Monday, November 7, 2011

Clean Again, Naturally

I cleaned my house today, which is noteworthy in itself. But even more unusual, I did it using olive oil, baking soda and vinegar. I've turned into a hippie. :-)

I read that olive oil can be used to polish furniture. I must admit I was skeptical, but decided if it didn't work, hot soapy water would clean the table. It worked! The table looks better than it ever did with commercial furniture polish and isn't greasy or smelly. Hooray!

When I was a kid, I always used baking soda and vinegar to clean the bathtub because my mom didn't want me breathing in the chemicals. Tonight, I did it again. What a refreshing change. My bathroom doesn't stink, my hands aren't dried out, and the bathroom looks great. Also, I didn't have to worry about accidentally bleaching my clothes.

Peter is excited, too.

I will admit that cleaning things without commercial cleaners is more work. I have to scrub harder and longer, but I think it's worth it to avoid toxins. Some surfaces (like our piano) don't need any cleaner; a damp rag does the job. The bathroom floor was much easier to clean after I swept it first, instead of scrubbing the whole thing with an increasingly dirty sponge.

Tip: Use the wrapper from your toilet paper as a garbage bag!

I donated almost all of our chemicals to a local charity that can always use cleansers. I knew as long as I had Clorox wipes and the like in our home, I'd use them. The only things I kept are stain remover and toilet bowl cleaner. Suggestions on good replacements for them?


  1. I clean the toilet with baking soda. And a bar of laundry soap, rubbed directly on the stain, is a good stain remover. Just throw it directly in the washer after you rub on the soap. (It's super cheap: about $1.89/bar and it lasts a long time.)

  2. I am impressed. My mother always used vinegar as glass cleaner and newspapers to wipe the glass. I always wondered why the newsprint never messed it up but both mirrors and windows shined nicely.

    I add a bit of salt when I need more abrasion.

    I also clean my sink with the left over coffee grounds, rubbed on the stainless steel and then wiped into the garbage disposal and run through that.

    smells in the garbage disposal often go away nicely after running citrus peels and ice though.

    I need to add more baking soda to my grocery list....

  3. @Patti: Thanks! I'll have to try those.

    @Ann: Hm, if I ever clean my windows, I'll have to remember vinegar. :-D We need to get our disposal fixed, :-(

  4. I agree with the commenters above. Also, if you have stainless steel appliances, Wipe on olive oil, white lightly with water, buff until your arms falls off and you've got protection from finger prints and smudges. I do this every so often and my fridge doesn't look frightening like it used to.

  5. @Zoie: Only our sink is stainless steel, but I'll have to give that a try! I must say, though, that if you buff until your arms fall off you are pretty effectively prevented from leaving fingerprints. ;-)