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Natural Cleaning Tips for Everything in Your Home, Yard and even Car

Susanna Sisson's picture
Cleaning Home

Going green and chemical free is easy and saves money and doesn’t take a lot of time to master, plus it can save you a lot of money in expensive cleaning products.


Vinegar to clean ovens, headlights, ceramic tile, showers, doorknobs, and unclog drains

Recently I had a stubborn clogged drain. I spent about almost $20 in expensive and caustic drain openers and it still wouldn’t drain, even after taking off the pea trap and giving it a thorough cleaning. Then I remembered seeing a video using baking soda and vinegar followed by hot water. I just poured baking soda down the drain, the added vinegar and let the cleaning begin. To my amazement a huge amount of hair bubbled up from somewhere deep in the drain. I cleaned the sink, repeated the process and followed with hot water. The drain was not only open it worked better than it had in years. So, not more expensive drain openers when I can buy a gallon of vinegar and a box of baking soda for total of about $3. (Also see how common home fixtures may be killing You).

Vinegar and baking soda also work great on stubborn baked on food and grease in your oven. Add a little water to baking soda, and apply inside oven or on stovetop. Let the paste sit for several hours. Take a clean spray bottle from the dollar store and fill with distilled white vinegar. Spray on surfaces of oven then wipe off. Stubborn areas may need to be scraped with spatula, but most of the grime will come right up.

I also discovered the same technique can be used to clean dingy headlights. Clean the headlight with Windex first then apply a mixture of baking soda and water (you’ll want a thick paste and finally spray with vinegar and clean with soft cloth.

I use vinegar in hot water when cleaning my ceramic tile floors. Recently I posted a photo of my dog on Facebook and instead of commenting on the dog someone asked how I got my floors so clean. Vinegar is a natural degreaser as well so I use it on kitchen counters, the refrigerator and to clean doorknobs. (Don't miss: 5 Surprising Germ Hot Zones in Your Kitchen).

Vinegar is a natural antiseptic and kills viruses as well as other germs. Keep a spray bottle of vinegar and spritz inside shower and on shower doors for a sparkling clean after every shower.

Lemon and Olive or Grapeseed oil to clean wood floors and furniture

Why buy expensive furniture and floor cleaners when you can make your own? I live in a house that’s 120 years old and the wood floors have taken a beating. I’ve used products such as Murphy’s Oil Soap, which work well, but realized I could make my own. You’ll need a gallon of hot water, ¾ cut olive or grapeseed oil, and ½ cup lemon juice. The water and lemon juice will.

This formula does double duty. The hot water and lemon clean the floor, and the addition of olive oil leaves your wood floors with a nice, natural sheen. Simply apply it to your floors with a mop that you’ve wrung out fairly well; then let it dry on its own. No need for rinsing – once it dries, your floors will look great! You can make a furniture police with a cup of grapeseed oil and a ½ cup lemon juice. Use a clean cloth to apply and wipe clean.

Tea, coffee, or walnut paste to cover scratches on wood floors and furniture and even color hair

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I’ve used tea, coffee, and walnut paste to not only cover scratches on furniture and floors, but to color my gray hair. I had used henna in the past so covering the grey with store bought box dyes would cause my hair to break off. Then I looked into walnut paste and found it on Amazon. I discovered brewed tea and coffee would help cover the grey in between using walnut paste. Simply take coffee grounds, add very hot water to make a paste and cover hair, wrap with Saran wrap and leave on for at least an hour. Black teas work best for darker hues, chamomile for blondes, and rooibos for redheads. The key to best results is to wrap your head and if possible add heat. I happen to have an old fashioned salon hair dryer chair that works great but if you don’t you can use a hand held dryer. It’s just a little more work.

Orange peels and vinegar for all purpose cleaning spray

I love this little trick. Simply save your orange peels and place in a glass jar with vinegar. Let sit for 2 weeks and then pour the liquid in to a spray bottle. Not only does it smell better than most commercial sprays, it’s non-toxic and cleans superbly.

Lemons and Limes to clean garbage disposal

Whenever I cook with lemons or limes I throw them down the garbage disposal. They make the disposal fragrant and are a very effective cleaner.

Cleaning silver with baking soda and aluminum

If you wear silver jewelry or have silverware you’ll want to know this time saving trick. Bring one liter of water, one tablespoon of baking soda and one piece of aluminum foil to a boil. Drop silverware in the pot for 10 seconds (longer if it's very tarnished), then remove using kitchen tongs. If built-up tarnish persists, make a thick paste with 1/4 cup baking soda and two tablespoons of water. (Also read: Dangers Lurking in the Laundry Room; Keeping Your Kids Safe).

Use lemon juice or vinegar and kosher salt to clean pans, even copper, glass, and cast iron

I love cooking with cast iron and copper but they do take special care. NEVER place either in a dishwasher as it can cause pitting. Do use kosher salt inside or outside the pans and scrub with half a lemon. Rinse well. For cast iron, wipe the inside with a little oil to maintain. For copper, use kosher salt and vinegar to make copper bright again. Ever start to make a pot of coffee at work and the glass is brown? There’s an easy fix. Just add kosher salt and ice and swirl until all the coffee stains are gone. To clean your coffee maker use white vinegar to remove mineral deposits. Put about 4 cups white vinegar in the water reservoir then turn coffee maker on making sure you have the pot under to catch the vinegar. Then fill the reservoir with clean water and run again to remove vinegar smell.

Simple Green to clean canopies, tents and convertible tops

At one time I owned a white convertible, but didn’t have a garage. I had to park under trees and the top got really black with sap and dirt. Nothing seemed to work except Simple Green which is both non-toxic and biodegradable. I just sprayed the top with the product then used a sponge scrubby to get the deep dirt and rinsed with a pressure hose. The car looked like new. If you have canvas tents or canopies you can use this product to clean.