A Compendium of All-Natural Cleaning Tips

Real Simple

There are many well-known and well-blogged about natural cleaning tips out there. Olive oil to shine and buff stainless steel, lemons in the disposal to clean and freshen, and sprinkling baking soda on the carpet before vacuuming are all fairly common ideas by now. Sarac over at AT Chicago just did a roundup on non-toxic cleaning solutions found in the pantry that included some great tips, as well. But we were very excited to see a feature article from Real Simple that provides a surprisingly comprehensive guide with 78 all-natural cleaning solutions.
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Some of our favorite solutions from Real Simple’s Back-To-Basics cleaning guide include
  • Plastic Food-Storage Containers: To bleach stains from tomato soup and other acidic foods on dishwasher-safe items, rub lemon juice on the spots, let dry in a sunny place, and then wash as usual.

  • Scuffed Floors: Apply two to four drops of tea-tree oil to the spots. Wipe excess oil with a cloth and rub in distilled white vinegar.

  • Windows: Mix 2 ounces water and 10 drops lavender or lemongrass oil to wipe grime off windows. Bonus: These oils may also help to repel flies.

  • Showerheads: To combat mineral deposits, pour vinegar into a plastic grocery bag and knot the handles over the neck of the showerhead, securing with rubber bands. Let soak overnight. Rinse with water in the morning.

  • White bread, use it to dust an oil painting. Gently dab a slice of white bread over the surface to pick up dirt and grime.

  • Tea, use it to: scour rusty garden tolls. Brew a few pots of strong black tea. When cool, pour into a bucket. Soak the tools for a few hours. Wipe each one with a cloth. (Wear rubber gloves or your hands will be stained.)

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This guide covers uses for lemons, essential oils, Castile soap, cooking oils, borax, vinegar, baking soda, toothpaste, table salt, and many other surprising cleaners as well! We were excited to find this compendium of handy hints. Some we’ve heard before, but we’re keeping this article for a great resource that lists tons of ideas. Pick up the current April 2009 issue of Real Simple on newsstands now for the full list.

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