A clean home is a happy home. It’s not just an old wives’ tale your grandmother taught you; this is an idea proven by science! Various studies show that people who live in a clean home are more likely to be happy, productive, calm, in good shape, and well-rested. Keep in mind, however, that the indoor air contamination of chemical-based cleaners will do nothing for your health. Instead, opt for the all-natural tips and tricks shown below to make your home feel happier as spring comes into full bloom.

home cleaning tipsYour Secret Weapons

Contrary to the endless options you’ll find in the local market’s cleaning aisle, scrubbing and disinfecting your home does not require a great many ingredients. Here is a small arsenal of secret weapons to leave your space spic-and-span, as well as how to use them:

1. Lemons – Yes, this little citrus fruit is a powerhouse of acidic cleaning force. A few ways to use it include:

  • Spritz your kitchen sink with fresh lemon juice followed by a sprinkling of baking soda. This mixture can be used as a scrub to bring out the original stain-free shine of the sink surface.
  • Combine ¼ cup of lemon juice with ½ cup of olive oil for a gentle wood polish to make all those wood surfaces gleam.
  • To clean the stains and grime off of your cutting board, rub it down with a mixture of salt and lemon and let it sit for 10 minutes before rinsing.
  • To combat caked-on gunk within your microwave, mix one part lemon juice with four parts vinegar in a glass and set it inside the microwave. Heat the glass for a full 2 minutes and then leave it inside the closed microwave for an additional 2 minutes. Afterward, take out the glass and simply wipe away the softened gunk and grime.
  • You can also mix a few drops of lemon juice into any of the other cleaning recipes on this page to add a fresh scent to your cleaning products.

2. Vinegar – The household uses for white vinegar are limitless. Here are a few ideas:

  • Clean windows and glass surfaces with a mixture of equal parts water and vinegar. Add a few drops of lemon juice or tea tree oil to infuse a pleasant scent.
  • This same mixture of vinegar and water may be used to remove soap scum, to clean out the refrigerator, or as a general disinfectant spray.
  • Perform a deodorizing deep clean on the toilet bowl by pouring in 1/2 cup of baking soda and tea tree oil. Next, add in 1/4 cup of vinegar and scrub while the mixture is fizzing.
  • To remove mildew, spray pure white vinegar directly on the invaders. Let it sit at least 30 minutes and then rinse with warm water. Follow with a hot water-soaked sponge if mildew persists.
  • To clean baked-on grime out of your oven, preheat it to 125º F, mix one part water with one part vinegar and spray it liberally onto the problem areas. Then sprinkle the affected areas with salt, turn off the oven, let it cool, and wipe away the grime with a wet towel. If it doesn’t work the first time, repeat the steps using baking soda instead of salt.
  • For a paint-safe wall cleaner, mix 1/4 cup of vinegar with one quart of warm water and wipe down walls with a towel soaked in the mixture. For persistent spots, dab in a bit of baking soda.

3. Castile soap – This plant-based soap is made of natural oils and can cut through grease and dirt. Use it for the following:

  • When polish is not enough, use a liquid castile soap to gently clean wood surfaces.
  • Liquid castile soap can be mixed with water to serve as an alternative to chemical-based dish cleaners.
  • Use castile soap on a damp towel to wipe off greasy surfaces such as counters and stove tops.
  • Mix castile soap with baking soda to create a powerful solution for scrubbing showers, bathtubs, and tiles.
  • For wood floors, mix 1/4 cup of liquid castile soap with two quarts of water to create a gentle floor cleaner. Make sure to wring out your mop well, since some wood floors do not appreciate a soaking.

4. Baking soda – As you may have noticed in the list above, baking soda may be mixed with most other natural cleaners to create a powerful scrubbing solution. Here are a few additional uses:

  • A powerful deodorizer, an open container of baking soda may be left in the refrigerator to absorb odors. You can also sprinkle it at the bottom of the laundry hamper or lightly over carpeting and pet bedding to reduce odors.
  • Remove coffee and tea stains from your mugs by soaking them in a solution of baking soda and warm water for 20 minutes. Then scrub and rinse to remove stains.
  • Unclog a slow drain by pouring in 1/2 cup of baking soda, followed by a few tablespoons of vinegar. When the fizzing starts to die down, pour in a gallon of boiling water.
  • To polish silver, combine three parts baking soda with one part water and rub into silver with a clean cloth. Rinse well and let dry.

Now that it’s officially spring, get into motion with these natural cleaning solutions to make your home a happier and healthier place. Remember to leave your windows and doors open to the breeze while you clean, so the fresh air will help waft away stale winter air and the strong scents of cleaning.

Read more about keeping a healthy home on the Living Clean blog:

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