Spring cleaning doesn’t have to mean exposing yourself to harsh chemical cleaners. There are many brands of natural cleansers on the market today, or you can look inside your pantry and find everyday products that will cut grease, restore sparkle and erase stains.
Nothing builds up grease like the stove top. Grab a box of baking soda and spray bottle full of plain water to cut the grease and eliminate odors. Just sprinkle soda on the surface, spray with plain water and scrub. (Just be prepared – it might take more than a little elbow grease!) Once you can see the grease is gone, rinse with straight water.
To clean and disinfect your countertops, mix warm water and white vinegar 1:1 in a spray bottle. Apply to counters and wipe clean. As long as you have the vinegar out, apply it directly to a rag and wipe it over your fixtures in the kitchen and the bath to restore the shine.
And while you’re at it, put the scrub brush for dirty dishes and the stinky sponge in the dishwasher. Germs love to live in those things!
Ewww, does that look familiar? No one likes to clean bathrooms, so it shouldn’t be a surprise when ceramic tile and grout get dingy. Break out the vinegar once again to cut through the soap scum and grime. Mix 2 tablespoons of white vinegar with one quart of warm water, soak a soft cloth in the mixture and wipe down the tile. Rinse with clean water. For tougher stains, you can apply a paste of cream of tartar and hydrogen peroxide, and rinse it off after a few minutes.
Lime build-up on a shower head may cause you to bob and weave while showering to find the misdirected water streams. No need if you have white vinegar and warm water. Mix it 1:1 and soak the shower head for two hours. Good as new!
Have a can of cola in the fridge? Believe it or not, it will get rid of most stains in your toilet after just one hour. (Makes you wonder what it does to your stomach, doesn’t it?)
If you spill a glass of red wine on the carpet when enjoying your Heat and Glo fireplace, no worries. Pour club soda on the stain and blot it up. For set stains, a paste comprised of a ¼-cup each of salt, dish soap and Borax can work wonders, according to Thriving Home Blog. Just scrub the paste into the stain, let it sit until dry and then vacuum it up. Follow that by applying a little elbow grease to the stained area with a clean damp cloth. Other sources suggest the paste be comprised of 2 tablespoons of both baking soda and salt, and just enough white vinegar to make the paste come together. We recommend checking for colorfastness in an inconspicuous area first.
Our devices and keyboards are some of the most germ-infested surfaces we come into contact with daily. When was the last time you cleaned your smartphone screen? (And by clean, we mean more than rubbing the fingerprints off on your pants.) And is your keyboard showing signs of too many meals at your desk? Clean them, for goodness sake! Here’s how:
For your keyboard: Mix a ¼ cup each of white vinegar and water. The Health Extremist also suggests using a few drops of tree oil essential oil for additional antimicrobial power. Turn off your computer (or unplug your keyboard). Dampen a soft cloth (wet but not dripping) with the mixture and wipe it over the keys. Use a cotton swab to get in between the keys. If there are crumbs from yesterday’s lunch, dust or paper particles stuck in between the keys, turn the keyboard upside down and give it a good shake before applying the vinegar-water solution. You can also use canned air, available at most office supply stores, to clean out the spaces between the keys.
After you’re done with your keyboard, give your smart phone screen a swipe as well. (Please note that alcohol and alcohol-based cleaners like hand sanitizer can damage the screen glass of some phones.)
After you’re done cleaning, take in the splendor of your home and enjoy a fire.