Have you ever spent hours upon hours just cleaning around the house, only to find that it gets messy again in less than a minute? It can start to feel like an endless cycle of cleaning, but it doesn’t have to!
I’ve always loved finding unique and easy ways to clean around the house, even for some of the toughest jobs like soap scum, oven, and microwave cleaning. The best part about these cleaning tricks is that they don’t use any harsh or toxic chemicals, just simple ingredients that you already have in your kitchen.
Here are some of my favorite cleaning tips and tricks that will change your life!
1. Clean Your Cutting Board With Sea Salt & Lemon
With all the foods we use a cutting board to prepare with, it’s no wonder why they need to be cleaned more often. Because some cutting boards are porous, like wooden butcher blocks, it’s imperative that they are cleaned thoroughly after each use. The easiest way to clean one? That’s right, lemon and salt!
Simply sprinkle about a handful of a coarse sea salt onto the cutting board (Kosher works too!), and use one half of a lemon as a sponge to scrub the salt into the cutting board. The salt acts as an abrasive, getting into all the nooks and crannies of the wood, and the citric acid in the lemon helps cut dirt, grease, and grime, leaving it clean, fresh, and smelling wonderful!
2. Clean Your Microwave With Water & Vinegar
The microwave is a well used appliance in my house, which makes it quick to get dirty. I used to use conventional methods of cleaning to try to get rid of those baked on food particles, but even harsh chemicals couldn’t do the job!
After tossing all those toxic chemical products out of my home, I needed a more natural way to clean my appliances, but I would have never guessed that two simple ingredients could do a better job than anything else I ever tried. You won’t believe how easy this cleaning trick is!
All you need to do is fill a small bowl about halfway with water, then add about 1-2 tablespoons of white vinegar. Set the bowl in your microwave, and turn it on high for 2 minutes. After it turns off, leave the door closed for 5 minutes to let the steam work its magic. Then, remove the bowl and clean the inside of the microwave with just a wet sponge and watch as the grease and grime just wipe away with little to no effort! You can even add a few slices of fresh lemon to the bowl of water to help freshen up the smell.
3. Clean Your Oven With Baking Soda & Vinegar
Oven cleaning is right up there with microwave cleaning as one of my least favorite kitchen appliances to clean. In the past I used the ‘self-cleaning’ function on my oven, but all it did was heat up my house and make it smell horrible from the smoke that was created. Using conventional oven cleaners was also out of the question, since they are horribly toxic and really unsafe to breathe in.
The solution? Baking soda and vinegar, of course! These two amazing powerhouse ingredients are perfect for cleaning tough dirt, grease, and grime. All you need is some gloves, and a little patience for one of the most natural ways to clean an oven.
Take a small bowl with some baking soda in it, and add a few tablespoons of water until you get a nice paste-like consistency. Remove your oven racks, put on your gloves, and start applying your baking soda mixture to your oven, concentrating on the heavily baked on food areas. Once you’ve coated everything with a nice layer of baking soda, close your oven door and let it sit for a few hours (the longer, the better). Do not turn the oven on!
After a few hours have gone by, use a wet sponge or cloth to wipe away the baking soda. You may need a little elbow grease to scrub those hard baked on areas, but the baking soda should loosen everything up for you. Once you’ve wiped away the main areas, take a spray bottle with a bit of white vinegar and mist the leftover areas. The vinegar will react with the baking soda and start to foam, which will make it easier to clean!
4. Clean & Deodorize Your Carpet With Baking Soda
If you have carpet in your home, you know how tough it can be to clean, especially after food or drink spills, but before you reach for the phone and call a cleaning service, try this simple trick first.
To clean oil stains on carpet, sprinkle an even layer of baking soda onto the problem area and let sit for a few hours. Use a bristle brush to help scrub the baking soda into the carpet fibers, depending on how plush your carpet it. After a few hours, vacuum up the baking soda and the oil stains should have been absorbed. You may need to repeat if you have really stubborn stains.
To deodorize carpet, mix baking soda with 20-25 drops of essential oils (I use lemon and orange for a fresh, clean smell), and sprinkle across carpet. Let sit for 1-2 hours, then vacuum up for clean, fresh smelling carpet! You can use an old cheese shaker to keep your mixture in, and make it easier to sprinkle on your carpet.
5. Remove Hard Water Stains On Faucets With A Lemon
Would you believe me if I told you that you could easily remove those hard water stains on your faucets just by rubbing them with a lemon? I didn’t believe it either…until I tried it, and I have to tell you that it absolutely works!
Just take half of a lemon, and gently scrub your faucets, making sure to get in all the nooks and crannies. Then rinse off with warm water, and dry with a clean cloth to reveal a shiny faucet that looks brand new! The secret is the citric acid in the lemon, as it helps neutralize those hard water stains to remove them from the surfaces.
6. Clean Bathtub Soap Scum With A Baking Soda Paste
Baking soda yet again! Can you see the running theme here? Baking soda is such a powerful cleaning agent that it can pretty much be used for almost anything, and cleaning bathtubs and showers is no exception.
To clean soap scum around the tub and tile, simply make a paste with baking soda and water (like the oven cleaning mixture), and spread it all around wherever it needs cleaning. Use a sponge or cloth to scrub the baking soda into the soap scum, and between the tiles, to remove the dirt buildup. After cleaning, spray the tub and shower with vinegar to foam and remove the rest of the baking soda, and rinse everything off with warm water.
7. Clean Toilet Bowls With Baking Soda & Vinegar
Cleaning toilets is one of my least favorite things to do, but unfortunately it has to be done. Luckily, there’s an easy and natural way to clean those stubborn toilet bowl stains, which means less work for you!
I actually wrote an article about how to make your own toilet bowl cleaning powder, which is one of the best ways to clean and freshen, but if you need a quick fix, just use baking soda and vinegar.
To clean your toilet, toss 1-2 tablespoons of baking soda, and 1-2 tablespoons of vinegar into the bowl and it will immediately start to fizz (just like those volcano science projects at school!). Once the fizzing has started to die down, take a toilet brush and scrub all around the bowl, making sure to get underneath the rim. After it’s nice and clean, just flush your toilet and it should be fresh and sparkling!
8. Use A Plastic Bag With Vinegar To Clean Your Shower Head
Shower heads are notorious for getting clogged with hard water, calcium, and lime, but luckily there is a super easy way to clean them naturally. Forget trying to scrub them with soap and water, and toss out those harsh toxic chemical cleaners, because all you need for this is a plastic bag and some vinegar to clean and freshen.
Simply fill a small plastic bag, or Ziploc, about halfway full of white vinegar, and secure the bag over the shower head with a robber band, or trash bag tie. Let the vinegar do its magic for a few hours, then remove the bag and rinse the shower head off with warm water. If you have really tough stains, or hard water, you can rub some baking soda paste onto the shower head first and scrub, then use a spray bottle to mist the vinegar on to let it foam together. Finish cleaning with a wet sponge and warm water.
9. Disinfect & Freshen Dirty Sponges In The Microwave
When you clean anything with a sponge, you’re bound to trap dirt and bacteria inside those porous little rectangles, but before you toss that smelly sponge in the trash, try this simple trick first!
To clean and disinfect a well used sponge, simply wet the sponge thoroughly and put it in the microwave for 2 minutes. After it’s done, let the sponge sit and cool off before taking it out, because it will be hot and steaming! This simple method is powerful enough to kill any bacteria that may be lingering on your sponge, and also helps freshen that funky smell they have a tendency of getting.
10. Clean Mirrors & Windows With Vinegar
I wrote an article on how to make the best glass cleaner that really works, which is only way I clean my mirrors and windows at home. The idea is simple enough, just combine a 50:50 mixture of distilled water and white vinegar in a spray bottle, and use it to clean windows and mirrors. Wipe off with crumpled newspaper, or a clean and dry microfiber cloth. I don’t use paper towels for this method as they tend to leave residue behind, but they will still work if it’s the only thing you have on hand.
You may need to repeat a few times if you have really dirty glass, but it does an amazing job of leaving your windows and mirrors crystal clear!
Buy An All Natural Cleaner
You can make your own homemade natural all-purpose cleaner that will get the job done quickly, or you can buy a natural cleaner for all types of cleaning jobs around the house. Here are a few that I personally use and recommend:
- Puracy Natural Multi-Surface Cleaner
- Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day Multi-Surface Everyday Cleaner
- Biokleen Concentrated All Purpose Cleaner
Do you use natural methods to clean around the house? What are your favorite ways to clean common items? Share below!