You don’t have to stock your cupboards with chemically laden detergents that just add dollars and cents to your monthly shopping bill to effectively clean your home. Simply using common household products can have the same effect, minimizing health hazards and your impact on the environment.
Here are 3 products that have cleaning benefits with instructions on how to use them effectively:
1. Sodium Chloride
Commonly referred to as table salt, sodium chloride is one of the main components in your laundry detergents. Why? Because it is an effective stain remover.
Mix salt and water and apply the solution to stains on your clothing or sheet before washing. Cold water should be used to remove blood and warm water for other stains. Hot water should only be used on white fabrics that won’t become damaged by the temperature.
Salt is also great to treat stains on upholstery and carpets. Simply pour raw salt on wet spills as soon as possible and watch as it absorbs the liquid out of the fabric or carpet pile. Brush away the stained salt and dab the patch with a damp cloth, don’t rub. Proceed with one of the following solutions if the stain is not completely resolved.
2. Lemon Juice And Vinegar
These two household products are both acidic in nature meaning that they are great at dealing with grease and grime. Dishes, stoves, and counter-tops are easily relieved of dirt and oily residue without having to scrub or use abrasive cleaners to achieve the same results. The products are great for resolving that oily sheen and fingerprints on metallic, glass or other shiny surfaces.
Mix a ratio of one cup of water to one cup of lemon juice (or vinegar) and pour into a spray bottle. Spray your surfaces or add to your dishwater and leave to stand for a few minutes to allow the acid to work and then wash or wipe as usual. It is important to run a spot check on some surfaces such as the acid may bleach, discolor or damage the surface.
Put one cup of water and a separate cup of vinegar in your microwave, set on the maximum heat for 5 minutes. Wipe away the condensed liquid that has developed for a super easy clean.
Vinegar can have a foul odor that should dissipate shorty after use. However, if you can’t take the smell, simply use lemon juice instead for a fresh, fragrant clean. These two products are more effective for certain applications when used in combination with baking soda.
3. Baking Soda
Baking soda, also called bicarbonate of soda, has a wide range of applications from unblocking drains to removing scuff marks on tiles and floors.
Place a couple of tablespoons of baking soda in an open bowl in the fridge or other damp areas to relieve bad odors. Replace the baking soda once a week for optimal results.
Mix the baking soda with water to form a paste and apply to stains on fabrics before washing. Alternatively, lightly rub the paste onto built up grime, dirt, or scuff marks. Remember to leave the paste to work for a few minutes before wiping away with a soft, damp cloth.
Be aware that baking soda is an abrasive cleaner and can scratch smooth surfaces when used in paste form. When using this product on a smooth surface, dilute with water until the grains have fully resolved to prevent scratching from occurring.
Mix half a cup of vinegar or lemon juice with a quarter cup of baking soda and dilute with one cup of water. This makes a great all-purpose cleaner and poured down your drain once a week will prevent blockages from occurring. If the drain is already blocked, pour raw baking soda down the drain, leave for 5 to 10 minutes and wash away with hot water. Follow with vinegar or mix the baking soda with vinegar if the problem is not resolved.
There is only one disadvantage to using these common household products as an alternative to chemical cleaners. They take the time to work, and you may need to apply a bit more elbow grease to get the best results.