Many of the most commonly used cleaning supplies on the market contain chemicals that can cause or exacerbate illness. Many of these cleaning products negatively affect the environment, too. But you can clean and deodorize your home without these chemicals by using all-natural products that also happen to be pantry staples.
The best all-natural cleaning and deodorizing alternatives are vinegar and baking soda. They can be used separately, together, or with other natural products. They are a less toxic way to clean your home, and they effectively clean just about anything -- including the kitchen sink.
However, it's important to be careful with the recipes. Using too much of either ingredient can neutralize both.
Here are 10 of the most popular vinegar and baking soda solutions that will clean even the grimiest corners of your home:
There is a bit of a process to cleaning a stainless steel kitchen sink with baking soda and vinegar, but the result will be a sparkling sink that smells fresh. Start by wetting the sink, and then sprinkle it with baking soda and scrub it. To clean the rim and caulk, use a soft-bristled toothbrush with the baking soda paste.
When you finish scrubbing, rinse the sink. Then line it with paper towels that have been soaked in white vinegar. Let the towels sit for about 20 minutes before rinsing with soapy water.
You can also use the vinegar-soaked paper towels and soapy water to clean the faucet.
To clean tiles in your kitchen or bathroom, you will need some baking soda and vinegar plus some warm water and ammonia. Mix a half of a cup of baking soda with one cup of vinegar, and pour the mixture into a large container.
Next, add one cup of ammonia and one gallon of warm water and stir. Finally, saturate a sponge with the mixture and wipe down your dirty tiles.
To remove film from your bathtub, start by saturating a cloth or sponge in vinegar. Next, wipe down the bathtub with the vinegar, and then dampen a second sponge with water and sprinkle it with baking soda.
Use the second sponge to scrub your bathtub until the film disappears. Finally, rinse the tub with water and allow it to air-dry.
To deep clean your entire bathroom, mix one cup of baking soda and a half of a cup of liquid soap in a bowl, and then dilute the mixture with a half of a cup of water and two tablespoons of white vinegar. Stir everything with a fork to dissolve the lumps, and then pour the mixture into a spray bottle. Shake the bottle well before spraying the mixture on the area you need to clean.
Use a nylon-backed sponge when scrubbing, and then rinse with water.
You can create a paste to remove carpet stains by combining two tablespoons of vinegar and one-fourth of a cup of baking soda. Put a drop of the paste onto a cleaning cloth and rub it into the stain. Then let the mixture dry overnight before vacuuming up the residue.
You can keep your carpets smelling fresh by sprinkling baking soda on them and letting it sit for 15 minutes before vacuuming. To neutralize unpleasant odors on your carpets or furniture, spray white vinegar diluted with water on them. While the vinegar dries, the room may smell, but once it is dry, the smell will disappear.
To remove coffee stains from mugs and travel containers, combine equal parts vinegar and baking soda and scrub away the stains. You can clean and freshen your coffee pot by running a cycle with baking soda or running vinegar through the machine once a month to keep it free of residue.
To keep your refrigerator smelling fresh, use equal parts white vinegar and water to wash the inside and outside of your fridge, including the veggie and fruit bins and the door pockets.
To prevent mildew, use full-strength vinegar on a cloth to wipe down the inside walls and bin interiors. This also works well for getting rid of the dust and grime that may have accumulated on the top of your refrigerator.
Then, to keep the inside of the fridge smelling clean, open up a box of baking soda and store it on a refrigerator shelf.
To clean your kitchen floors, add a half of a cup of baking soda to a bucket of warm water and let the baking soda dissolve. Then use the solution to mop up the floor before rinsing.
To clean the wood and walls in your home, mix a cup of baking soda with a cup of vinegar. Then add one half of a cup of ammonia and a gallon of water and mix everything thoroughly. Finally, saturate a sponge with the mixture, and wipe down wood and walls from the bottom up to prevent streaking.
If you have kids who like to color the walls and floors in your home, you can easily erase crayon marks with a toothbrush that has been dipped in white vinegar.
To clean your fresh produce, mix together two tablespoons of distilled vinegar and one pint of water. Or, in a large bowl, combine a tablespoon of baking soda with six cups of water. Then add the produce and let it sit for 15 minutes before rinsing it. This will remove any pesticides on your fruits and vegetables
To clean out your garbage disposal, start by pouring a half of a cup of baking soda down the drain, followed by a cup of white vinegar. Then boil a kettle of water. Pour the boiling water down the drain, and then add two cups of ice and a cup of rock salt. Finally, cut a lemon or lime in half and put each half in the disposal.
Important note: only pour boiling water down the drain if your pipes are made of metal.
You can easily remove dried-on food particles or baked-on grime from your pots and pans with a combination of vinegar and baking soda. First, sprinkle some baking soda on a damp pot or pan, and then spritz the pot or pan with vinegar. Next, use a nylon dish sponge to scrub the mixture all over the pan.