RESOURCES FOR DIY NATURAL HOUSEHOLD CLEANING: Common Supplies, Best Uses and Suggested Sites



Vinegar isn’t only for cooking! (Adapted from

Vinegar is also an eco-friendly and inexpensive household cleaner. And in most cases, you only need to mix vinegar with water. You can add salt and baking soda to create a more abrasive cleaner or a few drops of essential oil for a lighter scent. Vinegar also makes a great cleaner and disinfectant because it’s made from acetic acid. Acetic acid is a colorless organic compound that gives vinegar its sour taste and pungent smell. It’s also an ingredient in some store-bought household cleaners. The acidic nature of vinegar is so powerful it can dissolve mineral deposit, dirt, grease, and grime. And it’s strong enough to kill bacteria.

Different types of vinegar include:

Apple cider vinegar, white distilled vinegar, balsamic vinegar, red or white wine vinegar

Best type of vinegar to use for cleaning: 

White distilled vinegar is the best vinegar for cleaning because it doesn’t contain a coloring agent. Therefore, it won’t stain surfaces. Staining can happen when cleaning with a darker-colored vinegar. Plus, distilled white vinegar has about 5 percent acidity, which is also similar to the acidity level in many everyday multipurpose cleaners.

About that vinegar smell:

If you’re using vinegar as a cleaner, the scent may linger for about an hour or so. However, this might be a small price to pay for a cleaner that’s nontoxic, natural, and environmentally friendly.

You can mask the smell by adding a few drops of essential oil, such as lemon oil, lavender oil, or peppermint oil, to a spray bottle containing a vinegar water solution. Or, open a window and let some fresh air in to help remove the scent quicker.

The strong odor of white vinegar can be unpleasant, in which case you can use apple cider vinegar instead. It has the same cleaning properties as white distilled vinegar, but since it’s made by fermenting apple juice, it also has a slightly sweet scent. Apple cider vinegar is darker in color, so dilute it in water before using it as a cleaning agent.


Household Uses for Baking Soda:

  1. Unclog your sink. One cup of baking soda plus one cup of vinegar will help unclog your drains
  2. Clean baby clothes gently. For a non-harsh cleanser, add half a cup of baking soda to chemical-free liquid laundry detergent and wash clothes.
  3. Keep your combs and brushes clean. Keep your combs and brushes clean by removing the natural oil build-up by soaking them in a small basin of warm water with one teaspoon of baking soda. Rinse and let dry. This will brighten up your dull hair.
  4. Keep your oral appliances clean. Mouthpieces like retainers and dentures need neutralization for odor, so add two teaspoons of baking soda dissolved in a cup of warm water to keep them clean.
  5. Polish silver. Brighten silver with a baking soda and water paste. Rub onto silver with a clean cloth, rinse, and dry.
  6. Brighten your floors. Get rid of grime easily by using half a cup of baking soda in a bucket of warm water. Mop and rinse clean for a shiny new floor. This also helps scuff marks.
  7. Cut oil and grease. Baking soda makes oil easier to clean when you add a heaping scoop to your regular dish soap. Let soak for a while.
  8. Clean dishwashers. Deodorize and cleanse your dishwasher by putting baking soda in wash cycle.
  9. Clean patio furniture. Sprinkle baking soda under chair cushions to freshen your patio furniture.
  10. Clean batteries. Make a baking soda paste and apply with a damp cloth to scrub corrosion from a battery. Be careful because batteries contain acids. Disconnect the battery terminal before cleaning and reconnect afterwards. To prevent corrosion, wipe with petroleum jelly.
  11. Clean cars - baking soda and warm water applied on a soft cloth, sponge or brush to remove road dirt and bugs.
  12. Remove oil and grease stains. Light spills can be cleaned by sprinkling baking soda on the spot and scrubbing with a wet brush.
  13. Clean the microwave. Add baking soda to a sponge and clean the inside of your microwave and reduce odors.
  14. Clean the oven. Sprinkle baking soda on the bottom surface of your oven and spray with water to dampen the soda. Let sit overnight and scrub; in the morning, rinse thoroughly.
  15. Soak cloth diapers. Dissolve half a cup of baking soda in 8 cups of water to soak cloth diapers.
  16. Clean crayons from the wall. A wet cloth with baking soda removes crayon marks from a wall.
  17. Make a simple soft surface scrub. Sprinkle baking soda lightly on a damp sponge and scrub your bathtubs, tiles and sinks. Rinse and wipe dry.
  18. Discourage weeds. Naturally get rid of weeds, sprinkle baking soda between the cracks of your walkway.
  19. Clean pots and pans. Remove baking residue by shaking a generous amount of soda onto pots and pans. Add hot water and dish detergent, soak for 15 minutes and wash.
  20. Clean furniture. Add baking soda to damp clean sponge, rub furniture lightly. Wipe with dry cloth.
  21. Clean vinyl shower curtains. Sprinkle baking soda on a damp brush and scrub the curtains, rinse clean and hang to dry.
  22. Boost laundry detergent. Add 1/2 cup of baking soda to liquid detergent gets clothes brighter.
  23. Fill holes in a wall. Mix white toothpaste and baking soda to fill holes in a plastered wall and allow the mix to dry.
  24. Extinguish small fires. Turn off the gas or electricity if it’s safe, stand back, and throw handfuls of baDeodorizing
  25. Air freshener You won’t need chemicals and toxins around anymore when you add one tablespoon of baking soda to distilled water and a few drops of your favorite essential oil.
  26. Deodorize the refrigerator. Place an open box of baking soda to deodorize your refrigerator.
  27. Freshen your rugs. Sprinkle baking soda on a carpet, wait 15 minutes or overnight, then vacuum
  28. Deodorize garbage cans. Sprinkling baking soda on the bottom of your rubbish bin
  29. Freshen your closet. Place a box of baking soda in your closet to freshen your wardrobe. Add a few drops of lavender oil to ward off moths.
  30. Remove toilet odors. Add one cup baking soda to the toilet and let sit for one hour before flush.
  31. Deodorize the kitty litter box. Cover the bottom with baking soda and add litter on top.
  32. Deodorize your wood cutting board. Sprinkle baking soda on your boards, scrub and rinse.
  33. Freshen stuffed animals. Cuddle your toys clean by sprinkling baking soda onto plush toys. Wait 15 minutes before brushing off.
  34. Freshen your fireplace. Reduce the odor of soot by cleaning the ashes out of your fireplace and placing a bowl of baking soda inside.
  35. Remove the odor from the vacuum cleaner. By vacuuming baking soda into the body of the vacuum cleaner, you are helping to deodorize the equipment.
  36. Deodorize sneakers. Shake baking soda into sneakers to keep them fresh until wearing again.
  37. Deodorize pet bedding. Sprinkle baking soda liberally onto pet bedding, wait 15 minutes plus and vacuum.


Best Uses of Salt in the Home (Adapted from The Old Farmer's Almanac )

1. Fruit-stained clothes -Rub salt on while still wet, then put them in the wash.

2. Mildew spots, rub in salt and some buttermilk, and then let dry in the sun.

3. If you spill wine or fruit juice on your tablecloth, immediately pour salt on the spot to absorb the stain.

4. Heat rings -Apply a paste of salt and olive oil to ugly heat rings on your table. Let sit for about an hour and then wipe off with a soft cloth.

5. To improve your iron, sprinkle salt on a piece of paper and run the sticky iron over it a few times while the iron is hot.

6. Restore some color to faded fabric, soak in strong solution of salt and water.

7. Brass -A mixture of salt and vinegar will clean brass.

8. Salting fingers when cleaning meat or fish prevents your hands from slipping.

9. To kill unwanted weeds growing in your driveway or between bricks and stones, pour boiling salt water over them.

10. For perspiration stains, add enough water to salt to make a paste, then rub into the cloth. Wait for an hour, and then launder as usual.

11. Cover spilled raw eggs with salt, then wipe clean with a paper towel.

12. To freshen smelly sneakers (or any canvas shoe) sprinkle their insides with salt. Wait 24 hours for the salt to absorb the odor, and then shake them out.

13. Pour salt directly onto a grease spill and come back to it later.

14. A new broom will last longer if you soak the bristles in hot salt water before using it for the first time.

15. Stainless steel can be cleaned by rubbing it with a gritty paste of two tbsp salt mixed with lemon juice. Rinse well and pat dry with a soft cloth.

16. Rub two to three tablespoons of salt onto the stains inside your glass vases, and then scrub clean with a damp bristle brush.

17. Gargle with warm salt water to relieve a sore throat. (1/4 tsp salt to one cup water)

18. Sprinkle salt on carpets to dry out muddy footprints before vacuuming.

19. When silk flowers get dusty, put them in a paper bag with several tablespoons of salt and shake gently for two minutes to clean them.




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