Ever wonder what’s in your everyday household cleaners? Even if you can easily find out, you may not want to know. Lots of cleaners can have unnecessary and toxic ingredients that can pollute the surfaces and air in your home. But there’s good news (great news even!) — you can make effective home-cleaning solutions with a few simple ingredients from your cabinet. These old-fashioned ways of shining things up are surprisingly effective, cheap, and green!
— Brooklyn Supper, Babble
Everyday salt can team up with lemon juice, or just half a lemon, for a potent sink, counter, or cutting board scrub. Salt can also help you cut through the grease on oily pots and pans, and can even absorb grease stains on wooden tables or counters.
Image: Romain Behar
Think that bag of sugar is just for sweets? Think again! Sugar is a mild exfoliant that's perfect for cleaning hands that have been doing greasy kitchen work — just mix some sugar with a bit of olive oil, gently massage for a few minutes, and then rinse. Sugar can also be used to clean your spice grinder — add a few tablespoons of sugar to your grinder, grind for two minutes, and then carefully wipe out any tiny bits.
Gentle and non-toxic yet tough enough to use when you really need to scour a surface, baking soda is a fantastic and inexpensive household cleaner. You can use it to scrub anything from pots and pans to tiles and grout. Its odor-fighting properties also make it great for freshening rugs and carpets and cleaning really smelly things like trash cans.
Image: Ken Irwin
Lavender, eucalyptus, rosemary, tea tree, lemon, and peppermint oils have disinfectant properties, some can even kill bacteria and mold. These powerful oils can also give a variety of natural cleaners a boost. But beware — these oils are very concentrated and should be kept well away from little hands.
Image: Keith Weller, USDA
You've likely got cornstarch around for its thickening properties, but did you know cornstarch is great for fighting grease stains, cleaning silver, and washing windows?
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