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Using Natural Cleansers

These basic products have more than one purpose; use them in place of chemical-based cleansers for a healthy and less-expensive alternative.

Dishwashing Liquids
Mix 2 cups water with 2 tablespoons dishwashing liquid in a spray bottle. Use solution to clean countertops and other household surfaces. Rinse with plain water.

Baking Soda
Combine 3 parts warm water with 1 part baking soda. With a damp sponge, rub the paste on laminate countertops, then rinse. It will also polish chrome and stainless steel.

To remove marks on stained toilet bowls, add 1/2 cup borax to the water, swish it around, and let soak overnight.

Washing Soda
For extremely soiled surfaces, such as oil-stained garage floors, mop area with a solution of 1/2 cup washing soda (sodium carbonate) mixed in a bucket of warm water.

Soda Water
Pour a small amount of soda water onto a fresh carpet spill, and blot with a towel. Don't rub, as you may mat the fibers. If the stain is set, try hydrogen peroxide: Pour some onto a clean, white cloth, then press cloth to carpet. Wait about 15 minutes, blot with a clean cloth. There should be no need to rinse.

Boost the cleaning power of ordinary water by presoaking a soiled spot, flushing away dirt or grime with a stronger spray, gently scrubbing, or using warmer water. For protein stains, such as egg or blood, cold water still works best.

Hydrogen Peroxide
Hydrogen peroxide is safe to treat stains on delicate colorfast fabrics. Place stained area in a bowl, and pour on peroxide. Let soak at least 1 hour, then launder as usual.

Distilled White Vinegar and Lemon Juice
Place paper towels or sponges soaked in full-strength vinegar or lemon juice over crusty buildup around faucets. Leave for about an hour, then scrub deposits away.


Tea-Tree Oil
Mix a few drops of the oil in a spray bottle filled with 2 cups water and 2 tablespoons dishwashing liquid to create an effective general-purpose cleaner. (Handle cautiously, and consult a doctor before using if you are pregnant.)

Comments (9)

  • GailB82 16 Apr, 2010

    I use hydrogen peroxide to clean my tiled floor when my dog has an accident. It is amazing how well it works and I don't have to worry about her absorbing harmful chemicals on the pads of her feet. Thanks Martha for this helpful tip!!

  • graycradm 13 Mar, 2010

    Hydrogen peroxide is not safe to treat stains on delicate colorfast fabrics. I tried it on a wine stain on a cotton shirt. It ruined it. Now I have a pastel green shirt with a nice white spot smack center right where the stain was.

  • greenjoegreen 4 Jan, 2010

    there is only one safe non toxic cleaner that really works and that product is eco mist solutions

  • JMarsden 23 Jun, 2009

    I also use the distilled water with vinegar and sponge and it works great/ I recommend it highly.

  • petitesandra 18 Mar, 2009

    I puchase a product that's called EZ Brite (.com) paste for cooper pans. It's gentle and easy to use and rinse off cooper. Last a long time.

  • WendyLC 3 Mar, 2009

    Wow Mrs. Poppie. I would love to see that lemon rind and beeswax cleaner. How do you use the beeswax? Like from a candle?

  • annerbabe 2 Mar, 2009

    I have found a wonderful product called "Earth Brite". It is a natural, all purpose cleaner that also polishes and protects. It comes in a paste with a sponge that you apply in a circular motion and can be used on silverware, chrome, stainless stell, pewter, aluminum, acrylic, glass stovetops, tiles and grout, PVC, fiberglass, garden furniture, shades, windows, porches, sneakers, BBQ grills, bathrooms, wheel rims, boats, and RVs. It lasts forever. I purchased it from HSN. I love it!!

  • leanneangie 3 Jun, 2008

    I use baking soda for lots of kitchen cleaning instead of a harsh abrasive powder. It will clean the stovetop and pots and pans as well....Also, if any pans have burned bottoms, I soak 1/4 cup with hot water and let it soak.

  • MrsPopple 21 Apr, 2008

    I use washing sod extensively and my house gleams. I also use a old t shirt that has been wrung out in hot water first then metholated spirits. It cleans all surfaces and glass, the only thing I dont use it on is wood for that I grate lemon rind on a cloth and microwave it for fifteen seconds the oil permeates the cloth and along with some bees wax really makes your furniture smell great.