Natural from Floor to Ceiling, Part 3 | Deeper Cleaning

May 20, 2011

 

For some of you I suppose these things aren’t so much a part of your “deep cleaning” regime–you probably do them every week or so.  Well, that’s wonderful for you, and I wish it were so for me, but I just don’t have enough time in my weekly schedule to dust all my furniture or wipe down my baseboards!  ;)

Before I go any further, let me remind you the reason that I first began looking into natural cleaners: I learned that the chemicals that are put into the cleaners I was using (most specifically the bleach) have incredibly harmful effects on our bodies and health.  Read about the deadly chemicals found in almost all store-bought products here.  Last time I told you the basic ways I keep my counters, sinks, and floors clean.  Today I’m going to go through my “deeper cleaning” methods–how I keep my windows, mirrors, wood furniture, stainless steel appliances, toilet, and bath tub sparkling!

In some of the following categories, there will be more than one way to clean whatever it is we’re talking about.  The first solution in any category will be the thing that I use.  Anything after the first bullet point (except for the baking soda bullet points) will be ideas that I’ve heard from other people that worked, but I don’t use myself.

Windows & Mirrors

  • Hydrogen Peroxide: In addition to using hydrogen peroxide to get stains out of my carpet, I use it on windows and mirrors! The first time you use it you’re going to think, “Oh, no!  This isn’t going to work!”  Because it’s natural and doesn’t have a ton of chemicals, it doesn’t wipe off as perfectly as you might hope.  No worries–give it 30 seconds and your windows or mirrors will be streak-free and sparkling!  You can buy a bottle of hydrogen peroxide in the first aid section of your drug or grocery store.  Replace the cap with a spray bottle head so you can use it as a spray.  Keep the liquid in the dark bottle, though, so it keeps its effectiveness.
  • Club Soda: I’ve heard that club soda applied to a window and wiped with a towel does the trick.
  • Vinegar Spray: Equal parts water and vinegar sprayed onto a window and wiped with a towel.
  • Enviro Cloth for windows: I just learned about these great antibacterial cloths and I’m excited to try them soon.  Once I do, I’ll write a review.  It seems like your best bet would be to get this basic package.  You get a regular Enviro antibac cloth to use on counters, sinks, floors, tubs, etc. and then a window cloth to use on windows and mirrors.  The greatest part about these is it seems like all you need to clean your whole house are these two cloths and water!  Again, I haven’t tried them yet, but once I do, I’ll let you know how they work!

Wood Furniture

I really, really, really don’t like dusting.  That’s why I was so excited when I came across this dusting/polishing recipe.  It really shines up my wood furniture and (although I think I might be making this up) it seems to keep it dust-free for longer.

  • Olive Oil & Lemon Juice: 1 cup olive oil & 1/2 cup lemon juice.  I keep mine in a glass cruet with a spout and a stopper.  Before applying to wood, with the stopper in place, I lightly shake the jar so that the oil and lemon juice mix as much as possible.  Then I pour out a tiny amount onto an old rag and wipe down the furniture.  A very small amount will go a very long way!  Then you’ll want to wipe the furniture down with a part of the rag that you didn’t pour the mixture onto to try and pick up excess oil.  This works great and keeps my furniture looking beautiful for quite a while.  Also, it smells wonderfully clean!
  • Enviro Cloth: From what I hear, the regular antibac Enviro cloth also is a great duster of furniture.

Stainless Steel Appliances

  • Olive Oil: Use with a soft cloth for getting smudges off of stainless steel appliances.
  • Enviro Cloth:  Yep.  Good for this, too!

Toilet

  • Hydrogen Peroxide: I use the same bottle that I use for my carpet stains, windows, and mirrors.  I spray the hydrogen peroxide on and in the toilet, wipe the outside down with a rag, and scrub the inside with a toilet brush.  It works fabulously.
  • Baking Soda: For really rough scum, after cleaning initially with hydrogen peroxide, I sprinkle some baking soda on the bowl, let it sit for a moment, and then scrub with my toilet brush.  I store baking soda specifically for cleaning in a large aluminum salt or pepper shaker.
  • Enviro Cloth: I’m not joking.  I hear that a damp Enviro Cloth wiped inside and outside of the toilet and then a toilet brush scrub-down of the inside does the trick!

Bath Tub

  • Hydrogen Peroxide: Using the same bottle I use for everything else, I spray the entire shower (tub & tile walls), and then using a Scotch Brite Scour Pad I scrub the tub down.  Sometimes after scrubbing I might wipe a damp rag all over the tub to rinse off any left-behind scum.
  • Baking Soda: For scum that Hydrogen Peroxide won’t completely get rid of, I sprinkle baking soda, leave for a few moments, and then scrub with a Scotch Brite Scour Pad.  Since I started using natural cleaning supplies, I’d never had to use anything stronger than hydrogen peroxide and baking soda.   I store baking soda specifically for cleaning in a large aluminum salt or pepper shaker.
  • Enviro Cloth: That’s right!  A damp Enviro Cloth, from what I’ve heard, does the job to clean a tub.  I seriously need to try this thing out!

Some last things:

  • I keep all my cleaning items (except my vinegar spray, olive oil, and the Swiffer Wet Jet and vacuum, of course) in a tub in my laundry room.  The olive oil stays in my pantry for cooking and the vinegar spray stays under my kitchen sink since I use it all the time.
  • Items I use that didn’t get their own bullet points: Scotch Brite Scour Pad, Toilet Brush, & Rags (I use old t-shirts–men’s undershirts are great for this because they’re usually so soft and don’t have scratchy designs)

Finally, here’s a photo & a quick reference list of the items I use to clean my entire home:

  • Vinegar Spray: 4 tsp. vinegar & 3 cups water in a spray bottle
  • Hydrogen peroxide: original bottle with a spray bottle nozzle
  • Baking soda: in an aluminum salt or pepper shaker
  • Olive Oil & Lemon Juice polish: 1 cup olive oil & 1/2 cup lemon juice in a glass cruet with a spout & stopper
  • Olive Oil: Just kept in the jar it comes in (stored in my pantry)
  • A mop: I use a Swiffer Wet Jet without using the spray
  • Old rags or paper towels
  • Scotch Brite Scour Pads
  • A toilet brush
  • A vacuum cleaner

And that’s it!  I love using natural products so I don’t put my (or my family’s) health in jeopardy and I LOVE that these natural products really keep my home clean.  Also, since I also use almost all of these items for cooking, I save a ton of money each month NOT having to buy separate cleaning products! 

Did I miss something?  Let me know and I’ll find a natural way to clean whatever it is I missed.  Do you have a great natural way to clean your home?  Share it with us!

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One Response to “Natural from Floor to Ceiling, Part 3 | Deeper Cleaning”

  1. melissa hyatt said

    I’ve been wondering about the natural cleaning products! somehow i missed this when you originally posted- so sorry for the belated response :) I’m totally going to try these and I can’t wait to hear how the enviro cloth works out!

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