Cleaning your home naturally – or just about!

A lot of indoor air pollution – which causes headaches, fatigue and irritation to our eyes, nose and throat – may be due to our sensitivity to everyday cleaning products. That’s not to say every cleaning product will have negative effects. But making your own cleaning products from items you probably already have in your pantry can be safer, not to mention reduce packaging costs and waste.


Here are six of our favorites:


1.     Cleaning your windows and mirrors: Mix two cups of water, half a cup of vinegar, a quarter cup of rubbing alcohol (70%) and a drop or two of orange essential oil or a tablespoon of fresh lemon juice.


2.     Oven cleaning with baking soda: A simple paste of baking soda and water is a great way to clean your oven, avoiding chemical oven cleaners or wasting energy with self-cleaning.


3.     Cleaning your dishwasher: Fill a bowl or jar with two cups of vinegar, place it on the top rack and run a hot cycle without any other dishes, or detergent of course, in the dishwater.


4.     Cleaning your shower head: Vinegar saves the say here too – fill a plastic bag with white vinegar and tie it around the shower head so it’s immersed in it for around 12 hours.


5.     Cleaning mold from shower silicone caulking: Twist wet strips of paper towel and position them all along the bathtub where it meets the tiles (or where the floor and wall tiles meet in a standup shower) then spray the paper towel liberally with bleach. Leave it overnight. (Remember to turn on your bathroom fan to reduce the strong bleach smell – and although this isn’t a “natural” solution it really does work!)


6.     Removing soap scum: While you’re in the bathroom, use two parts of baking soda to one part salt and one part borax to create a scouring powder that cleans shower and tub soap scum.


Other great natural cleaners include:


·       Lemon juice – effective in killing most household bacteria

·       Olive oil – to polish your wood furniture

·       Corn starch – great for cleaning windows, polishing furniture and shampooing rugs


What are your natural home cleaning secrets? Share what you know in the Shop Talk blog community forum – we always want to hear from you!

Did you know: Cleaning your cutting board


Cutting boards have a well-deserved reputation for harboring nasty bacteria but sanitizing them is easy – simply sprinkle coarse salt over the surface, then cut a lemon in half, run it over the board, let it stand for ten minutes and rinse. (Source)

51 thoughts on “Cleaning your home naturally – or just about!

  1. Just want to say Thank You!! I LOVE this email, and that you provide ways and instruction/tips for people to be aware of natural methods to clean within their homes/lives.
    Love the health wise tips!

  2. As a non-toxic spray cleaning agent I use about:
    2cups soft water from the tap in a spray bottle
    1 tbsp white vinegar
    2 tsp of Method (natural) dishsoap I prefer the grapefruit scented
    Several drops of Tea Tree oil and a few drops of Patchouli oil.

    Washing my floors I add the equivalent ingredients to a bucket of hot
    water… the dish soap takes care of the dirt or grease spots on the floor,
    the other ingred. disinfects and your house acquires this wonderful clean smell.

  3. I use all the products that are mentioned in your blog, in fact been using them for years. I like to use products that are not harmful to the environment or to me.

  4. Thank you. I do use baking soda and vinegar a lot for cleaning. Vinegar amd water do an amazing job on windows

  5. My household cleaner is a half or so capful of bubble bath in a large spray container say 1000 ml. I use it for everything…windows (spray and wipe – no rinsing required) floors , kitchen, walls, …. everywhere. If it is too bubbly, just reduce the amount of bubble bath. Does an amazing job.
    Also – weeds among your interlock? Pickling vinegar with a touch of bubble bath … Spray on weed…gone in hours . Non-selective so watch where you spray . No need for roundup and such awful chemicals.
    Weeds in the lawn… Dig them out one by one…very relaxing and gratifying.

  6. Excellent ideas to reduce all the chemicals we are putting into out environment via our water and air. One who suffers from severe chemical sensitivities ,I can only hope more put these tips to use. I dont know about the bleach, I would use hydrogen peroxide in place,effective and no odour.

  7. Thank you for all your excellent cleaning suggestions. Vinegar white I was raised on , when I had my chores on Sat. Mornings.

    My grandmother was a farm girl. She used White vinegar for everything,

    Imagine the money saved for using White Vinegar. Thank you.

  8. I love these made at home free from everything but clean fresh home smells vinegar is the best odour eater it’s a little tense just walk away for 20 with windows open it’s amazing! Just take warm water 1 cup and 2 cups vinegar and just take a sponge or cloth and I wipe my baseboards off and thats all it takes.

  9. Take equal quantities of water and vinegar and store in a spray bottle. You can add essential oils such as tea tree oil, lemon. Peppermint, eucalyptus oil, lavender etc to add fragrance.

  10. This is good advise . I m happy shoppers is giving these hints even it sells detergents . This is the right way the world should go . Not all for money .
    Thank you shoppers .

  11. Yo ido 2 tazas de agua con una de vinagre y 1/4 de taza de jabón para trastes para quitar grasa es muy efectivo lo puedes usar para tu estufa horno de microondas y lavatrastes

  12. #1 and #5 would be ok if you could get rubbing Alcohol and now I am having a problem getting bleach. Most of the others I already know of.

  13. Its great you have brought natural cleaners to peoples attention but one very important cleaner, deodorizer that is inexpensive you left out is vinegar.pour half a cup of vinegar in a open container and put it in a corner of a room that has a smell you just can’t get rid of and watch this beautiful natural deodorizer work magic.Pour vinegar over weeds in the garden and watch them shrivel and die!

  14. For general cleaning I use a solution consisting of: 1 tsp. baking soda, 3 3/4 tsp. borax, 1 tsp. Dawn dish detergent and 4 c. hot water. I cool it then put it in a spray bottle. Shake the bottle up before every use. I use it on counters, cupboards and even toilets. For deep cleaning the toilet or sink drains I pour baking soda on then vinegar, wait a while then scrub the toilet or run hot water down the sink drains. Bleach, vinegar, baking soda and borax are staples in my house.

  15. I love baking soda and lemon to clean. I use baking soda in my laundry and sometimes add essential oils to give my towels a perk! Also coffee grinds are great to use to kill odors..I put french vanilla in containers inside cupboards…shoe cupboard (gets the stink out) and anywhere else it smells musty or you just want a fresh great in the fridge also. Lemons are great for compost and garbage odors too plus they clean your hands after smelly foods..onions,garlic etc etc and to clean microwave out….Vinegar works great in the laundry,dishwasher to freshen it up and kill odors plus down the drains as well. Buy natural or make your own I say!!

    1. I find that vinegar used in laundry works very well to brighten and deodorize. It also neutralizes that dryer odour after your clothes are dried. A half of a cup in each regular size wash load is all it. takes. Put your detergent and vinegar in the washer first and let the washer fill to about 1/4 with water. Then add your clothes. Any water temperature and any wash load – colours, whites, delicates, etc.

  16. I use baking Soda & vinegar to clean toilets, bathtubs. For Garburator I put 1/4 c Baking Soda down drain & add 1cup boiling vinegar. Leave over night

  17. Best products I have ever used to clean my house is definitely Norwex! No harsh chemicals, biodegradable, not tested on animals, organic, microfiber cloths made from recycled bottles, and much more amazing things. The microfiber picks up 99.9% of bacteria with just the cloth and water. It’s brain bustingly amazing! 😃

  18. The most natural air cleaners I found is to get many types of plants and the exchange of carbon oxide and oxygen should be the solution for many persons who have a problem with lack of oxygen in the house !

  19. to clean clogged drain 1 cup of baking soda in the drain that is clogged add 1 cup of vinegar and let stand about 15 mins add boiling water I usually just boil a kettle of water then pour it down the drain and the drain is unclogged if still clogged repeat once more and it will clear up.

  20. always use baking soda and vinegar to clean out fridge,baking soda in a hot steaming water for microwave.leaves a fresh clean smell in both and takes away lingering smells

  21. I am of the “old” school of cleaning! I use Ajax and have for years. Use a little on a wet clean rag. Works great and inexpensive!M

  22. another great cleaner, toothpaste, if you buy in bulk and it is out of date or just buy cheap toothpaste it is the greatest for stainless steel appliances, sinks etc.

  23. I like peppermint essential oils with water diluting it. I spray around window sills and corners of the walls and floor where earwigs live and it cleans very good and it keeps the bugs away and any other kind of dust mites or fleas or bugs don’t like Menthol peppermint is very mental and it’s good for your lungs in a way supposedly helps you breathe and opens up your breathing ways and clears your nose it’s natural and I love using it

  24. I use a mixture of vinegar and water to clean windows and all glass suefacs….1 part vinegar to 4 parts water in a spray bottle … No paper towels, instead old wash cloths or towels which can be laundered and reused.
    To sanitize counters soap and water works very well and several times a week a solution of Clorox and water 8 parts water to one part Clorox… Spray on, leave to dry ,then wipe with a clean cloth. This works for door knobs, etc;, BUT spray on a cloth and wipe clean.

  25. I mix 2 cup of water, half cup of vinegar, half cup of any Dawn detergent and 1/4 of bicarbonate of sodium. Put all the mixture in a spray bottle. I clean most of my house with it!

  26. I mix 2 cup of water, half cup of vinegar, half cup of any Dawn detergent and 1/4 of bicarbonate of sodium. Put all the mixture in a spray bottle. I clean most of my house with it!

  27. Hi I’m allergic to any bleaches, I use the green lime with baking soda, to clean cutting boards and pots especially if am going to use them right away. Would recommend this method to others allergic to bleach

  28. I mostly use vinegar & baking soda amost everywhere in my house to clean it’s great for alot of uses .my favorite is 1 cup of vinegar 1 cup of baking soda helps clean up clogs sinks in your kitchen.jusy poor down sink let set 10 or 15 mins work great clog6 sink

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *