Today we’re gonna get real sexy up in here and talk about cleaning. I have not always been tidy. And though I can’t necessarily say I now enjoy scrubbing the bathroom, I am unable to look past dirtiness like I once was (say, in college). It can be tempting to buy a specialty cleaner for each surface of your home, but in reality we would all do better to look to the tried and true methods that have been used for generations. In my experience they are just as effective as commercial cleaning products. They are also a hell of a lot cheaper, take up less space, and don’t include any nasty dangerous chemicals. Here are my powerhouse cleaning ingredients and the best ways to use them:
White Distilled Vinegar
Liquid Castile Soap
Essential oils of your choice (I like lavender for a fresh scent and tea tree for its antibacterial properties)
To clean the surface of your tub and shower, mix 1 part water with 1 part vinegar and a few drops of essential oil. Spray and let sit for 5-10 minutes. Wipe with a cloth or sponge, and rinse with water.
To clean dirty grout lines, pour baking soda into a jar and add water until it forms a paste (you’ll want it to still have a slightly grainy consistency). Apply to grout and wait for 5-10 minutes. Scrub with a cleaning brush or old toothbrush and rinse with water.
Pour in ½ cup of baking soda and 7-10 drops of tea tree essential oil. Add ¼ cup of vinegar and scrub while the mixture fizzes.
Kitchen Countertops / All Purpose Spray
For a simple all purpose spray, mix equal parts vinegar and water in a spray bottle with a few drops of essential oil. Note: If your countertops are marble or granite, use rubbing alcohol instead of vinegar, which can harm those surfaces.
If you’re like me and have to live without a dishwasher, you know it can be annoying (and wasteful) to go through bottle after bottle of dish soap. Instead, refill your bottle with 1 cup of castile soap, 3 tablespoons of water, and a few drops of essential oil. Shake and use like regular dish soap.
Simply mix equal parts water and vinegar in a bucket, and mop away. No need to rinse!
Windows and Mirrors
Combine 4 parts vinegar with 1 part water and a squirt of lemon. Use a rag or old newspaper to wipe.
To freshen the scent of your space naturally, toss lemon slices, essential oils and/or fresh herbs in a pot of water and let simmer on the stove for a few hours. My favorite everyday combo is lemon, lavender and thyme, but around the holidays cinnamon sticks and pine needles are nice!
Do any of you have natural cleaning methods you swear by? I’d love to hear!