Many of our posts are about healthy eating – a process that we have learned is as much about avoiding unfamiliar names on ingredient lists as it is about anything else. But even if we were to commit to an entirely “whole foods” diet, would our lives be free of unnecessary preservatives and chemicals? Probably not. If you don’t believe me, look under your sink at your collection of cleaners, and give the ingredient list a quick glance. Don’t worry, I’m not going to suggest that every unfamiliar ingredient you see is Cancer-causing or even necessarily harmful, but I am going to suggest that there may be better alternatives. So today’s post isn’t about healthy eating. It’s about healthy cleaning. Are you ready?
First, a confession. This is what my cleaning stash looked like before I discovered these cleaning methods:
1. One of my favorite homemade household cleaner recipes came from one of my favorite blogs – and this one is tried and true! The original post came from simplyrealmoms.com and you can find the link here. It’s so simple – all you will need is the peel from a few oranges, vinegar and a spray bottle. Your house will smell amazing, and you won’t have to worry about the chemicals being dangerous at all – because you’ll know exactly what you put in it.
2. Another way to go about cleaning without reaching for strong chemicals is specifically for your stainless steel sink. If yours is like mine, it can get pretty grimy pretty quickly. I just fill my sink with hot water and about 2 cups of vinegar, and I let it soak for around an hour. Once I drain the water, I make a simple paste using water and baking soda, and I give the sink a thorough scrub with the paste. Rinse it well, and if you want to make your sink nice and shiny (you know, to look like new!) just put a tiny bit of olive oil on a rag, and rub that over your whole sink.
3. Laundry is another method of cleaning that often allows not only multi-ingredient products in, but it’s a quick way to overspend. My favorite fabric softener is vinegar. Just add about a cup to each load, and it will soften and deodorize your clothing just as well as any store-bought product.
4. To clean your microwave, heat a cup of vinegar for around a minute. The steam will help loosen the food particles (you know, the ones you thought were stuck forever?!) and you can wipe it clean.
5. To thoroughly clean your bathtub, you’ll mix together baking soda and water – same as you did for your sink, but you’ll probably need a little more this time – and you’ll scrub your tub. Once you rinse it well, use the orange/vinegar mix mentioned above, and you’ll have a sparkling clean bathtub!
6. I found my favorite dishwasher detergent on another blog that I love, and you can find quite a few cleaning tips there too! Find the site here. For your dishwasher, you can replace your detergent with equal parts baking soda (or washing soda) and Borax, and you may want to add a little bit of vinegar to the “rinse” compartment as well. Your dishes will be squeaky clean!
Have you noticed a trend yet? You’ll be using vinegar and baking soda a lot. A whole lot. So if you’re willing to replace the pile of cleaner under your sink with these two ingredients, you’ll be able to keep your house clean without the worries that come with unfamiliar ingredients, and one of my favorite parts of this cleaning method is how much less expensive it is. Give it a try – we really think you’ll love it!