Cleaning your home usually involves harsh, smelly chemicals that assault your sense of smell, dry out your skin, and leave you feeling like you live in a science lab.
The natural methods below not only work just as well without those abrasive side effects, some actually work even better. Say goodbye to working up a sweat scrubbing away and let these simple hacks take care of the hard work for you. Everything from the bathroom to your laundry will benefit from these awesome tricks.
1. Revive your musty shower curtain.
Toss it in the washing machine with a few old towels to help scrub off all the mildew and other ickiness. Just do a normal wash in warm water and hang to dry.
2. Clear out drain buildup without harsh chemicals.
Pour one cup of baking soda followed by one cup of white vinegar and allow to fizz for five to ten minutes. Rinse with boiling hot water.
3. De-grime your shower head.
Use a Ziplock bag large enough to fit over the entire shower head and fill it with white vinegar. Tie it over the shower head, making sure it's fully submerged, and allow to sit overnight. Rinse with water.
4. Clean your toilet bowl with Kool-Aid.
Sprinkle one packet of lemon Kool-Aid around the bowl and let it sit for a few minutes, then brush out and flush away the gunk.
5. Toilet brushes need to be cleaned, too.
Pour one cup of washing soda, a half-cup hydrogen peroxide, and half a cup of white vinegar into your toilet bowl and leave your brush to sit in it for a few hours. Flush to rinse.
6. You weren't using that floss for your teeth, anyway.
Like what we usually neglect to do after brushing our teeth, the thin string can help get all the built-up scumminess out of your hard-to-reach areas around your sink, toilet, and anywhere else you can't get to with an ordinary sponge.
7. Get your mirrors and windows drunk.
Okay, not really, but using a mixture of one part vodka, one part white vinegar, and two parts distilled water will give you a streak-free clean.
8. Dryer sheets are good for more than the laundry.
They work great for scrubbing metal faucets, shower handles, and dusting surfaces.
9. Stop scrubbing your microwave.
Fill a bowl with water and lemon juice (or vinegar) and heat it for about five minutes. Once it's cooled down, you'll be able to wipe away all the stains without a struggle.
10. Keep your wood cutting boards naturally sanitized.
Just rub a sliced lemon over the whole thing, then let it dry before wiping off any residue.
11. Toothpaste doesn't just make your teeth shiny.
It can also get rid of the pesky tarnish on silver without having to resort to smelly chemical solutions.
12. Clean hard-to-reach glassware nooks with rice.
Decorative wine bottles, flower vases, and other items with small openings can be cleaned using one-quarter cup of uncooked rice, a splash of water, and a few drops of dish soap. Simply give 'em a good shake!
13. Get rid of sticky labels and their residue with orange essential oil.
The oil makes the stickers slide off and it's totally great for your skin while you work.
14. Give your appliances a smooth shine with baby oil.
It cuts through all the dust and grease and leaves metal appliances shining for up to a week.
15. Soak up carpet spills with salt.
It's best to get to the stain as quickly as possible and pour lots (LOTS) of salt on it. Let it stay for a few days, adding more if necessary, then vacuum up.
16. Or iron the stain away.
Put a damp cloth over the stain and iron on a high setting to give it a good steam clean.
17. Don't put up with pit stains.
The salty sweat that leaves long-lasting stains in the underarms and collars of our shirts can be tackled by using detergents that include enzymes. You can also just crush up enzyme tablets for spot cleaning.
18. Make your mildewy towels as fresh as new.
Wash them with vinegar on hot to kill the stale smell and make them fluffy as well as fresh-scented.
19. Speaking of washing machines, clean those, too.
Run an empty load with as much water and on the highest heat setting as possible. Once it's filled, add a quart of white vinegar and one cup of washing or baking soda (or whatever you can fit into the front-loading detergent drawer), then run again with just water.
20. Gather the dust from your fans in a pillowcase instead of your face.
Wrap the pillow case around the blade and wipe away the dust on the bottom and top of the blade at the same time.
21. When your guests forget to use coasters, clean the wood rings with olive oil and salt.
Apply a mixture of olive oil and salt to each stain and allow to sit for an hour or so before wiping away. It might not look like it worked at first, but just wait and reapply if necessary.
22. Get rid of your kids' graffiti from wood furniture.
A washcloth soaked in rubbing alcohol will easily wipe away their artwork on most wood surfaces.
Most of them are also a whole lot cheaper than the chemical brands. I recommend spending those savings on a nice bottle of white wine, instead.