When we think of all-natural cleaning alternatives to the highly toxic detergent, bleach and ammonia products out there, vinegar and baking soda may be the first options that come to mind. And while stellar they most certainly are, there are two other super effective cleaning agents you most likely have in your kitchen right now: salt and lemons. Salt is incredibly inexpensive and versatile, and if you happen to have a lemon tree in your yard, you'll be stoked to know about these options for keeping your house naturally clean (and great smelling, too!).
The acidic lemon has many uses. Its fresh scent is also therapeutic: uplifting, energizing and balancing! Use the remains of a squeezed lemon, or press the juice and use in a spray bottle.
- Polish brass, copper and chrome.
- Clean stains and bacteria from cutting boards.
- Clean countertops, appliances, light switches and door knobs.
- Soak plastic containers in lemon juice and water to remove stains and odors.
- To remove clothing stains, rub fresh lemon onto the stain along with baking soda and salt.
- Pour ¼ cup lemon juice and ½ gallon hot water into garbage disposal to remove odor, let run 30 seconds.
- Clean windows and mirrors.
- Clean the grill with lemon and salt.
- Unclog minor drain blocks with a mixture of lemon and baking soda.
Any type of salt will do the trick when it comes to cleaning, so if you've got some of the yucky chemically-processed stuff laying around, use that for cleaning instead of eating!
- Leave on heavy grease stains in ovens, pots, pans, griddles, etc; it will absorb the grease and make easier to clean.
- Always clean your cast iron pots and pans with salt and a clean towel and nothing else!
- Clean dust out of delicate fabrics. Sprinkle on dusty areas, let it absorb a few hours and then shake off.
- Use in dishwasher instead of detergent cleaners.
- Add to laundry to brighten clothes.
- Leave on wine stains to remove then rinse with vinegar before washing.
- Throw a handful of salt into fireplaces while burning wood to keep chimney clean.
- Manage mildew in bathrooms and kitchens by applying a 1:1 mixture of lemon juice and salt.
- Remove coffee cup stains on counters with a vinegar soaked cloth dipped in salt.
(And then of course, use all the leftovers for a post-cleaning margarita!)
Keep in touch with Jill on Twitter @jillettinger