How to Clean Your Home Without Toxic Chemicals
Cleaning your home is an important part of maintaining a healthy environment. However, many conventional cleaning products contain harmful chemicals that can negatively impact your health and the environment. The good news is there are many simple, non-toxic ingredients you likely already have in your kitchen that can get the job done just as well.
Use Baking Soda and Vinegar for All-Purpose Cleaning
Baking soda and vinegar are two of the most versatile natural cleaning ingredients. The combination of an acid (vinegar) and a base (baking soda) allows them to neutralize odors and cut through grease and grime.
To make an all-purpose cleaner, simply mix:
- 1 cup warm water
- 1/4 cup baking soda
- 1/4 cup vinegar
- 10-15 drops essential oil (optional for scent)
Put the mixture in a spray bottle and use it to clean countertops, appliances, floors, walls, mirrors, and more. The baking soda scrubs surfaces while the vinegar disinfects. Shake before each use.
Key takeaway: Baking soda and vinegar together make a safe, eco-friendly cleaner that works on most surfaces.
Use Lemon Juice to Disinfect and Deodorize
Lemon juice is a natural disinfectant and deodorizer. Thanks to the citric acid, it can help kill germs and bacteria and leave behind a fresh, clean scent.
Some ways to use lemon for cleaning:
- Add lemon juice to your all-purpose spray cleaner recipe.
- Squeeze lemon juice on cutting boards to disinfect after food prep.
- Run half a lemon over trash cans to deodorize.
- Mix lemon juice with baking soda and use as a scrub to brighten aluminum and stainless steel.
Key takeaway: The antibacterial properties in lemon make it a perfect non-toxic disinfectant.
Clean Windows and Mirrors with Vinegar
White vinegar is a streak-free glass cleaner. Simply mix:
- 1/4-1/2 cup white vinegar
- 1/4-1/2 cup water
Put the solution in a spray bottle and use it to clean windows, mirrors, shower doors, and other glass surfaces. The vinegar cuts through dirt and grease, while the water helps remove residue.
For super shiny windows and mirrors, follow up with a squeeze of lemon juice and a dry microfiber cloth. The acid in the lemon juice helps dissolve any remaining grime.
Key takeaway: Vinegar and water make a natural streak-free glass cleaner.
Use Hydrogen Peroxide to Brighten and Disinfect
Hydrogen peroxide is another kitchen staple that works great as a natural cleaner. At 3-5% concentration, hydrogen peroxide can be used throughout the home to disinfect surfaces and whitten clothes.
- Add 1 cup to laundry to brighten whites.
- Mix with equal parts water and use to disinfect kitchen counters.
- Combine with baking soda and dish soap to make an abrasive cleaner for difficult stains.
- Spray it straight onto mold and mildew and let sit for 10 minutes before rinsing.
Key takeaway: Hydrogen peroxide naturally bleaches and disinfects as it breaks down into just oxygen and water.
Remove Stains With Castile Soap
Castile soap is plant-based soap made from vegetable oils like coconut, olive, hemp, or laurel oil. It’s biodegradable and far gentler than detergent-based soaps.
Castile soap can remove stains on:
- Clothes – Pretreat with undiluted soap and wash.
- Carpets – Mix soap with warm water and apply to stain. Blot with towel.
- Walls – Make a mild soap solution in a spray bottle.
- Dishes – Swap for dish detergent.
It can also be used to handwash delicate clothing items that can’t go in the washing machine.
Key takeaway: Plant-based castile soap effectively removes stains without harsh chemicals.
Use Essential Oils to Freshen Air
Essential oils like lemon, peppermint, tea tree, and eucalyptus not only provide natural fragrance, but they have antimicrobial properties.
You can use essential oils to freshen indoor air:
- Add 5-10 drops to the vacuum cleaner filter before vacuuming.
- Place a few drops on cotton balls and tuck them inside shoes or gym bags.
- Diffuse oils in the air with an essential oil diffuser.
Key takeaway: Essential oils naturally purify and freshen indoor air.
It’s possible to have a clean, healthy home without using toxic chemicals. Simple, natural ingredients like baking soda, vinegar, lemon juice, hydrogen peroxide, castile soap, and essential oils get the job done. Experiment to find the right recipes and methods that work best in your home. Gradually make the switch for a cleaner home and healthier indoor environment.