Natural Cleaning Hacks

Let’s face it, we all have our ways of cleaning things, sometimes though, those ‘old fashioned’ tricks really do make sense and could get the job done better than your current method. So listed here for you to try are some ‘cleaning hacks’ that are quite simply very worth a try. If you have any other suggestions, or need a suggestion for a specific cleaning job let me know and I’ll research it, try it, and add it to the list.

Baking Trays

bakingsoda peroxide

 

Reasoning: Scrubbing with dish soap simply doesn’t easily get rid of all the years worth of multiple bake sessions adhered to them
Method: Make up a mixture of 1/4 cup baking soda and enough hydrogen peroxide to make a nice paste and then rub it all over your cookie sheets and baking pans. Let it sit for a few hours and then rinse off.

Baths

lemonsalt

 

Reasoning: Bath scum is yuk.
Method: Cut a citrus fruit like grapefruit or lemon in half across the segments, pour salt on the open fruit, turn over and use to clean.

Cabinets

bakingsodaoliveoil

 

Reasoning: Have you taken a close look at your cabinet doors lately, especially around the handles? You’d be surprised at how much gunk can accumulate over time
Method: Mix up a paste of 1 part baking soda and 2 parts vegetable oil, you can use a cloth or an old toothbrush to really get into the grooves

Cast Iron (plain, not enameled)

bakingsodaperoxide

vinegar whitecastileoliveoil

 

Reasoning: Older cast iron pieces were machine polished to a smooth glassy surface after casting, newer pieces are simply cast, and will have a more textured surface. If you prefer the old type, you will typically find it in poor shape; rusty, and coated with years of burnt on food and seasoning.
Method: This method takes patience.
1. Coat the cast iron piece with oven cleaner. Place the coated piece in a plastic bag and seal tightly to prevent it drying out. Leave for several days for the oven cleaner to loosen and remove the old seasoning, wipe off an reapply oven cleaner every 2 days as needed (up to a week for especially bad pieces) remove oven cleaner with a paper towel then wash with hot water.
2. Next, neutralize the alkaline and soften surface rust. Soak the cleaned pan in a solution of 2 parts hot water, 1 part white vinegar for 30-60 minutes. Scrub with steel wool to remove any rust. Wash with soap and hot water and dry thoroughly.
3. The bare metal must now be seasoned immediately to prevent rusting. Place the clean, dry skillet upside-down in a 250-degree oven for 15 minutes. Increase the temperature to 500 degrees and let the skillet heat up for 45 minutes.
Remove from the oven and rub oil (or lard) over the entire hot pan with paper towels, it’s normal for the oil to smoke (the hot pan will absorb the oil and begin to turn brown). Using clean paper towels, rub off the excess oil so that the skillet just appears wet. Do multiple thin layers rather than a single thick layer.
Return the oiled pan to the oven (upside-down) and let it cool as the oven cools. Wipe any excess oil off every 10-15 minutes, and add an application of oil every 30 minutes or so, remembering to wipe off the excess oil. After an hour, open the oven door slightly to help cool the oven faster.

Clothes Stains

peroxidecastile

bakingsoda

 

Reasoning: Because clothes stains happen, and sometimes don’t get attended to for a while
Method: Mix 2 parts peroxide, 1 part liquid castile, 1 part baking soda. Pour it on the stain, scrub it in, let it sit for an hour, wash as normal

Cooking Spills

salt

 

Reasoning: Because we’re not all master chefs.
Method: If food boils over, sprinkle salt on top to stop smoke and odor from forming. When cool, it’ll be easy to brush away the spot.

Cutting boards

lemon

salt

castile

 

Reasoning: Wooden cutting boards especially, can trap food debris in its nicks and cuts, where microorganisms can multiply, so it’s important to do a thorough job that your dish soap may not be cut out for.
Method: Grab Half a lemon and some salt to rub along the board. the lemon has antibacterial properties, the salt is abrasive, and together they will help to dislodge the particles. Then, wash with soap and water.

Drains (sink/bath)

bakingsodavinegar white

 

Reasoning: If your water starts draining slowly, forget the harsh chemicals, try this.
Method: Put a few spoons (up to half a cup) of baking soda down the drain, then pour some vinegar down there and put the plug straight in. Leave that to sit for 10-15 minutes making sure the plug won’t come out from the pressure. Depending on how bad the blockage was either just pour a kettle of boiling water down or use a plunger a couple times intermittently while pouring the water down.

Furniture Scratches

walnut

 

Reasoning: Polishing often doesn’t hide those scratches.
Method: To fade scratch marks, rub with a wallnut.


Glasses

vinegar white

 

Reasoning: If you live in a hard water area you’ve probably encountered cloudy tumblers so you’ll be pleased to have a solution.
Method: If you use a dishwasher just pour a cup of vinegar into the bottom and run your regular cycle, if you’re hand washing, fill a bowl with hot water and add a few tablespoons of vinegar, wash your glasses in this solution and leave to dry.

Grout

peroxidebakingsoda

castile

 

Reasoning: If you’ve never cleaned your tile grout you may want to give this a go
Method: Dilute 1 part hydrogen peroxide (3%) with one part water, spray on, leave to site for 45 mins or so, rinse off. For a stronger solution for really tough stuff, mix a paste of 1/2 cup baking soda, 1/4 cup peroxide, and 1 spoon liquid castile. Spread it on, leave for 5 mins, use an old toothbrush to scrub off, then rinse.

Iron

salt

 

Reasoning: build up from the steam function, transfer from clothes, who knows how irons get dirty, but the last thing you want is that ending up on your crisp clean whites
Method: Pour some salt onto an old tea towel and then run your iron over the salt, heat on, steam off. The dirt on your iron will stick to the salt.

Jewelry

foilsaltbakingsoda

 

Reasoning: Jewelry polishing takes hours and doesn’t get in all the crevices.
Method: Gather your ingredients and line a pan with a sheet of foil (shiny side up). Lay out your dirty jewelry in the pan and have each part of the jewelry touch the foil. Mix 1 cup of boiling water, 1 tablespoon of salt, and 1 tablespoon of baking soda together. Then slowly pour the mixture into the foil-lined pan. Use a spoon if necessary to stir and reposition the jewelry. Slowly add the 1/2 cup of vinegar and watch the bubbles cleaning every crevice. Let it sit for 5-10 minutes. If necessary, use a spoon to stir the salt and baking soda, and evenly distribute the mix on the jewelry. Rinse in water and dry.

Knives


lemon


Reasoning
: If you wash your knives in a dishwasher or don’t hand dry them you’ll no doubt get little rust spots eventually

Method: Soak your knives in lemon juice for a few minutes then scrub off with the scratchy side of the sponge

Mattresses

bakingsoda

 

Reasoning: Mattresses are a tough one to clean, it’s not like you can chuck them in the washing machine
Method: Give your mattress a quick vacuum, then, sprinkle baking soda to cover the entire top of the mattress. After a few hours vacuum the baking soda away.

Microfiber furniture

alcohol

 

Reasoning: Because you can’t chuck your sofa in the washing machine
Method: Spray with rubbing alcohol (it evaporates much faster than water so it won’t leave a water mark), scrub with a sponge till you’re not getting dirt on the sponge anymore (make sure the sponge is lighter color than the fabric to avoid any dye transfer), let it completely dry hard, then use a hard bristle brush in small circular motion to re-fluff

Microwaves

vinegar white

 

Reasoning: Because scrubbing nuked on food splashes isn’t fun
Method: Simply fill a bowl with water and vinegar and microwave on high for at least two minutes. The steam will soften everything up and all you have to do is wipe

Mildew Towels

vinegar white

bakingsoda

 

Reasoning: We’ve all forgotten a load in the washing machine at least once, that awful smell from your towels just doesn’t bear putting on your skin, and simply rewashing doesn’t usually get it out
Method: Run your towels on a hot cycle with a cup of vinegar (nothing else), if you still have a vague trace of mildew scent wash them again with 1/2 cup of baking soda

Oven

peroxidebakingsoda

 

Reasoning: Thanks to all that heat ovens have a habit of getting nastily hard to clean
Method: As with the baking sheets, mix up a paste of baking soda and peroxide, spread it all over the oven and leave overnight, wipe as much as you can out with a damp cloth then spray some vinegar in and turn the oven on low for about 20 minutes

Pet hair

squeegee

 

Reasoning: anyone with a hairy pet knows how it sticks to things
Method: Turns out your squeegee can get more than your windows clean. Use one as a quick and easy way to wipe pet hair off of your carpets and rugs. for furniture, dampen one of your rubber gloves a little and it will turn into a hair magnet.

Rust spots

saltcream of tartar

lemon

 

Reasoning: When you live in a rainy country, your outdoor furniture is bound to develop rust spots
Method: Mix salt and cream of tartar, and moisten with enough water to make a paste. Apply to a rust stain on a piece of metal outdoor furniture for example; let it sit in the sun until dry. Repeat the process if necessary.
or
make a paste of lemon juice and salt. Apply paste to the rusted object, and rub with a dry, soft cloth.

Shower curtain

salt

 

Reasoning: Shower curtains are susceptible to mold, and nobody likes mold in the house.
Method: Wash your shower curtain with salt when you first get it, and any additional washes.

Shower Heads

vinegar white

 

Reasoning: A quick spray and a wipe-down simply won’t do the job when the holes of your shower head are clogged with mineral deposits.
Method: Get yourself a plastic bag and pour white vinegar in it, then secure it around your shower head. Leave it for an hour and rinse

Silver

foilsaltbakingsoda

 

Reasoning: Who wants to spends hours polishing?
Method: Use a foil tray or line your sink with tin foil. Fill the sink with hot water, 1/2 cup salt and 1/2 cup baking soda (less for a tray), mix and add silver. Leave it to soak for a bit then rinse and buff.

Taps (chrome)

lemonwax paper

foilvinegar white

 

Reasoning: Don’t you just hate it when your shiny taps get dull
Method: Cut a lemon in half and rub it directly on the taps, to prevent them dulling up too quickly again, dry and rub with wax paper. Rubbing with baking foil can help with rust spots too.
To remove hard water stains, soak some paper towels in vinegar, position around taps, leave overnight, and scrub off in the morning with much less effort.

Tiles

vinegar white

soda crystals

peroxidebakingsoda

 

Reasoning: Tiles are often like walls, you forget to clean them till it’s too late to be a simple wipe
Method: For bathroom tiles get yourself one of those sponges with a fillable handle, fill it with vinegar and just run it over your tiles when you shower and they’ll never get in a bad state.
For kitchen tiles that get splashed with grease etc. use soda crystals for regular cleaning, or mix a hydrogen peroxide and baking soda paste for a heavy duty clean

Toothbrush

vinegar whitesilver

 

Reasoning: Most people don’t even think about cleaning their toothbrush but it should really be done frequently to avoid bacteria that builds up after even just one brush
Method: Pour several tablespoons of white vinegar into a glass jar and dip your toothbrush in. Let it sit for at least 15 to 30 minutes.
Alternatively you can use a mixture of ½ colloidal silver and ½ water.

Windows/Mirrors

vinegar white

castile

 

Reasoning: Because I’ve never met someone who didn’t ever have trouble with streaky windows or mirrors
Method: Mix equal parts distilled white vinegar and water in a spray bottle, then add a few drops of liquid castile and shake well. Use a clean lint free cloth to wash your windows with this stuff, then buff dry with newspaper

Wood

vinegar whiteoliveoil

 

Reasoning: You love your old wooden table (or new flea market bargain cabinet) but it’s covered in water rings and scratches
Method: For those little scratches mix 1 part vinegar with 3 parts oil, rub that stuff on and wipe off
Water marks come from steam condensation getting under the finish, to remove them you need more heat and moisture. Try a few layers of fabric sprayed with a little water. Iron over the napkins on top of the heat marks for about 15 seconds with the iron on a medium heat/steam setting. Don’t just set the iron down though – keep it moving.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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