Everyone wants to live in a clean home, and there’s something about the spring and summer months that bring out the urge to deep clean and freshen everything up. Being able to clean a house naturally is a simple way to provide non-toxic home care as well as save on cleaning costs…and it’s no more difficult than cleaning with harsher chemicals generally present in commercial cleaning products. Here are 20 extremely easy and straightforward homemade recipes and tips and tricks for spring cleaning your home in fresh, natural ways.
All-Purpose Cleaner: Mix 1/2 cup white vinegar and 10 drops disinfecting essential oil (such as tea tree, lemon, or lavender) with a little bit of water in a 12 oz glass spray bottle. Add 2 tbsp baking soda and water to the top of the spray bottle. Shake gently but thoroughly, then use the spray for general cleaning and wipe it with a cloth. Allow cleaner to air dry.
Dishwasher Cleaner: Fill a glass bowl or mason jar with 2 cups distilled white vinegar. Place on the top rack of the empty dishwasher. Run a hot cleaning cycle. That’s it! This freshens any smells and leaves the dishwasher sparkly clean.
Silver Shiner: Line your sink with aluminum foil, then fill with hot water and 1/2 cup each of salt and baking soda. Stir the powders until dissolved into the water, then place your silver in the sink. This can be used for silverware or any silver accessory or trinket. Check the object after about five minutes, and when it looks tarnish-free, gently wash away any salt or soda residue and buff with a soft cloth.
Homemade Gunk Remover: Mix one part vegetable oil with two parts baking soda. Apply gunk remover with a sponge, brush, or cloth to clean trim corners and cabinet faces.
Cutting Board Disinfectant: Mix 2 tbsp white vinegar with 1 cup water, and wipe down the wooden cutting board. Cut a lemon in half and dip the cut end in sea salt; use this cut end to scrub the wooden cutting board. Dampen a clean white cloth with water, and wipe the excess salt away. Dip your towel in mineral oil or board oil and buff the wooden cutting board.
Garbage Disposal Freshener: Slice a few lemons into chunks that will fit into empty ice tray cubes. Place one lemon chunk per ice cube slot, and fill each slot with white vinegar. Freeze. Use one cube each night after dinner dishes to keep a fresh garbage disposal drain.
Oven Cleaner: Mix 1/2 cup baking soda with 3 tbsp water to form a spreadable paste. Rub paste all over the interior walls and window of your oven and let sit overnight. Pour white vinegar into a spray bottle and spray onto the dried paste in the morning. Once you see the foaming reaction, you can wipe the oven surfaces clean with a water-dampened cloth.
Hard Water Remover: Soak paper towels in distilled white vinegar, then wrap around any surface that has hard water buildup, such as kitchen or bathroom sink faucet joints, shower heads, soap dispensers, etc. Alternatively (or in addition), you can pour vinegar into a plastic bag and tie it on a shower head so the spray nozzles are sitting in vinegar. Allow to sit and soak for about 20 minutes, then remove paper towels and gently scrub with a soft bristled brush. Repeat as needed until hard water scum is gone.
Bathroom Faucet Cleaner: Cut a lemon in half and scrub the cut side of the lemon onto any hard water stains on bathroom or kitchen faucets.
Tub, Shower, & Sink Scouring Powder: Mix together two parts baking soda with one part each borax and salt. Store in an airtight container. Sprinkle powder on areas with soap scum buildup and other parts of the tub or shower, then scrub with a damp cloth or soft bristle brush to cut through the grime.
Tile Grout Cleaner: Form a paste by mixing three parts baking soda with one part water. Use a toothbrush or rag to wipe paste onto tile grout. Let sit, then scrub with a toothbrush. Rinse paste away with a sponge or clean damp cloth.
Toilet Cleaner: Flush the toilet, the sprinkle a small package of lemonade-flavored kool-aid (which has citric acid) around the inside walls of your toilet bowl. Scrub with a toilet bowl brush and let sit for 2 hours or overnight. Flush.
Easy Iron Cleaning Tip: Power your iron onto its highest setting and let it get hot. Sprinkle table salt onto the ironing board. Iron over the salt. Dirt and grime that was on the iron plate will adhere to the salt and come right off, leaving your iron face like new.
Streak-Free Glass Cleaner: Into a spray bottle, combine 1/4 cup white vinegar, 1/4 cup rubbing alcohol, 1 tbsp cornstarch, and 2 cups water. You can also add 10 drops of an essential oil of your choice, if you want. Shake well before use, then spray onto the glass surface (including mirrors) and wipe clean with a soft cloth.
Wood Scratch Repairer: Mix 1/2 cup each of olive oil and white vinegar. Use a soft, white cloth to dip into the mixture and rub onto your scratched wood. The oil soaks into the scratches, and they seem to disappear. Use a dry, soft cloth to wipe away any excess mixture from the wood surface.
Microfiber Couch Cleaner: Slightly dampen the stained area with rubbing alcohol (a spray bottle works great here). Scrub the alcohol on the stained area with a white sponge, then let the area air dry. Use a clean soft bristle brush to fluff the microfiber again.
Carpet Stain Remover: Sprinkle baking soda on the carpet stain and let sit for 10 minutes. Vacuum. Mix in a bowl 2 cups warm water, 1 tbsp mild dish soap, and 1 tbsp white vinegar, then sponge onto the stain. Blot with a clean, dry cloth. Repeat this process until the carpet or rug stain is removed.
Bed Pillow Whitener: Turn your washing machine water temperature setting on its hottest, then add the following ingredients: 1 cup laundry detergent, 1 cup powdered dishwasher detergent, 1 cup bleach, and 1/2 cup borax. Allow the ingredients to mix and dissolve in the hot water, then put pillows into the washing machine. Wash and fluff-dry as normal.
Window Blinds Cleaner: Mix together equal parts white vinegar and warm water in a medium mixing bowl. Slide your hand into an old sock, dip your socked hand into the mixture, and wipe the blind slats clean.
Grill Non-Sticker: Barbequing time is upon many of us, so this is one of the most helpful homemade tips of the season: Heat your grill. Cut an onion in half, and rub the cut side onto the heated grill plate. Viola. Homemade non-stickiness.
However you choose to implement your deep spring cleaning regimen, we hope your newly freshened up surroundings bring your household joy.