We’ve been featuring the comprehensive spring cleaning survival plan, ending with do-it-yourself home cleaning solutions. In our last post we stressed how dangerous some chemicals can be, especially if you have respiratory issues or other health concerns. This time, we wanted to provide a solution for you to clean your home safely.
This past weekend, I tested all the DIY options below. I used five simple ingredients. Here are the ones that worked best for me. I am sure they will do wonders for your spring cleaning, too!
1. White vinegar
- Dishwasher – Pour ½ cup of vinegar into the reservoir and run through an empty cycle.
- Clogged drains – Pour 1 cup of vinegar down the drain and wait 30 minutes. Flush with hot water.
- Glass surfaces – Add equal parts vinegar and water to the surface and wipe clean.
- Surface mold – Spray vinegar onto the moldy area and let sit for 20 minutes. Rinse and let dry.
- Floors – Add ¼ cup of vinegar to 1 cup of warm water. This can be used to clean most floor surfaces. Important exceptions: marble and wood. The vinegar/water solution will scratch or strip those surfaces.
- Windows – Mix ¼ cup of vinegar with 2 cups of water and a dash of Castile soap into a spray bottle. Spray the window and use newspaper to wipe for a streak-free shine.
2. Olive oil
- Stainless steel surfaces – Pour olive oil onto a cloth and buff the surface. Leaves a spic-and-span sparkle and shine!
- Wooden surfaces – Mix 1 cup of olive oil with ½ cup of lemon juice and work through the surface with a cloth. You can also smooth out scratches by using equal parts lemon juice and olive oil on light wood surfaces.
- Countertops – Cut a lemon in half and dip into baking soda. Use the lemon to scrub the surface. Wipe clear with a wet cloth and let dry. Not recommended for marble or stainless steel; it may discolor those surfaces.
- Cutting boards – Slice a lemon in half and run over the surface. Let sit for 10-15 minutes and rinse clean.
- Garbage disposal – Cut a small lemon in half and run both pieces through the garbage disposal. It cleans while leaving a fresh smell.
4. Baking soda:
- Toilet bowl – Mix ¼ cup of baking soda and 1 cup of vinegar and pour into the toilet and let sit 5 minutes. Scrub with brush and flush to rinse.
- Tub and tile – Rub the surface with baking soda and a wet cloth. Rinse with fresh water. For a tough job, you can spray vinegar first and then use the baking soda.
- Stainless steel – Mix 2 tablespoons of baking soda with ½ cup of vinegar and 2 cups of warm water. Mix into a spray bottle. Spray onto the surface and wipe clean.
5. Hydrogen peroxide:
- Laundry stains – If you have a stubborn stain, look no further than your bottle of equal parts water and hydrogen peroxide. Let sit for 5 minutes before tossing into the washing machine.
- Mold – Mix ½ cup hydrogen peroxide and 1 cup of water into a spray bottle. Spray the moldy area and let it sit for 5 minutes. Wipe clean.
- Carpet stains – Mix hydrogen peroxide with a few drops of liquid dish soap. Apply to the stained surface. Scrub for a few minutes, and then let sit as long as needed to lift the stain.
These DIY cleaners give you a simple (and thrifty) alternative to cleaning with harmful chemicals. Again, I tested each of these. I had great results, but spot-test on a small area if you are skeptical of the outcome. Remember, some of these cleaners are not right for certain surfaces.
Do you have any favorite DIY cleaners you want to share? Leave a comment!