Spring cleaning with a non-napping toddler underfoot is difficult. I cannot pretend that my house is immaculate, but it is good enough. Accepting the concept of "good enough" is something I am working on and it helps with staying sane.
Today I am sharing my favorite homemade, natural cleaning products. Do you have any favorites I haven't mentioned? Please comment below! I love trying new things.
The smell of "clean" in our house is the smell of salad dressing. Vinegar works wonders. I add essential oils to reduce the salad dressing smell. I tried adding citrus rinds (as seen on Pinterest) but it was a Pinterest fail for me. I mix at about a 1/2 cup(of vinegar) for large spray bottle, the rest filled with water.
Vinegar, straight up
To clean your microwave, place a mug with a half cup (give or take) of vinegar in the microwave and turn it on for 2 minutes. Any nasties inside will wipe off easily.
To clean your dishwasher, especially is you have hard water, run cycle with a mug full of vinegar in the top rack.
Vinegar also cleans the coffee maker. Put a half cup (give or take) in where you would put water and then turn on the machine. Everything wipes off easy after the vinegar runs through (just like the microwave.) It also cleans the insides.
I use baking soda as an air freshener. We keep a small mason jar with hole in the lid to absorb odors in the nursery. If there is a stench you really want to get rid of, baking soda mixed with water in a mini crockpot will absorb a nasty odor. I got the idea from this crock pot guru. I also use the mini crockpot (without baking soda) as more of a freshener by adding cinnamon sticks and citrus rinds (instead of candles because I am paranoid about candles.)
I use baking soda as an abrasive cleaner in my shower and sinks. If the shower smells moldy, baking soda really helps. Sprinkle a little bit then form a paste with water and scrub.
The best cleaning product is elbow grease. It is free and natural. Seriously, scrubbing something well is the key to cleaning. Things really aren't cleaned magically like on commercials.
While I try to avoid chemicals, there are some store bought products that I love. Reducing is key, but I don't claim to be perfect by having no chemicals. I do check products on the EWG, and it is very frustrating to realize chemical ingredients in product and to learn what health concerns are related to those chemicals. The Environmental Working Group is a great resource with consumer guides about chemicals in household products. The Mrs Myers products, which we really like, are mostly highly rated. Turns out my Method Wood For Good polish (the only thing that helps my kitchen cabinets, whose finish was destroyed by something harsh by a previous owner) is rated a D. If anyone has a homemade, natural solution for a wood conditioner (or a toilet cleaner) please comment below!