Simple & Natural Cleaning Alternatives for a Sparkling Home

Spring is just around the corner, and that means it will soon be time to dive into those spring cleaning chores. Whether you’re looking to give your whole house a long-awaited deep cleaning or you just want to freshen up a bit for the season, you don’t have to overload your house with chemicals to get the job done.

There are plenty of eco-friendly ways to clean your house, and it’s worth your while to explore them so you can ditch harsh cleaners that can irritate eyes, nasal passages and even make breathing difficult for some. Natural cleaners also reduce the amount of chemical pollutants that ultimately wash into waterways and the ocean, so you’ll be doing your part to make the world a better place for all living things around you.

Try these tips to embrace a more eco-friendly cleaning routine. Your house will be just as sparkling, and your conscience will be at ease.

1. Use Repurposed Dust Rags

Quit your paper towel and Swiffer habits by using washable, reusable cloth squares instead. Cloth diapers make an excellent dust rag, as do old t-shirts cut into large squares. You can even fashion an old towel or washcloth into a reusable Swiffer cover to keep items out of the landfill as you go about your daily dusting chores.

2. Try Aromatic Potpourri

You can quit your air freshener habit — and reduce the number of chemicals in your home — by switching to stovetop potpourri instead. These delightful room fresheners are made with aromatic foodstuffs like apples, citrus, cinnamon sticks, cloves and other wonderful spices. Just cut your favorite fruit into large chunks, add a handful of whole spices and add water so you can keep it simmering on the stove to release its aroma.

3. Remove Mold Naturally

Stubborn mold and mildew in your bathroom might tempt you to break out a harsh cleaning spray, but you can dislodge it with a few squirts of vinegar instead. Just let it soak for a few hours to kill the mold and then scrub it away. If that doesn’t work, try making a paste of baking soda in a bit of water and apply it to affected areas to use as a gentle abrasive.

4. Freshen Up With Baking Soda

In addition to being an effective abrasive for mold removal, baking soda can also super-charge your dish soap to scrub baked-on residue away from your pots and pans. You can also use it for its odor-absorbing properties. The classic example is keeping a box in your fridge, but you can also sprinkle baking soda into carpets to keep them fresh—just be sure to vacuum up the excess the next day.

5. Use Vinegar for an All-Purpose Cleaner

Vinegar is a truly a wonderful product, and you’ll find that it can replace many of your household cleaners. Try using some with a bit of recycled newspaper instead of Windex to clean glass and mirrors, or replace your rinse agent with vinegar in your dishwasher. You can also mix vinegar and water in equal parts to make an all-purpose floor mopping solution.

6. Polish Metal With Lemon

If you have chrome or stainless steel in your kitchen, keep it shiny and spotless with lemon and a bit of salt or baking soda. Cut a lemon in half and sprinkle the exposed fruit with salt, then use it as a scouring pad to polish metal. After a quick rinse and buffing with a soft cloth, your fixtures will look good as new.

Once you start replacing your household cleaners with eco-friendly options, you won’t want to stop! Just about all of your homemade solutions will be cheaper than buying a fancy store brand of cleanser, and it’s better for the planet, too. Give these a try next time you’re ready to freshen up your home to see what a difference a little eco-ingenuity can make.