Frugal Cleaning Using 5 Natural Products In Our Kitchen
I am a huge advocate of using natural cleaning products. For some odd reason many people believe that only commercial products will clean our homes well. Well, I disagree emphatically.
For centuries we have used natural products for cleaning. It is only in recent years that big manufacturers have started making commercial cleaners and they spend millions on marketing just so we think only a commercial cleaner will do.
What they don’t tell you is that these cleaners are packed full of chemicals that can harm you and your loved ones, especially your pets.
I used to keep tropical fish and I soon discovered you cannot use commercial cleaners or air fresheners in the room with an aquarium. The reason being the chemicals get sucked into the water and they cannot escape. The fish keel over and die. This really made me wonder at the harm I was doing to my children and other pets.
This started me on my journey to using all natural cleaning products that are pet friendly and safe for us too.
Cleaning chemicals make cleaning the bathroom or kitchenware easier, but many of them can cause skin and nasal irritation. They also pose hazard to kids and pets. In fact, the EPA states that household cleaners have hazardous ingredients. However, you don’t have to rely on these cleaners all the time. Simple things you usually neglect can be used as cleaning agents.
1. White vinegar
Acid kills bacteria and fungi, but the great thing about white vinegar is it isn’t so acidic as to irritate your skin. It does many things aside from being a salad ingredient. It can eliminate soap scum, scales, and grease.
Do you want to polish your piano keys or window panes? Mix a cup of vinegar in a cup of hot water. Dip a clean cotton cloth in it, and wipe surfaces.
White vinegar also has its practical uses in carpet cleaning. Mix one cup of vinegar in a gallon of water. Soak a push broom in it, and use it on your soiled carpets and rugs. You can use the same mixture on brickwork.
Mix equal amounts of vinegar and olive oil to get rid of water rings on wood tabletops. Or leave a bowl of vinegar in a room overnight to remove stubborn cigarette stench.
2. Baking soda
Aside from using baking soda to get rid of strong odors inside the fridge, you can use it to get rid of grease and grime. Its abrasive properties make it good for cleaning countertops, sinks, and tubs.
Do you have clogged drains? It’s hard to soften the trapped sludge in there, but try pouring baking soda into the drain and then dripping white vinegar. Watch out for the foam. Next, pour in hot water, and see if that works.
Carpets and rugs are difficult to clean. Some people have them serviced by professionals. Keep them fresh with this simple technique. First, sprinkle baking soda all over the carpet or rug. Leave it for fifteen minutes, after which you can run your vacuum cleaner over it.
Combs and hairbrushes get filthy, ugly after weeks of combing. Who wants to use a comb with trapped dirt in between its teeth. Dip it in some water with a teaspoon of baking soda.
You can also use baking soda to polish your floor tiles. Mix half a cup into a bucket of warm water. Use a mop.
Just like vinegar, baking soda has tons of household cleaning uses.
No, don’t make a lemonade. The juice of this fruit is a naturally-occurring bleaching agent and deodorizer. But its scent is the reason why you may like it. Lemon juice eliminates grease and stains. It polishes surfaces. It also gets rid of mold and mildew, common unwelcome household guests.
Dilute a lemon juice, and keep it in a spray bottle. Use this to keep your countertops clean without enduring the annoying smell of bleach in the kitchen.
4. Olive oil
Who thought of using olive oil to clean stuff? Coupled with salt, it can be used to scour pots and pans. Or you can mix it with lemon juice or vinegar to polish wood. It’s also great for polishing stainless steel and brass. Restoring the natural sheen of your copper cookware is possible using lemon dipped in salt and olive oil. You can actually use olive oil to lubricate glassware without leaving a greasy feeling.
This kitchen companion, a common ingredient in our favorite dishes, has properties that make it an excellent cleaning and deodorizing agent. For instance, people use it to deodorize their refrigerators. Some homeowners have also used it as a stain remover to get rid of wine stains on cotton or linen. Mixed with lemon juice, it can be used to remove mildew. You can brighten curtains and rugs by washing them in saltwater solution.
You can try other natural cleaners. One thing that wasn’t mentioned above is borax, because some people think it’s hazardous. But it’s actually no more irritating than baking soda.
In many cases, you may use two or three of them together. As you can see, vinegar and baking soda can be used for cleaning and declogging purposes. You can add essential oils to white vinegar for an antimicrobial cleaning solution that smells fresh. These alternatives to commercially sold household cleaners and bleaches are not only effective but also safe, gentle on the skin, and environment-friendly.