The Natural Way To Clean Everything In Your House.


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A reader emailed me about the best way to clean something in her house, and I pointed her to one of my posts about natural cleaning. But then I though I maybe should create a single post with all the natural cleaning information I had collected and written about, so you can bookmark this one post and refer to it when you need it. Please also refer to this post for many more natural cleaning recipes. Of course, this is for for homemade products, but for those less adventurous there are plenty of safe, natural cleaners on the market. If you have something to add, please be sure to leave a comment or email me and let me know!

Cleaning Metal Surfaces:

Silver – Put some water in a pan with a few teaspoons of washing soda, bring to a simmer. Throw in alittle piece of aluminum foil, and then dip your silver right into the mix. Pull the item out, dry it off, and shine it clean with a rag.

Pewter – Wash your pewter items in warm soapy water (use biodegradable soap!), rinse, and polish with a clean cotton cloth. Instant clean!

Chrome – You can clean anything that is chrome just by combining 1 tablespoon of ammonia with 1 pint of water. Just rub the concoction on the chrome and watch the dirt come right off.

Iron – If you have iron cooking pans or other items that are looking a little rusty, you can clean them with a damp cloth and some steel wool. Wipe down the item with the cloth, scrub lightly with the steel wool, rinse and then dry. Be sure to rub in a little vegetable oil once it is dry to inhibit any further rusting.

Brass & Copper – By combining a few tablespoons of lemon juice and 1 tablespoon of baking soda, you have a great brass and copper cleaning agent. Just rub in on and then polish it off…so shiny! If your items are heavily soiled, you can soak them in hot vinegar and some table salt. The shine will start showing up on its own, and once you see it, take the item out and rinse it. You can also rub lemon on brass and copper to get into any grooves that need cleaning…just be sure to wipe it off once it is clean.

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  1. Hi Lara, glad you liked them. You might want to try just a spray bottle full of water with about 10 drops of your favorite essential oil in it. That’s what we do around our house before people come, it seems to work like a charm. Vanilla is always nice! Just get a small bottle from a Whole Foods or something like that!

    Also, you could put an open bowl of vinegar in the room the futon is in and leave it overnight. Sometimes the vinegar does a good job of absorbing odors. Just be sure to toss it out before they arrive!

  2. Thanks for all the great tips! Any home remedy for moldy/stale smelling apolstery? I’d rather not buy Fabreeze, but the inlaws are coming soon and the old futon in the guest room seems to have had much better days. Anything you can recommend would be MUCH appreciated (my Mother-in-law is actually very sensitive to mold). Thanks!

  3. Thanks for the advice. I noticed in a few places you mention white vinegar. But will any vingegar do the trick? And do you think that essential oils might only mask the smell? Should I perhaps use something stronger to try to kill the mold spores themselves? Very grateful, Lara

  4. Nice post. Thanks for the roundup.

    I keep a spray bottle with 3 parts water and 1 part vinegar by the sink. Works great for a quick wipe down of the sink, counters and stovetop after cooking. I also use it to wash fruits and vegetables. Cook’s Illustrated found that this mixture is 97% effective at killing bacteria on foods.

  5. A note on “moldy” smells. My miracle cure is Borax. I spray the dog’s bed lightly with vinegar-water solution then sprinkle Borax on. Let it dry and vacuum. This is for a “doggy” smell, but I use Borax in the laundry for towels that have “gone to the other side” and it works the best of anything. Seems it might work for funky furniture too!

  6. You can, I agree kazari – but even vinegar is toxic if you drink enough of it. Borax, while not my first choice for cleaning agents, is in fact a natural product – it’s a mineral. It cleans really well, and in the amounts anyone should be using it, it really is inert.

    Thanks for the comment!

  7. another way to make the house smell nice is using an oil diffuser of some kind with essential oils. i have a terra cotta tealight diffuser–all you need to do is light a match. the downside, of course, is that you have to keep an eye on it.

  8. Pingback: Natural Ways to Clean the House

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