Monday, April 18, 2011

Green your Cleaning: Tips and Tricks for Natural Cleaning with Vinegar and Baking Soda

Reader Contributed Article by Amanda

Natural cleaning with items like vinegar and essential oils isn’t as out of the ordinary as you might think. There are actually a lot of people that use these natural alternatives to save money in addition to those who use them to reduce their impact on the environment. You really don’t need to use commercial cleaners, which can cause respiratory distress, asthma attacks and even lower consciousness, to have a spic and span home.

What do you need?

Let’s just pretend for a minute that you never want to use chemicals for cleaning again and need to use items like vinegar, reusable cloths, and Castile or other natural soaps only. There are tricks and tips for cleaning EVERYTHING in your home without resorting to chemicals. For example, consider the following:
  • Spray your mirrors down with vinegar and use an old newspaper to clean away streaks. The result is a sparkling mirror.
  • Lemons and baking soda mix with enough vinegar to make a paste can whiten and brighten countertops while also killing germs.
  • Baking soda mixed with vinegar isn’t just for making volcanoes during Science. Sprinkle greasy pots and pans, even those with dried on bits, with baking soda then add a little vinegar. The foaming action cuts the grease and dried food within seconds. It’s an amazing way to do dishes, just make sure to wear gloves or avoid touching the mixture directly since it can irritate skin. I just fill the pan with water after the foaming to avoid irritation.
  • Vinegar can be used to whiten and soften laundry. We use about a half a cup of white vinegar in the rinse cycle for our cloth diapers and the result has been wonderful. As a caution, don’t use vinegar if you have hard water because it can interact with the minerals in the water.
  • Vinegar can be used full strength on tough grime, grease or filmy glass. You can also mix a little bit in a spray bottle with plain water for general, day to day cleaning. I use about a fourth a cup of vinegar in a filled twelve ounce spray bottle of water. The sudsing action of a couple of drops of castile soap is also a nice touch, too.
Essential Oils:
For the super tough messes I was once a person who always turned to chlorine bleach. Why? Because I felt that bleach was the only thing that could kill germs successfully. That simply isn’t true, and bleach can in fact cause a lot of health issues for your family. Vinegar can actually kill germs and bacteria even without added essential oils. If you want to have a scent left behind then you can add some grapefruit seed essential oil, which also kills germs. Other germ killers include orange oil, tea tree oil, lavender essential oil and four thieves essential oil.

You may not like the smell of vinegar, but I guarantee that by the time the vinegar and water mixture you use to clean with is dry you won’t be able to smell it at all. The same for clothes. You can add the vinegar into the rinse cycle and when your clothes are dry you can’t smell it at all.

Taking the time to learn more about natural cleaning can save tons of money. A gallon of vinegar is less than three dollars and will last at least a couple of weeks for regular cleaning. If you do decide to use essential oils in your cleaners you will want to research the best option for your family.

You can read about and experiment with different essential oils to find that that are right for your family. It is also vital that all cleaners, including essential oils and vinegars mixed with the oils, be kept up where your kids can’t reach them to reduce the risk of ingestion by children. With a little research you can have a clean, green home without using any commercial cleaners at all.

About the Author:
Amanda Hall is a green mom of six kids and a blogger who also writes professionally. You can check out her blog at Cloth Diapering Mommy to Six or her business website at


pompano beach fl mold removal said...

Vinegar has long been used in cleaning and maintaining homes because it is effective for killing most mold, bacteria, and germs due to its level of acidity. White distilled vinegar is an economical and environmentally friendly cleaner that is tough on cleaning jobs. You can use it aboard your boat to remove stains, clean, shine and deodorize.

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