Did you know???
…you have a GIGANTOR stock of natural cleaning products hiding in your pantry and you probably don’t even know it!!!
Go on, take a peek!
Can’t spot them???
Well, I did a little Google-y-goo research recently, followed by a bit of kitchen science lab experimentation to see if I could find some less expensive cleaning product alternatives that were more natural to use around my kidlets and fur babies.
Now, don’t get me wrong…cleaning is not high on my fun list, but with a house full of boys (pets included), there’s A LOT of scrubbing that goes down on a regular basis, and sometimes it feels like we go through cleaning supplies as quickly as milk.
So, I compiled a list of common cooking staples that secretly lead a double life as affordable and effective cleaners for a variety of different surfaces around the house. Here are my fave tried and true DIY cleaning solutions…
How to clean GREASE
- Add a few drops of lemon juice to your kitchen soap dispenser to help cut grease more effectively.
- Lemon is also a great deodorizer as well as degreaser and works well for cleaning the inside of the microwaves. Mix 3/4 cup water and 1/4 cup lemon juice in a microwave safe dish and run on high until the mixture is boiling, then allow to sit and steam inside for 5 to 10 minutes. Remove the dish and use a clean dry cloth to wipe down the inside… the grease will wipe away, and it will smell lemony fresh! .
- Vinegar is also a great grease fighter! Mix 1 part vinegar to 3 parts water in a spray bottle and use to clean stainless steel appliances. The acidic vinegar will help to cut through the grease of fingerprint marks, and always use a microfiber cloth rubbing in the direction of the stainless grain to avoid streaks.
How to polish SILVERWARE
- Apply a layer of ketchup (yes, ketchup!) to the surface of the silverware with a cloth or papertowel and allow to sit for 15 minutes. Rinse with warm water and gently buff with a clean, dry cloth, and VOILA! Sparkly and shiny again!
- This is a trick my Mom taught me when I was little… place a piece of tin foil in the bottom of a plastic container (shiny side up), add 1 cup of Arm & Hammer washing soda and then fill with hot water. Stir the mixture and place the silverware in contact with the shiny tin foil and allow to soak for 15 minutes. Rinse in clean warm water, and buff.
My least favourite thing to clean… TOILETS
- If you ever have a half finished can of cola kicking around after a party, pour it into your toilet bowl. Allow it to sit for about an hour and then scrub with a toilet brush and flush. Cola is great for descaling that nasty ring around the bowl build-up.
- Baking soda is also great to remove toilet bowl grime. Sprinkle baking soda around the inside of the bowl, and then use a wet scrub brush on the problem areas, then flush! Ta da…your royal thrown will be sparkling again!
How to safely clean up BROKEN GLASS
- If you’ve ever dropped a light bulb (smash), then you know there are a zillion pieces to clean up. Of course, vacuuming or sweeping will help, but there are those teeny tiny little fragments of glass that often just get pushed around by broom bristles. So, here’s a crazy cool tip…after cleaning up the larger broken glass pieces, use a piece of fresh sliced bread and press down on the surface. It acts as a sponge and grabs onto those microscopic pieces so you can dispose of them safely. (Note: white bread works best)
- White bread also works well to lightly dust and clean delicate oil paintings. Did you know that in 1625, a restoration of the Sistine Chapel was carried out by cleaning the ceiling with pieces of bread! So maybe carbs aren’t that bad after all!!
How to clean WOOD SURFACES
- I started cooking with coconut oil about a year ago, and it amazes me how many other uses there are for it! You can deep condition your hair, moisturize your skin AND moisturize wood floors and furniture! Simply use a tablespoon of coconut oil with a clean buffing cloth and rub the oil onto dry surfaces to help restore its lustre.
- I’m also a huge black tea fan, and recently discovered that if I save my tea bags and add them into my bucket of clean water to mop floors, the steeped tea will richen the natural wood colour and help prevent fading.
- Last but not least, WATER! Genius, right! Of course we all know that water can help you clean just about anything, but water is the key ingredient to add to a floor steamer which can kill more than 99% of bacteria. Now, if you’re cleaning wood floors, you want to make sure your steamer has temperature controls… using HOT steam on natural wood can cause expansion and do some serious damage.
GIVEAWAY ALERT…..GIVEAWAY ALERT…GIVEAWAY ALERT
Now, speaking of steamers…
I’m rather partial to this bad boy!
The Black +Decker SmartSelect steam mop has 3 temperature settings (including one specifically for wood floors), an easy to remove and fill water canister, fab microfiber pads that are super easy to remove and toss in the washing machine AND it has a little hidden secret…
There’s an ingenious little step down pedal at the back that quickly releases the large steam head and reveals a smaller steam head to get around small, tight areas like icky toilets.
I recently gave it a test drive on Cityline along with sharing some of the cleaning tips above…
Tweet the following:
I want to get a head start on spring cleaning by winning this @Black_DeckerUS SmartSelect steam mop: http://www.huelala.com/design-musings/you-cleaned-what-with-that/
You have a second chance to win by leaving a comment below about your favourite natural cleaning product, or sharing your best cleaning tip or trick!
Giveaway eligibility ends at 11:59pm EST on January 31, 2014, and is only open to residents of Canada (for now…sorry to my US peeps).
All this chatter about cleaning has me feeling so fresh…and so clean…clean!