When it comes to cleaning your home, you want to know that the products you’re using are safe and effective. What better way to do this, than to ditch the expensive and toxic chemicals and use all natural cleaners you already have in your pantry? You’re not only doing the environment and yourself a favour, but also utilising a cost-effective alternative. What’s not to love!
Here are our top five pantry items to give your house the natural detox it needs.
Clean your kitchen appliances with lemon
When it comes to scrubbing endlessly inside an oven or microwave at those pesky, baked-on food spots, lemon is just the thing you need to loosen the grime so you can easily wipe it away in a fraction of the time. Here’s how:
How to clean your oven
- Cut two lemons in half and squeeze the juices into a baking dish, leave the lemons in the dish as well.
- Fill the dish a third of the way with water.
- Place in the oven and bake at 250 degrees for 30 minutes (a little longer if the layers are really caked on).
- Remove the dish and let the oven cool.
- Grab a sourer to wipe away the inside of the oven, using lemon water to rinse.
- Make sure to towel dry when done.
It is essential that you keep your oven clean because bacteria and germs develop at the slightest incentive in the warm, dark environment. If the trays and grills are not cleaned regularly, it is not going to be good for your oven, your food and your own health. You can use lemon water or other oven cleaning methods for everyday surface cleaning. Regular cleaning can stop residue getting out of control.
How to clean your microwave
- In a microwaveable container, squeeze the juice of one lemon into 250ml of water, leave the rind in the bowl.
- Microwave for 3 minutes.
- Stand for five minutes and let the steam work its magic.
- Open the door, remove the bowl and wipe down the ceiling, sides, door and floor of the microwave – in that order.
- If you have any food spots that won’t budge, simply use some lemon water and a cloth to wear the stains down.
It’s as easy as that! You’ve got a natural degreaser that disinfects and leaves your kitchen smelling zesty and fresh. You can also use your lemons to polish spotty cutlery, clean wooden cutting boards and deodorise your plastic Tupperware. No nasty chemicals required.
The 5 best baking soda solutions
At a couple of dollars a box, this humble powder has got to be the most cost effective natural cleaner out there. It sucks up odours, grease and cuts through stains as easy as any chemical in a spray bottle can! Here’s a few of the most popular uses:
- Clean your washing machine. Use a mixture of baking soda and water to clean the detergent tray. Then pour the remaining liquid into the tray and turn the washing machine on for a full wash cycle.
- Leave an opened box of baking soda in your pantry or fridge for up to 6 months, it will absorb all the food odours and keep your kitchen fresh.
- Sprinkle some bicarbonate soda over the bottom of that pan you burnt the sauce onto last night, leave it soaking in a little hot water overnight and those stubborn stains will glide right off in the morning!
- To boost your wash, add half a cup (top loader) or a fourth of a cup (front loader) of baking soda with your regular detergent. This ensures your whites will be dazzling and your colours remain vibrant
- Clean your tile grout with the aid of some vinegar. Make the solution in small batches so the mixture retains its potency and effectiveness.
Using vinegar – tips & tricks
Got ants in your home? Grab your spray bottle and fill it up with some white vinegar, then spray it along your window sills, door ways and any cracks where ants can get in. This will stop your pesky invaders in their tracks, bonus points if you can find the ant trail and clean it with vinegar.
If you’ve got shower pressure that’s not quite what it used to be, tie a bag of vinegar over your shower head and leave overnight. This will remove the chemical build-up inside so your water can flow freely.
And don’t fret over spills on your carpets, simply remove excess liquid and spray the spot with a solution of half water and half vinegar. Leave it for a couple minutes and you’ll be able to blot the rest away with a paper towel. There’s no need to douse the carpet in chemicals and risk discolouration.
Essential oils for green cleaning
Didn’t think a simple oil could offer a myriad of cleaning possibilities? Think again! From air-fresheners to disinfectant, here’s a few of our favourite uses of essential oils:
- Tea tree – Add a teaspoon of water to a cup of water in a spray bottle and spray all over mould spots, wipe away after a few minutes. To prevent mould, simply spray as needed. Use the same spray to deter pests naturally, spray the mixture on their usual haunts to get them to leave.
- Lavender – Mix about six drops of lavender into your vinegar spray to give the mixture a delightful scent when disinfecting surfaces. Or burn a few drops in an oil diffuser for some immediately soothing vibes throughout your home. Keep any moths away from your clothes by putting a few drops on some cotton balls and placing them in your drawers and wardrobes.
- Peppermint – This handy little antibacterial oil can be used when washing your dishes, just add a few drops into the water with a little of your normal soap mixture. Wipe it over the door knobs, handles and anywhere germs can spread easily to stop them in their tracks.
(As with all essential oils, please pay attention to safety warnings, always keep out of reach of children and avoid when pregnant.)
Banish grease stains with cornstarch
So now for the wildcard, I bet you didn’t expect to see cornstarch on this list! But in actual fact, it’s great for drawing out all kinds of oil and grease stains. Simply wet the area with a bit of water, then pour your cornstarch over any mess on your floors and carpets, let it absorb for 20 minutes and then vacuum up. No more stains! You can also use this method for leather and suede couches if you leave it on overnight.
And if the kids toys are starting to look a bit questionable, pop them in a bag, sprinkle some cornstarch in and shake it all up. After a couple minutes, brush the powder off and they’ll come up as good as new.
No need to shop for chemicals in a bottle when you need to do your spring clean, just crack open the pantry to get started on an all-natural detox for your home. Keeping your house chemical-free can be made easier with the right advice. Speak with a local professional cleaner to get advice on how to keep your home in its best shape.