floor Cleaner:

Mix 4 cups white vinegar and 4 cups of warm water in a bucket to use for light cleaning of linoleum, tile or laminate flooring.

Natural Drain Cleaner:

Pour 1/2 cup of baking soda into the clogged drain. Immediately follow with 1/2 cup of white vinegar. Allow this concoction to work on the drain about 15 – 20 minutes. While waiting, boil 2-3 quarts of water. Once the time has passed, pour the boiling water down the drain. This usually works the first time around, but stubborn clogs may require 2-3 applications before the drain is working properly again.

Natural Toilet Bowl Cleaner:

Mix 3 tablespoons of baking soda with 1/2 cup of white vinegar and pour into the toilet bowl. Use a toilet scrubbing brush to scrub around the inside of the bowl. The dual action of the vinegar and baking soda will break up any particles clinging to the bowl.

If you don’t particularly like the smell of vinegar, another option is to mix 1/2 cup of borax with  3/4 cup of lemon juice for  a much more pleasant smelling cleanser to use  when scrubbing your toilet bowl.

Natural Toilet Cleaner (Outside the Bowl):

To clean the outside of your toilet bowl, put about a cup of white vinegar in a spray bottle. Spray around the outside of your toilet bowl. Wipe clean with a damp cloth or paper towel.

You can also use fresh lemon juice – 1/4 cup blended with 1/2 cup of warm water should do the trick.

Natural Air Freshener:

If you want to keep your home smelling lovely, but don’t want to harm the environment with aerosols or chemicals, you can boil spices, fruits or a combination of them on the stove. Here are a few that I combine on a regular basis:

  • Cinnamon sticks or ground cinnamon
  • Ginger
  • Cloves
  • Lemon Peel
  • Mint
  • Rose Petals
  • Orange Peel
  • All Spice
  • Apples
  • Oranges
  • Lemons
  • Pears

I generally combine cinnamon sticks, cloves, lemon peel and a dash of ginger in a medium pot with about 4 cups of water and boil for hours, often adding more water as the concoction evaporates. I do use some of the other ingredients above as well, but that combination is my favorite. I’m sure that there are a great deal of other spices and herbs that you could add to this list as well.

Have some tips that you would like to share with us? What natural cleansers do you use in your home?

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