natural cleaning ingredients
Exposure to harmful chemicals is unavoidable. Even the safest place on earth we call “home” isn’t secured from these health threats. Just grab a random cleaning product in your bathroom and you’ll see a long list of toxic ingredients that you can touch, inhale, and taste.

With this, going for all-natural alternatives is often the best choice, especially in cleaning where you tend to get in touch with poisonous chemicals. And we’re not talking about commercial products that claim they are “chemical-free”, but about natural cleaning ingredients with impressive cleansing and disinfecting properties that might be present in your pantry.

The next time you have to scrub your filthy bathrooms and cleanse your greasy sinks, just raid your kitchen cupboards and you might find all-natural ingredients that are not just best for cooking but for cleaning as well.

1. Lemons

Did life give you lemons? Make a great cleaning partner after making lemonades. The acids from lemons are a natural way to neutralize bad odors and remove dirt and rust stains. Lemons’ scouring power becomes even more effective when combined with other natural cleaners like baking soda and salt.

Natural air freshener:

Instead of buying expensive fragrance sprays, mix lemon juice and water in a small sprayer and squirt the solution in the air. Another tip is to add lemon juice in your vacuum bag before you use the vacuum.

Dull and stained white clothing:

Forget bleach and go for lemons to brighten up your white washables. Add 1/4 to 1/2 cup lemon juice to the rinse cycle. For nasty ink and underarm stains, apply a 50-50 solution of lemon juice and water directly on the stains and leave it for 30 minutes before laundering using the washing machine.

Food stains on cutting boards:

The lemon-salt tandem is best used in cleaning wooden and plastic cutting boards. Sprinkle a small amount of coarse salt on the board then scrub using the lemon. Let it sit for 20 minutes before rinsing

Greasy dishes:

Boost the grease-cutting power of your trusted dishwashing detergent by adding a teaspoon of lemon juice in soaping. For greasy and stinky plastic storage containers, just rub lemon juice on the spots, let them dry in a sunny place, and wash them as usual.

Soap residues:

Slice the lemon in half and rub the side on any faucet that has soap scum. Rinse and dry.

2. Baking Soda

With its natural deodorizing properties and mild cleaning action, baking soda proves that it is more than just a baking agent but a powerful replacement for harmful commercial scouring powders. In fact, there isn’t any room in your house that this mighty, all-purpose ingredient cannot contribute to.

Grimy sinks and tubs:

With a small amount of dish soap, sprinkle sufficient amount of baking soda, let it sit for 20-30 minutes then scrub and rinse.

Bathroom drains:

Pour 1/2 to 3/4 cup of baking soda into the drain and wash the solution with hot water to keep the drains running freely.

Dusty and stinky carpet, mattresses, and upholstered furniture:

Sprinkle baking soda on the fabric, let it sit for up to an hour, and vacuum up to remove stubborn odors.

Scuffed white walls:

Make a paste (50-50 baking soda and water) and apply it on tainted white walls. Let the surface dry before brushing it off with a clean piece of cloth.

Tough stains and gunk:

Remove gunk from a can opener by cleaning it with an old toothbrush dipped in a paste of 2 tbsp baking soda and 1 teaspoon water. For stained teacups and mugs, soak them overnight with 1 part baking soda and 2 parts water then rub them with a sponge and rinse thoroughly.

3. White Vinegar

Aside from giving a boost of sour flavor on your favorite dishes, this acidic wonder is also a clear champion as a natural cleaner. White vinegar can wipe out stains, mineral deposits, molds, and can disinfect some bacteria which cause odors.

Moldy walls:

Just squirt vinegar on the molded surfaces of the wall. Let it sit for about 15 minutes then rinse let dry.

Dull glass surfaces:

Mix a cup of water, 1 tablespoon vinegar, and 1 tablespoon rubbing alcohol. Put it in a sprayer and splash it on glass surfaces like windows, sliding doors, and tabletops. Wipe clean with a dry cloth. For glasswares, just add vinegar to the rinse water to make them squeaky clean.

Stained carpet:

Combine equal parts of white vinegar and water in your carpet cleaner then pour a little amount directly on carpet stain to improve cleaning power. Rub with a white cloth.

Discolored coffee maker:

Pour equal parts of white vinegar and cold water in machine’s water dispenser, then switch on the brew cycle. Turn the coffeemaker off and let the solution sit for about an hour. Run two to three cycles with cold and clean water to eliminate vinegar smell.

Clogged showerheads and faucets:

Remove clogging and unsightly mineral deposits from showerheads and faucets by pouring vinegar into a small plastic bag and binding the handles over the devices’ neck. Soak overnight and rinse the next day.

4. Salt

This kitchen ingredient is truly a must-have not only for cooking but for cleaning as well. Whether it’s a kosher salt, sea salt, or table salt, they all have a granular texture which makes them suited for scouring and scrubbing.

Stained and oily stove grates:

Make a paste using water, kosher salt, and baking soda. Rub the grates using a damp cloth dipped in the paste to remove grease, food remnants, and grimes.

Rusty cast-iron pan:

Sprinkle kosher salt in the bottom part of a damp cast-iron pan then use a scrub brush to remove the rust and dirt. For milder cleansing on top of the pan, have a potato sliced in half. Place it side down and scrub around the salted pan in a circular motion.

Greasy wooden counters and tables:

Sprinkle your greasy counters and tables with table salt. Let the salt absorb as much grease then brush the salt away after an hour.

5. Cooking oil

Olive, sunflower, and other plant-based oils you use for healthy cooking can also be a great ingredient in diminishing scratches, removing dirt, and extending the life of your furniture, kitchenwares, and even shoes.

Unpolished leather shoes:

Instead of buying commercial shoe cleaners and polishes, apply a small drop of vegetable oil to a soft cloth and rub the surface. Use a chamois cloth to buff the shoes.

Dull stainless steel surfaces:

Add sparkle into your utensils and kitchenwares by buffing them using a cloth soaked in olive oil.

Dry wooden and wicker furniture:

Hydrate and polish dried out wooden furniture using a soft cloth dunk into a mixture of 2 cups vegetable oil and lemon juice. Smooth out the scratches and rub them with the solution. You can also prevent rattan and wicker furniture from cracking using vegetable oil. Lightly brush the surface with warm oil and rub in with a cloth.

Are these five natural cleaning ingredients present in your pantry? Try applying these tips so you won’t have to go for commercially-made products and establish a healthier and eco-friendly environment at home.

[Featured Image Credit: geografika / 123RF Stock Photo]

Author Bio: Carmina Natividad likes the idea of finding a home that matches one’s personality. Her keen interest in real estate and interior design helps her in writing for Thomas Property Real Estate Agents, a boutique real estate agency based in Australia that aims to improve the consumers’ experiences in leasing, selling, and buying properties.