Natural solutions for greener cleaning 

June 15, 2022 by PEMCO Insurance

Inexpensive, DIY green cleaners for a healthy home

You don’t have to rely solely on commercially made cleaners to sanitize and deodorize your home. Simple, inexpensive ingredients you already have around the house like white vinegar, baking soda, salt and olive oil can get rid of everyday messes without worries about chemical fumes and residues.

What are some natural alternatives to traditional cleaners?

Heavy duty, traditional cleaners have their place – think alcohol- or bleach-based solutions to sanitize surfaces after an illness or potentially dangerous contamination. They’re not the only options for a clean home, though. Many manufacturers offer effective greener choices. PEMCO now relies primarily on products formulated to be environmentally friendly and non-toxic to clean our buildings. 

You may not need a trip to the store to try natural cleaners. Make a clean sweep and save money, too, with DIY green cleaners made from pantry staples like these:

White vinegar. Vinegar’s acidity makes it a cheap, effective choice for ridding your home of bacteria, mold and mildew. It’s great on glass, laminate countertops and even sinks and toilets. Mix equal parts water and vinegar to make an all-purpose kitchen cleaner, and you can improve the scent with a few drops of your favorite essential oil.

One caution with vinegar: Don’t use it on natural stone like granite or marble. It can dull the finish.

Lemon juice. Like vinegar, lemon juice’s acidity makes it a good cleaner and it has the added bonus of smelling great. Try it to loosen baked-on splatters in the microwave. Mix ¾ cup of water with two tablespoons lemon juice and heat it to boiling. Leave the door closed for about 10 minutes so the steam can soften the mess, then wipe clean. If you have leftover cut lemons, rub them on your cutting boards to bleach away stains. 

As with vinegar, keep lemon juice away from natural stone as well as brass plating because it can damage the surface.

Baking soda. Got a stinky garbage disposal? Grind a few ice cubes and turn off the disposal. Then, dump in some baking soda and white vinegar, and let it foam and fizz away odor-causing grime. Finish by grinding lemons left over from your other cleaning routines.

Baking soda and vinegar also fizz grease off your stove’s exhaust fan grille, loosening it up so you can finish with dish soap and water. The combination works great for cleaning your dishwasher, too.

Sprinkle baking soda on carpets and mattresses as an inexpensive, nontoxic way to draw out odors rather than covering them up with perfumed deodorizers. Be sure to leave it on for at least a few minutes before vacuuming it up.

Salt. Cast iron skillets lose their seasoning if they’re run through the dishwasher or scrubbed with harsh detergent. Use salt and paper towels to scour them, instead. Salt also works to remove coffee stains from cups. To clean the entire coffee pot, pour salt in the bottom, add ice cubes, swirl to scour, and rinse.

Olive oil. To make wood furniture shine, mix two parts olive oil with one part lemon juice and apply with a soft cloth. (Don’t use the oil on wood floors, though, to avoid a slipping hazard.) To get rid of white water rings on wooden tables, buff them with a paste of olive oil, lemon juice and salt and wipe clean with a soft cloth.

More tips to help you clean and organize

Visit our Blog for motivating articles like these: clean your home and de-stress, six tips to organize your garage and spring cleaning hacks for your car.

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