So I’m a little bit of a clean freak. I’ll admit it. It’s really important to me that things are clean!!!
But I do not like using conventional cleaning products that are FULL of chemicals. Yikes! I am not a fan!!! Especially if you’ve got little kids around the house that could possibly get a hold of those nasty chemicals! Scary! So in this article I’m going to discuss some of my favorite natural cleaning hacks to help you keep your home or homestead squeaky clean.
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Use the Environmental Work Group’s (EWG) website
So my first tip is to use the Environmental Working Group’s (EWG) website. I use this website for everything!
The EWG is awesome because they give information about many products that are out there to allow you to make an informed choice before you purchase a product. They even have a handy app that allows you to scan a product’s barcode! It then automatically pulls up all of the information about that product.
Each cleaning product on the EWG is rated from A-F which allows you to see how good or bad that product is for you and how it could impact your health. The EWG rates products based on several factors including asthma/respiratory, skin allergies & irritation, developmental & reproductive toxicity, cancer, and environmental impact.
I also love that this website breaks down each of the ingredients in every product so that you can know exactly what is in your cleaning products and what each ingredient does. If you can’t tell I absolutely love the EWG’s website! It’s an amazing resource for anyone who wants to live a more natural lifestyle. They also have product reviews for cosmetics, food products and more! Check out their website here.
My next tip is to use vinegar! That’s right, just normal distilled white vinegar. Vinegar is awesome! You can use it to make vinaigrettes (yum!) and you can use it as a natural cleaning product.
Vinegar is a natural cleaning agent that you can use to clean surfaces in your home. I love using vinegar to spray down my counters and table after a meal because it cleans everything off, but it isn’t full of chemicals! No one wants to use chemicals on a surface that you are eating on! Yikes! I normally mix one part vinegar and one part of water in a spray bottle and then I use that for spraying down many of the surfaces in my home! I just use normal white vinegar like this one for all of my home cleaning!
I seriously use vinegar for EVERYTHING! I clean doorknobs, bathrooms, and I even spray it on my floors when I’m mopping. Be careful with this one though you want to make sure the vinegar won’t damage your floors-especially if they are wood! Do your research and even do a spot test in a low visibility area before you spray vinegar all over your floors.
Use Baking Soda
So baking soda is awesome. Baking soda is gritty so it’s super useful for getting off anything that’s extra stuck in your home. I use baking soda to get hard water marks out of my toilets and I also use it to clean my shower and sink. It really helps clean off any soapy scum that accumulates in those areas. I normally use baking soda and vinegar together when I’m cleaning my bathroom to make sure everything is really clean!
Plus you can also use baking soda to neutralize odors! Check out my recipe for a natural coop refresher using baking soda and flour.
For tougher stains I use pumice scouring stones like this one. These scouring stones are made out of a volcanic rock called pumice. They’re natural and non-toxic. Not only are these bad boys cheap, but they also get off stubborn stains like no other. Seriously these things are the best! I use one of these monthly to clean my shower (it’s white tile which is the WORST to clean) and I LOVE it!
Buy a hair catcher for your sink and shower
So let’s talk about hair. It clogs up all of my drains and causes all sorts of problems. Ugh. SOOO this isn’t a cleaning product, but I love these drain hair catchers. They are so useful and they eliminate the need to buy drain cleaner which can be very toxic. You simply put these ones over your drain and it blocks the hair from going down the drain. I also love these drain snakes that you can put inside of the drain in your sink. They catch the hair and then you can remove them and clean out the hair!
Use essential oils instead of air freshener
I love my essential oils diffuser! It’s amazing and it has health benefits beyond just the amazing smell! I recommend using essential oils over spraying an air freshener in your home or bathroom. I’ve also hung peppermint in the bathroom and it makes a huge difference
If you want to get started with safe, great smelling oils, here’s the brand I recommend. You can get an entire kit of everything you need to get started with oils for just $162 – diffuser, 11 multipurpose essential oils, and more!
Another cleaning hack you can use in your home is to use hydrogen peroxide. This stuff can clean almost ANYTHING. It’s awesome! Check out this article about different ways you can use hydrogen peroxide to clean in your home.
Keep in mind that this product is rated a B on the EWG’s website. So it’s not bad, but it’s not great either. It can cause some skin and respiratory irritation if it is used incorrectly. Generally though, there is little to no concern for any issues if this product is used correctly.
Do I still not have you convinced to switch to natural cleaning products? Well then, I highly recommend that you read labels of every product you buy, especially cleaning products.
Use the EWG and get familiar with ingredients that are toxic and can have nasty side effects. After using the EWG’s website for awhile I started being able to immediately identify toxic ingredients in my products that I was using!
I also recommend that you read the label because typically (if you’re using conventional products) they will give you information about how to store the product!
If you decide to continue to use conventional products it’s important that you know the risks and hazards of the product, so that you are storing it correctly!
Choose natural cleaning product brands
So I know not everyone is ready to make an immediate switch to totally natural cleaning products, and that’s OK! If that’s the case there are some amazing brands that make great products for cleaning.
I think Attitude is an amazing brand. (Plus they have good ratings on the EWG’s website) Keep in mind that buying a natural product from the store is going to be more expensive than buying some good ole vinegar (which is why I use vinegar for everything).
I also really love the Grove Collaborative for natural cleaning products. They supply you with all natural cleaning products that can be delivered right to your door step. Handy right?
Do you have any more natural cleaning hacks? Share them with me in the comments below!
Maat van Uitert is a backyard chicken and sustainable living expert. She is also the author of Chickens: Naturally Raising A Sustainable Flock, which was a best seller in it’s Amazon category. Maat has been featured on NBC, CBS, AOL Finance, Community Chickens, the Huffington Post, Chickens magazine, Backyard Poultry, and Countryside Magazine. She lives on her farm in Southeast Missouri with her husband, two children, and about a million chickens and ducks. You can follow Maat on Facebook here and Instagram here.