Natural home cleaning is no doubt the way to go. With so many ways to save money and eliminate chemicals from your home, it only makes sense to make the switch to a more natural method of cleaning. We’ve consulted with Molly Maid franchise owner Kim Dunn for her top tips and tricks to cleaning with natural and green products for our list of the Top Natural Home Cleaning Products that you need to add to your spring cleaning routine!
1. Microfibre cloths
Microfibre cloths can be an excellent method of cleaning–all without using any chemicals or soap! According to Kim, microfibre cloths absorb dirt in a different way than their non-microfibre counterparts. Cotton cloths require a solvent of some sort and multiple rinses, whereas microfibre has what she calls “fingers” that pick up, lock in and trap dirt. Washable and reusable, these cloths are a cost effective way of cleaning hard surfaces in the home. Kim notes that you get what you pay for when it comes to microfibre.
“You can get them at the dollar store, but high-quality cloths can cost upwards of $12 a cloth–but the good thing is that you can use them an unlimited number of times,” says Kim. She recommends using microfibre cloths with hot water on stainless steel appliances, any kind of flooring, countertops, and other hard surfaces. There are three different grades of microfibre, all used for different cleaning purposes. A tighter weave is better for windows, whereas a thicker material is best for hardwood floors. In all, Kim says it’s best to have an array of cloths on hand to be used strictly for each unique purpose. Finally, when washing, avoid using fabric softener or dryer sheets.
Lemon works for a number of different problem areas in the house. Since lemons are naturally acidic, they are best suited to eliminating lime deposits on bathroom fixtures, and for cleaning your kitchen sink and cutting boards that are not used for meat products. Lemons are also great for making everything smell good, so if you aren’t a huge fan of those water and vinegar mixtures, lemon is a suitable alternative. Comprised of about 6% citric acid (white vinegar contains about 7% acetic acid), lemons are not quite disinfectants, but are an effective cleanser. “Cut a lemon in half, and you can use it to clean stainless steel and porcelain sinks,” says Kim.
3. Baking soda
Baking soda is not just a deodorizer! Known for its versatility, baking soda is a great way to get scuff marks off your walls. Just add a little bit of baking soda to a damp sponge, wipe gently and rinse. Baking soda is also great when used in the bathroom on shower tiles and tubs to clean grout and get rid of really tough stains. When mixed with other household items such as vinegar or lemon juice, it can become a powerful scrubbing agent, or what Kim calls a “grit”, helping to remove difficult messes such as soap scum and food residue.
4. Vinegar & water
This combination is best known as a window and glass cleaner to wash for a streak-free shine, but vinegar can also remove stickers from walls and doors when used with a sponge and left to soak. “Vinegar is great because it’s so versatile,” says Kim. Vinegar and baking soda can be used in combination as a powerful toilet bowl cleaner, and multi-purpose cleaner for difficult messes. The problem for most, however, is the smell. If you can’t deal with the scent of vinegar, a great tip is to mix it with citrus peels, herbs or essential oils to eliminate the subtle odour and leave behind a fresher, cleaner scent.
You wouldn’t think of salt as an effective cleaner, but when used in combination with other ingredients, it can be a great way to remove rust or the remnants of food in ovens. Described as another “grit” by Kim, salt helps to eliminate soap scum and more. When sprinkled over grapefruit or another citrus fruit, salt is a great way to deep clean a bathroom, naturally removing mildew and grime. When combined with boiling water, salt works to lightly clean any drain in your house–pending you don’t have plastic pipes. Kim does recommend using a hard solvent in the bathroom around the toilet area, and this is where natural cleaners can be replaced by a lighter solvent such as Vim PowerPro Naturals, what she deems is a safer alternative to other bleach-based cleaning products.
6. Olive oil
Olive oil can be used as a polish for wooden furniture and stainless steel appliances, and you can rest easy knowing that this natural cleaning product will not leave behind unhealthy residue. Olive oil also helps to fix scratches in leather furniture. Simply pour a small amount on a cotton cloth and swirl on the affected area in a very light, circular motion. Olive oil is also beginning to be used in natural soaps and is a great natural moisturizer for the body.
If you can’t stick completely to natural products, Kim recommends doing a deep clean with some of your old haunts and then maintaining that clean base with natural or Green alternatives such as Method brand and Greenworks products on a regular basis. Happy cleaning!