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Cleaning Up Using Natural Products
Published on Sunday, 14 October 2012

Cleaning up is usually a tedious chore, which everyone tries to put off as long as possible before starting. There are many things that could make you feel like this, not least of which is the fact that there is a lot of work involved, when you would really rather be doing anything else. And while there isn't any way to get around the time and effort that it's going to take you, there are certain things you could do to make the task more pleasant. One of these things is to cut out the chemicals you use in your cleaning routine. This is an important step to improving your health as breathing  in noxious chemicals on a regular basis can make you sluggish and generally decrease your quality of life. Luckily, there are many domestic chemicals and detergents, which can be easily and successfully replaced with more natural items that wouldn't harm your health.

1.    A rather unexpected miracle cleaner is borax. A mixture of equal parts borax and white vinegar can be used extremely successfully to remove mould and mildew from any surface. While this isn't the best smelling detergent, it certainly isn't as harmful to your lungs as bleach. Additionally, borax can be used as a toilet cleaner. Simply pour a  cup of the inexpensive mineral into the toilet bowl and let it sit for  a few hours before scrubbing vigorously and flushing it away.

2.    White vinegar on its own is also quite a potent ingredient. Because of its acidic content, it can be used to dissolve grease, as well as dirt and lime build up. Additionally, white vinegar is very good at not just masking, but completely destroying odors. It is therefore great for cleaning kitchen surfaces like counters and even windows. Simply mix one part vinegar with four parts water, put the mixture in a spray bottle and use as you would any commercial all-purpose cleaner. Do not use on lacquered surfaces though, as the vinegar might corrupt the polish.

3.    A miracle ingredient for cleaning up grungy stovetops is baking soda. While this will require some scrubbing, the baking soda will help dissolve any grease stains, as well as acting as an abrasive to clean dried up and burnt impurities. Scrub with baking soda, then wash any remaining impurities with your tried and tested water-vinegar solution for optimal results.

4.    Similarly to baking soda, plain old salt is very good at cleaning up oven grease and stains, because of its abrasive properties. Additionally, you can use it to soak up stains from fabrics - wine, grease, or ink, all of these stains can be loosened with salt before washing. The only drawback is that this method is only feasible for small stains as it requires thoroughly covering the spot with salt.

5.    Lemon juice also makes quite a handy grease remover and is, in fact, a very good alternative to dish washing detergent. Simply leave your greasy dishes and pans to soak overnight in a 50:50 solution of water and lemon juice, then scrub away any impurities and rinse with hot water. Because of its high acidic content, lemon juice is excellent at not only removing stains, but killing bacteria as well, leaving your kitchen and utensils as healthy and hygienic as any commercial brand cleaner, if not more so.

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