We all have that go-to cleaning product. It could be disinfecting wipes, maybe its multi surface cleaner, but whatever it is, whenever we use it, our homes feel spic and span. As supermarkets become more hectic, popular items are becoming harder and harder to find. The shelves in the cleaning isle that were once stocked piles high are now empty. So what can you do? What can you clean with instead? You probably don't realize it, but you may already have a kitchen full of cleaning supplies right under your nose. Many staples that are commonly found in kitchen cabinets double as cleaning supplies. There is a reason these kitchen staples work, and it comes down to basic chemistry.
Remember, these at home solutions won't disinfect the same way that bleach and other cleaners do, so please follow CDC guidelines for cleaning frequently touched surfaces and other items during the COVID-19 pandemic.
First we need something to clean with. Switch from paper towels to cloth. You can use rags, or even cut up some old t-shirts. They're washable, and reusable.
Vinegar and lemon juice
Vinegar and lemon juice are mild acids. The high ph levels of these ingredients create an inhabitable environment for microorganisms to grow. Its a great mixture to help disinfect, and keep away the germs. This mixture can dissolve grease and lift grime by breaking down mineral deposits like lime and calcium. It also helps to remove stains like coffee or soda.
Use this recipe as an all natural eco-friendly multi surface cleaner
Juice of 1 lemon
Juice of 1 lime
1 cup distilled white vinegar
1 cup water
Ketchup can be used to clean copper,
Tabasco sauce removes tarnishes from brass.
Probably one of the most universal items in your kitchen cabinets is baking soda. Baking soda (sorsodium bicarbonite), is a weak base that is also amphoteric, meaning that it can act as either an acid or a base, depending on what it comes into contact with. Often times people leave an open box of baking soda in their refrigerator to keep it smelling fresh, but you can use it for so much more. You can eliminate carpet odor, garbage odor, shoe odor, you can even use it on yourself. It can be used as a mouthwash, toothpaste ( baking soda is great for whitening teeth) or as deodorant. Why does baking soda eliminate smells?
Baking soda is made up of millions of tiny crystals, and because baking soda is amphoteric, the surface of these crystals provides an area for both acidic, and basic molecules to stick to, neutralizing their odors.
Baking soda is also a great cleaning agent.
To use baking soda in your kitchen, make a paste by mixing baking soda with a small amount of water. Apply the paste to the desired surface with a sponge or cloth and scrub thoroughly. Baking soda is a natural scouring power. It can save a scorched pot, be used to polish silverware, and also be used as a multipurpose bathroom cleaner. Baking soda whitens areas, and eliminates scum. Mixed with vinegar, baking soda can unclog drains. The combination of baking soda and vinegar turns fatty acids into soap and glycerin, allowing the clog to wash down the drain.
Cornstarch is an excellent alternative to a streak free window cleaner. It works on fiberglass doors, and other glass surfaces.
Use this mixture for a streak free clean
1/4 cup white vinegar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 cups warm water
Put all the ingredients into a clean spray bottle and shake to mix. Spray on glass and wipe dry with a clean cloth or newspaper. Cornstarch is also a great stain remover. Mix it with water and scrub to get stains out of cloths or carpets.
Borax (sodium borate or sodium tetraborate), is a naturally occurring mineral that is
primarily mined from evaporated lakes in California and Turkey. It can be found in the laundry isle in most grocery stores. Borax mixed with vinegar can create an unstoppable cleaning solution.
Multi-purpose cleaning solution
3 Tbsp of borax and
1 cup of vinegar
3 cups of warm water
To clean mildew or mold
½ cup borax
1/2 cup of vinegar
1 cup of warm water.
1 cup of borax
1 cup of warm water
2 tablespoons of lemon juice
A thick paste will be formed. Apply it on the rusted area and leave it for 15-20 minutes, and rinse.
Natural Air Freshener
Now that your home is squeaky clean, you might want to add a fresh scent. Use these recipes as a natural air freshener for your home. In a medium saucepan, simmer a quart of water with natural ingredients to freshen and clean the air.
1 sliced lemon, 2 tablespoons rosemary and a dash of vanilla
1 sliced lime and 1 piece chopped ginger root
1 sliced orange, 1 teaspoon cinnamon and a dash of nutmeg and cloves (smells like pumpkin pie)
2 tablespoons thyme and 1 sliced lime
For more tips on safe and healthy homes visit us at www.rebuildingtogethercfl.org. What are your favorite DIY cleaning solutions? Tell us in the comments!