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These natural cleaning tips can save you $900 while avoiding harmful chemicals — here's how

While it's understandable to want to clean thoroughly, there are more natural, safer ways to do it.

While it's understandable to want to clean thoroughly, there are more natural, safer ways to do it.

Photo Credit: iStock

Cleaning in the typical American home is a smelly and often wasteful process, full of harsh, hazardous chemicals and single-use supplies. 

While it's understandable to want to be thorough — especially after a global health scare — there are natural, safer ways to do it that can save you money, too. 

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Replacing even half of your cleaning supplies with natural alternatives could save you up to $900 in 10 years and protect you from exposure to 200 pounds of chemicals — and many of the ingredients, like citrus fruits and vinegar, are things you already have in the kitchen.

Kitchen hacks

For inexpensive and eco-friendly tips on cleaning the whole house, you can check out TCD's guide on cleaning with natural ingredients. However, here are a few select hacks for your kitchen:

  1. Oven cleaning

    Baking soda is the key ingredient in this hack. After baking an oven-safe container full of water to wet the appliance's interior, apply a mixture of baking soda and liquid soap, then wait for the oven to cool. The mixture loosens grime and makes it easy to scrub off!

  2. Wood scrubbing

    Wood's soft, porous surface absorbs bacteria, stains, and odors, and it tends to get dull over time. Clean and polish it with salt and a piece of lemon. This tip works on cutting boards, butcher's blocks, and wooden utensils as well.

  3. Cleaning your faucet

    You might be surprised just how dirty the nozzle of your faucet can get, but this often-overlooked area ends up caked in limescale, food residue, and bacteria. The secret to cleaning it is plain white vinegar. Let the kitchen-safe acidity loosen up all that grime so you can scrub it away.

  4. Garbage disposal pods

    This hack combines the cleaning action of vinegar with the deodorizing power of lemon peels. Pop both in an ice cube tray and freeze. When your garbage disposal needs freshening, put a few cubes in and turn the unit on.

  5. The ultimate homemade kitchen cleaner

    This fresh-smelling cleaner uses baking soda as the secret ingredient for a food-safe and scratch-free scrub. One Instagrammer recommends keeping it in a parmesan or sprinkles shaker to make it easy to apply — also, mix in some essential oils for a fresh, clean smell. You can use it to clean tons of surfaces, including your sink, or cook some in a pan with a bit of water to remove stuck-on, burnt residue.

Bathroom hacks

This is one area you don't want to skimp on sanitizing!

  1. A two-ingredient nontoxic bathroom cleaner

    This scrub is perfect for showers, tubs, toilets, counters, and even grimy floors and stubborn grout. Once again, baking soda is the star, this time combined with Castile soap in a 4-1 ratio. You can add essential oils to this mixture, too, if you want to make the room smell nice!

  2. A simple glass cleaner

    For surfaces that need that extra smudge-free shine, this Instagrammer recommends a combination of white vinegar and a little dish soap. Combine them in a spray bottle or put them in a dish wand, and use the mixture to scrub off hard water stains.

General home hacks

These tips can be applied to everyday objects or throughout the home.

  1. A two-step surface sanitizer

    For cold and flu season or any time you're worried about germs, try this supercharged approach to disinfect any hard surface. First, wipe the area down with a cloth and vinegar and let it air dry. Then, spray it with a spray bottle full of hydrogen peroxide or vodka and let it dry again. Just be careful not to mix these cleaners, as they create an acid when combined.

  2. Fabric deodorizing spray

    According to one TikToker, this is an old theater trick: a spray bottle full of vodka, which you can use on fabric and upholstery. The alcohol kills the bacteria that cause odors, and because the vodka is colorless, it dries without leaving a stain.

  3. Homemade laundry detergent

    Castile soap and baking soda aren't just great for your bathroom; you can also use them to wash your clothes. This TikToker recommends mixing them with water and optional essential oils to make a liquid laundry detergent that you can dispense from a jar.

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