Are you concerned about the chemicals in store-bought cleansers and sprays? Have you ever wondered if there are homemade house cleaners you can make at home with items from your kitchen or garden? I got you, my friend. I’m here to help.
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If you are one that is concerned about using chemicals around your children and animals, but are not sure about this “using food to clean your house” idea, stick with me. I think you’ll like this. These suggestions will give you the “out” you’ve been looking for from your “chemical concerns”.
Why Use Foods to Clean Your House?
Food is safe: You will never have to worry about whether you are splattering chemicals on your toothbrushes in the bathroom, or on the bananas that are sitting on the kitchen counter. Nor will you have to worry about the kids getting chemical residue on their hands or clothing.
Food is effective: Did you know that some foods have antibacterial, stain-lifting, odor absorbing, sanitizing, mild bleaching properties, and myriad other cleaning powers? These properties make these foods every bit as good to use for cleaning, if not better, as the stuff on the store shelf. And, your family won’t be exposed to the toxic stuff.
Food is cheap: In comparison to the $3-4 you might spend on store-bought spray cleaners, homemade house cleaners made with food will cost pennies. They can often be made from your cast-off scraps–you know that stuff you would throw into the compost or trash anyway. If you spend the money to keep these things on hand, you’ll be able to make fabulous diy cleaners many times over from the same box, bottle, or canister on your shelf.
Which Foods Can You Use to Make Homemade House Cleaners?
Here’s the fun part. I’ll bet you have most, if not all of these on your shelf, which means that you can get started today with ousting the chemicals you are most concerned about using.
Citrus peels have antibacterial and antiseptic properties, which makes them awesome germ-fighters to use in your homemade house cleaners. Lemon juice is known to neutralize stains caused by perspiration, coffee, mustard, grass and tea, and they have mild bleaching properties due to their high acid content. Use your peels to make homemade citrus cleaner, an all purpose cleaner for your kitchen or bathroom.
You can use citrus essential oils if you don’t have fresh peels around. Orange or lemon oil (which are derived from the peels), as well as bergamot oil have the ability to control or even destroy pathogenic (infective) bacteria, and is a wonderful choice for adding to your homemade cleaners.
Also called bicarbonate of soda, it has been used for years to combat stains and odors of many kinds. It is abrasive, scours without scratches, and has outstanding stain-lifting powers.
It is effective on eliminating smell odors and stains such as cat urine. An open box can be placed in the refrigerator to control food odors (replace every 1-2 months).
Vinegar has been in use for thousands of years, dating back even to ancient Egypt. Highly acidic even at 5%, vinegar can kill germs and also neutralize acid and protein-based stains such as mustard, blood, and grass. For cleaning, use distilled, white vinegar, preferably made from grain (versus petroleum-based).
A valuable commodity throughout history, salt has many household uses from the kitchen to outdoors. It can be used in a dry (undissolved) state, lending its abrasiveness to a tough job like scrubbing pots, pans, and even cast iron (if needed). Salt’s absorbent properties make it a good choice to sprinkle on spills. In its liquid state, it becomes saline, capable of helping it lift a variety of protein stains, including perspiration and blood from clothing and carpets.
Like essential oils, herbs have been used through the ages in culinary and medicinal capacities both. The powerful properties of some herbs–antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal, antibiotic–is what puts herbs on the must-have list of ingredients in household cleaning blends.
Honorable Mentions in the Non-Food Category
Feel free to add these into your homemade house cleaners for an added punch:
- tea tree essential oil
- hydrogen peroxide
- rubbing alcohol