I’ve never experienced changing of the seasons because as a native California we basically have one nice season all year long. But, since moving to Tennessee, we are experiencing spring as I’ve never seen it! It is beautiful to watch barren oak trees become miraculously laden with buds and then leaves. We have a crepe myrtle tree that is full of purple/pink flowers. There is a definite draw to do some all natural spring cleaning that I hadn’t experienced when living in California.
Being a proponent of organic eating and living I am constantly searching for ways to use what is natural to clean. I’m realizing that the best cleaners for a home are fresh air and sunshine. Know the smell of fresh washed clothes drying outside in the sun? That same smell in the house comes as easily as opening windows and letting the sun and breeze come inside.
Though there are many more uses for the following, I’m only listing the ones I’ve used and have worked for me. Have fun as you discover more ways to use natural products instead of using chemicals our environment can do without as well as our families.
Vinegar – use any white vinegar
- Fixtures in the bathroom – use the vinegar straight to disinfect and polish the fixtures – apply with rag and then buff.
- Shower curtains – use the rinse cycle on your washing machine with 1-2 cups vinegar. This will remove the soap scum.
- Toilet cleaning – use 1/2 cup vinegar in the toilet bowl. Spray around the sides and under the lip of the bowl. Let stand at least a couple of hours, preferably overnight. Scrub and then flush.
- Grout – soak with vinegar – scrub with old toothbrush.
- Shower/tub doors – make a mixture of 1/2 water, 1/2 vinegar and then spray the doors. Let set for-5 minutes then wipe with a squeeze.
Cream of Tartar – it has an indefinite shelf life so if you’ve had it awhile it’s still good
- Kitchen stainless steel appliances and sinks – mix 1/4 cup water with 1/4 tsp. cream of tartar. (Of course, you can use more, but this is the ) Wipe on refrigerator, etc. and then buff with a dry soft cloth. This made my refrigerator look like new!
- Mildew stains – mix water and cream of tartar together to make a paste. Brush onto stains and watch them disappear. Rinse after scrubbing.
- Fireplace soot – make a paste and use an old toothbrush to clean your fireplace bricks. I used a spray bottle of water to wash away the paste and then a dry cloth to dry the brick. For heavy soot areas, you may have to repeat a couple of times.
Salt – any brand; doesn’t need to be iodized
- Refrigerator – make a mixture of soda water and salt to clean and deodorize your refrigerator. I used 1/2 cup soda water to 2 tsp. salt.
- Sticky iron bottoms – sprinkle some salt on a piece of paper larger than the size of your iron. Use your hot iron to iron over the salt and the sticky areas will be removed.
- Wicker cleaning – make a solution of water and salt and using a large brush, wash down your wicker furniture (outside), rinse or not, it’s your choice, and let dry in the sunshine. It will look like new!
- Wood stains – use canola oil and salt to make a small amount of paste. Rubthe paste over the stain, and then buff with a soft dry cloth.
- Ants – they don’t like salt! So anywhere you think they may be crossing over from the outside to the inside of your house, place a row of salt. Under the door jamb isn’t noticeable to you, but the ants won’t cross it. Putting a line around the foundation of the house is an excellent place to start your battle with ants.
- Fresh flowers – many of us add a bit of sugar to our flower arrangements to help keep them fresh. But, you can use salt too.
- Drains – mix together a cup of hot water with 1/8 cup salt and pour it down your sink drain to stop the buildup of grease. This is something to do weekly to keep the grease away.
- Removal of hairspray – this always seems to build up on my flat iron. Just use straight alcohol and a rag and wipe and the buildup is gone.
- Window cleaner – mix one part water with one part alcohol, spray on windows, dry with soft rag. Windows are sparkling. Additional tip: my grandma used crumbled up newspapers to dry the windows. The windows are sparkling and best yet, there are no rags to wash.
So, to wrap it all up:
There are other natural products you can use to clean around the house with the easiest ones being fresh air and sunshine. But, for now, I have to go, I have an oven that’s needing some attention!
More Cleaning Tips: