A quick & easy guide to using the cheap household cleaning products you already have! With links to make your own cleaning products, and how to organize a closet!
I am so very excited to be tagging along in Julie Blanner's #CelebrateOrganization tour! If you're visiting from another blog today, welcome! I'm so happy you're here!
Today I am sharing how I tackled my cleaning closet in 30 minutes, and some tips for making the most of the cheap household cleaning products you already have!
In the process of organizing my cleaning closet, I realized that, in reality, there are only a handful of cleaning supplies that I truly need in our home: Castile soap, Borax, baking soda, lemons, salt, essential oils, and vinegar. These ingredients are cheap, easy to find, and most importantly safe for your whole family. If you, like me, are in need of cleaning out & organizing your cleaning cupboard, I've listed how & when to use each natural and safe cleaning product below. Enjoy!
A quick guide
All-natural, safe (and cheap!) household cleaning products
One of my favorite natural cleaning products is a lemon. If you've ever cleaned copper with a lemon, it's like magic before your eyes. Miracles in action.
Cut a lemon in half and you've got yourself two handheld sponges to go crazy with. Dip it in some salt and it becomes an exfoliating machine that cleans copper, cutting boards, and countertops. Just rinse with water afterwards!
Lemon juice can also be added to white laundry loads to brighten them up without using bleach. Or, try using a lemon peel, ice cubes, and 1/4 cup kosher salt in your garbage disposal to get rid of any icky odors.
Also, lemon juice & a little cream of tartar makes for a great grout cleaning paste. Grab a toothbrush and let your kid earn their allowance!
The original 20 mule team. Borax soap can be used in so. Many. Ways. Dissolve 1/2 cup Borax with 1 gallon of hot water to form a non-scratch solution to clean walls, scrub pots and pans, baseboards, moulding, counters, floors, and much more.
Instead of Comet, use Borax in your toilet bowl. Let it sit for a few hours then come back with a scrub brush to clean well. This method also works for dishwashers – scrub the inside of your dishwasher with Borax, and line the bottom of the entire machine with the soap. The best part is that you can run the next load of dishes just as your normally would, safely.
Borax will get rid of stains, soften, and deodorize laundry as well! Combine a bit of warm water with Borax to create a pre-treatment for stained laundry, and add 1/4 cup to the wash to boost cleaning power.
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Right up there with lemons is vinegar for me. It comes in giant gallon jugs and can be used to disinfect pretty much anything.
Need an all-natural and safe all purpose cleaner? A 1:1 water & vinegar ratio is what I have started using in our home. It works great! Add some essential oils to the mix so that your house doesn’t smell like vinegar - or, try infusing with citrus peels to completely mask the vinegar smell!
You can run it through your coffeemaker to clean well. Simply run a few blank pots before your next cup ;) You don’t want to drink a cup full of vinegar infused coffee!
Vinegar also gets rid of soap scum, and mineral buildup in showers, simply secure a shower cap filled with vinegar on your shower head, leave it for a few hours, then run hot water. It will remove any serious buildup.
If your iron has stains or clogged steam holes, you can follow the same procedure as a clogged shower head! Fill a small plastic tupperware 1/8" high with 1:1 water & vinegar, place the iron in for 10-15 minutes to loosen buildup. Then, fill the steam reservoir 1/3 of the way with distilled water and run the iron on the steam setting until all of the water has evaporated.
If you have murky glasses, try soaking them in vinegar for 10 minutes, then wash as normal. All buildup should dissolve in the vinegar, but if it doesn't, use a little baking soda to scrub left over residue.
Vinegar is not safe to mix with bleach or hydrogen peroxide, and becomes completely useless if mixed with baking soda.
Like lemon juice & cream of tartar, baking soda with a bit of water makes for an awesome cleaning paste. Use on walls, grout, or other tough spots.
Baking soda is a natural deodorizer, and mixed with a bit of essential oils, it becomes an all-natural air freshener! I mix a big batch of baking soda with essential oil and keep it in an open container for multitasking.
Baking soda will absorb grease, so if you spill some oil on your marble (yikes!), on your garage floor, or need to spiff up your BBQ, slather on a baking soda & water paste, let it sit (overnight for toughies), then wipe up and rinse with warm water.
I recently discovered castile soap, and have become a huge fan. I have been using it for everything! Try mixing about a tablespoon with 1/3 cup baking soda for a homemade soft scrub! #genius
What do you use to clean your floors? Next time try ¼ cup of castile soap & 2 gallons of warm water!
If you need to clean leather furniture, use a few drops of Castile soap & 1 quart of warm water. Use a damp cloth to clean any residue or gunk left over from spilled cheerios or beer.
There are SO many more uses for this olive oil based soap, find the dilution cheat sheet from Lisa Bronner here.
Plant & Essential Oils
I have written before that I used to think of essential oils the same way I think of Mary Kay. But, since I have started using them, I have become a huge fan.
Essential oils have natural healing and disinfecting powers and can be safely added to most cleaning products to scent or add cleaning power. For a list of 101 uses for essential oils, click here!
Coconut oil is another amazing cleaning superhero. I have a friend with severe acne, and when she began using coconut oil as a facial cleanser, her acne cleared up! I had planned to write a post about replacing my after-shower lotion slathers with coconut oil, but that post never got written. It can be summed up by: it worked wonders for my skin, and I always smelled like a mermaid.
Coconut oil isn't just for the body. It can be used to remove scuff marks on leather & wood, or repair damaged wood. It can also be used to loosen debris or clean leather products!
I hope you have enjoyed this quick post sharing how you can use the all-natural, safe, and cheap cleaning products you already have in your home! If you love to organize, or if you need to organize, I've linked some wonderful ideas below!