There are countless options when it comes to cleaning products, but most of the products on store shelves are filled with harsh chemicals that may cause more harm than good. If you would prefer to clean your home with more natural ingredients that are better if you have skin sensitivities or pets, you’re in luck. There are several ingredients you probably already have in your kitchen that you can use for cleaning just about every surface in your home!
8 Ingredients in Your Kitchen You Can Use for Cleaning
Most homeowners know the benefits of keeping baking soda in your fridge to keep foul odors at bay, but did you know you can also use it as a household cleaner? Baking soda works as a natural deodorizer, making it a great addition to your cleaning arsenal. Sprinkle a little on your carpet and rugs to freshen up your home’s flooring or add a scoop to your laundry along with detergent to remove stubborn odors.
Baking soda also works well as abrasive agent to work out tough, stuck-on stains in your kitchen or bathroom. Just add a little directly to a damp sponge to scrub your oven, sink, or stove. Baking soda also comes in handy when trying to remove stubborn bathtub rings or water deposits. You can even use it to clean your stainless steel appliances by mixing it with a little warm water.
Keeping your wood furniture clean and shiny is a difficult task because wood typically needs specialized cleaning solutions to keep it looking new. Olive oil is the perfect natural alternative to harsh wood cleaners. To polish the wood surfaces in your house, simply mix a cup of olive oil with half a cup of white vinegar (and maybe add a few drops of essential oil to dampen the strong vinegar smell). You can even use the oil to buff out scratches on leather furniture and protect furniture made of wicker or rattan.
Olive oil is also great in the kitchen (and not just when you’re cooking!). It’s a wonderful polish for stainless steel. Just add a little to a soft cloth to shine your appliances and remove stubborn fingerprints. And you can use it to clean your cast iron pans by making a paste with oil and coarse salt.
The acidity in lemons make them wonderful cleaning agents. In addition to making your house smell wonderful and fresh, cleaning with lemons will also help keep bacteria, mold, and germs at bay. In the kitchen, use a sliced lemon to freshen your cutting boards, disinfect your counter tops, and clean the gunk out of your microwave.
Lemon peels are another way to clean with lemons, since the peels contain limonene, a citrus oil that is amazing at disinfecting and degreasing. When placed in the garbage disposal, lemon peels will instantly refresh your kitchen sink. I try to do a lemon peel in the garbage disposal at least twice a month. You can make your own lemon-scented cleaning solution by allowing your citrus peels to soak in white vinegar.
In spite of its strong smell, vinegar is a pretty versatile cleaning ingredient. Vinegar can be used to clean surfaces all over your home – from your floors to your faucets. As a natural deodorizer, white vinegar works to absorb odors — the strong acid smell of the ingredient will disappear once the vinegar dries. And if you’re worried about the smell, consider adding a few drops of your favorite essential oil into the vinegar solution before cleaning. Use vinegar in the washing machine to soften your clothes, in the shower to clean soap scum, or mix with baking soda to create a great foaming toilet cleaner.
As an absorbent kitchen ingredient, cornstarch is also a wonderful cleaning agent. Use a pile of cornstarch to remove stains from clothing and carpets – the cornstarch will absorb greasy stains directly from the surface. Cornstarch also absorbs odors in soft surfaces, making it a great choice for cleaning smelly furniture, carpets, rugs, and stuffed animals. And when mixed with water, cornstarch works well as a nonabrasive scrubber for your oven and stove, even pots and pans with stuck-on food. You can also take cornstarch outdoors to assist in removing oil stains from your driveway.
It may be hard to believe that an ingredient that can stain a mug would be a good cleaning agent, but tea is amazing at cutting through grease and battling dust. Black tea is a great way to clean your hardwood floors and tea water works well to clean stuck-on food in your microwave. In the bathroom, use steeped tea water to make your mirrors shine and allow tea bags to steep in your toilet for a sparkling fresh bowl.
Tea can also work as a deodorizer in a variety of places throughout your house. Dried tea leaves can clean stinky carpet and rugs, and smelly shoes can be refreshed by placing a new tea bag inside each shoe. You can also place tea bags in your refrigerator to soak up food odors.
Like lemons, the citric acid in oranges make them great for cleaning. Since lemons and oranges are both in the citrus family, you can use oranges in many of the same cleaning situations as lemons. Half an orange can be used to clean countertops, stainless steel appliances, the microwave, your bathtub, cutting boards, and tea kettles. Toss the peels into the garbage disposal to instantly refresh your kitchen. And the peel of an orange, combined with a cinnamon stick and some cloves in a pot on the stove will make your home smell amazing after you’re finished cleaning.
Salt is another great abrasive ingredient to use for scrubbing stubborn stuck-on dirt, grime, and food. In the kitchen, use salt to clean your stove, oven, pots, and pans. When combined with vinegar, salt can be used to clean solid surfaces, like countertops and tile floors, and to remove coffee and tea stains from glassware. Mix salt with oil to remove water stains from wooden surfaces, or you could sprinkle salt onto a lemon to clean a dull wooden cutting board.
Salt is also great in the laundry room. Salt can be used to remove yellow sweat stains from clothing when dissolved in warm water, or it can be used as a fabric softener when added directly into the washer. And it can ward off an avalanche of soap bubbles if someone accidently overfills the washer.
Prepare to be mind blown! That sugary drink you loved as a kid can actually come in handy when cleaning. The citric acid in the lemonade mix makes it an awesome toilet bowl cleaner. You can also use Kool-Aid to clean your washing machine and dishwasher by adding a packet directly into the machine and running an empty wash cycle.
I learned about many of these cleaning methods from one of my friends who is allergic to most commercial cleansers, so she cleans in unconventional ways.
Did you know you can use these 8 ingredients in your kitchen for cleaning? Have you tried any of them?