No matter where you live or what you do with your daily life, cleaning is that one chore that we all have to do at some point or another and it is the one area where most of us hate having to waste our time or money on. Cleaning is also the one area of our domestic lives where we are exposing ourselves, our children, our pets, and the environment to the most potential harm from harsh cleaning chemicals. Fortunately, there are some great safe and natural alternatives along with simple tips and cleaning short-cuts that can help take the “chore” out of the chores and help you to save both time and money while getting your entire home in tip top shape in a safe and more environmentally friendly way.
- Easy Microwave Cleaning: Microwaves are now as common in most American kitchens as are the ovens and while they can be very handy for heating left overs, melting heavenly piles of cheese, preparing snacks, and fixing quick meals they can also present a cleaning challenge. All of the food that splatters, melts over, etc. can leave you with a dirty microwave where food odors can be unpleasant and taint the taste of the food that you are putting in the microwave.
A simple solution for this cleaning problem can be found by just using lemon slices. Take a few slices of a fresh lemon and place them in a microwave safe bowl with some water then microwave for 30 seconds to one minute. This little trick will not only freshen up your microwave and neutralize any of the food odors that have been collecting there but it will also loosen up any of the stuck on food and stains making them a snap to clean up with little effort.
- Need to Unclog a Drain? Drain Cleaners are one of the strongest and most dangerous chemicals that we often use in our homes. Not only can drain cleaners pose a threat to us in our homes but once they go down they drain they end up affecting water supplies and the ecosystem in a variety of ways often miles from where they were originally used. There is; however, a safer and more natural way to work on those clogged drains that will also save you a couple of bucks.
Just pour hot lemon juice along with some baking soda down the drain to help loosen those clogs, clear the drain, and kill odors.
- Have a Stinky Garbage Disposal? With all of the food and kitchen waste that your garbage disposal tackles you may find that the odor coming from your kitchen sink smells anything but clean. Just as the drains need a little extra attention from time to time, so to does the garbage disposal. For a quick and easy way to clean the garbage disposal, simply toss the lemon peels from your other cleaning tasks in the disposal to help keep it clean and fresh.
- Need to Take Care of Scratches in Wood and Polish Your Furniture? No need to waste money on furniture polish or spend the time with costly specialized scratch removers as part of your cleaning regimen. When it comes to polishing furniture and taking care of the wood around your house a simple mixture of lemon juice and olive oil will do the trick. It will give you a great shine, and that “lemony fresh” scent that brightens and freshens your entire home.
- Get Rid of Sticky Gum, Crayons, and Scuff Marks: Any parent has, at one time or another, experienced these special cleaning challenges with accidental gum in the carpet or your child’s creative expressions sprawled in crayon along the wall. There is a simple cleaning trick using, believe it or not, a bath oil from Avon called Skin So Soft. Just use a small bit of the oil and let is sit on the gum to clean it out of carpets, hair, etc. You can also use Skin So Soft to clean crayons off of most painted services and to get those unsightly scuff marks off of your floors.
6.Keep Ants Away: Additionally you can also use this handy bath oil to keep away ants by dabbing it along window seals and door jams or one of many other uses for Skin So Soft that make it a great hack itself. Spraying a bit of lemon juice around problem areas is another simple and safe alternative to pesticides as well.
- Bleach Alternatives for Removing Stains: The next time you have a stain on your white fabrics, do not be to hasty to reach for the bleach or a costly stain remover. Instead, try applying a little lemon juice or white vinegar to the stain and let is soak for a bit before tossing it in the laundry for an inexpensive and safe alternative to bleach and stain removers.
- Carpet Stains: White vinegar can also be used to help remove dark stains from carpets and other surfaces such as red wine or grape juice stains. Blot up all of the excess liquid after a spill and then apply some of the white vinegar to the stained area. After allowing it to soak into the stain for a few minutes, rinse and clean the area to remove the stain and save the few bucks you would have spent on specialized carpet cleaner.
With regular use wooden cutting boards can store food odors and tiny particles of food become trapped on the cutting board. A very simple solution is to, once again, pull out the lemons. Run some lemon juice over the cutting board after a normal cleaning and allow it to soak over night, then rinse clean in the morning. The acid in the lemon juice can help get rid of some of those left over bacteria causing bits and freshens up your work space.
- Need to Keep Your Cutting Board Clean and Fresh? With regular use wooden cutting boards can store food odors and tiny particles of food become trapped on the cutting board. A very simple solution is to, once again, pull out the lemons. Run some lemon juice over the cutting board after a normal cleaning and allow it to soak over night, then rinse clean in the morning. The acid in the lemon juice can help get rid of some of those left over bacteria causing bits and freshens up your work space.
- Get Rid of Hard Water Stains: Fighting hard water stains can be a breeze using, you guess it…fresh lemons. So there is no need to buy a bathroom cleanser for your showers and sinks, just spray some lemon juice on those trouble areas and let it do its magic then clean as normal.
- Need an Easy Way to Get Tough Pots and Pans Clean? Lemons can be used for just about every cleaning problem that you have, especially in the kitchen, and they make a great scrub for your dirty pots and pans. Instead of using brillo pads, put a little baking soda on a lemon after you have cut it in half and then use it as a scrub. It is a very simple way to clean and the lemon juice will help to cut grease, fight odors, and along with the baking soda will loosen stubborn food. Simply rinse clean afterwards.
- How About a Free (Or Virtually Free) Rust Remover? Cleaning rust can be one of those chores that seem hopeless and can be a real problem when you have rusted bolts you need to loosen or other such problems; however, you do not need to buy a rust remover because you probably already have exactly what you need sitting in your kitchen- salt and a little lime juice. Sprinkle some salt on the rusted area and then squirt a little of the lime juice over the salt, being careful not to wash the salt away. Let the mixture sit for several hours and you can then scrub away the rust easily with a brush.
- A Simple and Safe Way to Disinfect Your Home: Trying to keep your home germ free does not have to mean that you spend all of your time cleaning. Add a teaspoon of natural tea tree oil per gallon of water and use a spray bottle to disinfect around your home. The solution is also great for cleaning windows and floors or any area that you need to kill germs. This works great for getting rid of mildew as well.
- Clean Your Coffee Pot: Coffee pot looking a little worse for the wear? Just fill it up with a cup of vinegar added to the pot of hot water then run it through its normal cycle as if you were making coffee. Afterwards run a couple of cycles of plain water to have your coffee pot looking brand new.
- The Best Cleaning Tip! Last but not least, the best time saver (and money saver) when it comes to cleaning around your home is…..clean it right away! Ok, this might sound like a no brainer, but the truth is we tend to be a generation of procrastinators and when it comes to cleaning that can end up costing us both time and money. Most spills, stains, tears, etc. do not become a problem until they have been left to settle, dry, etc. and then it takes more time, and often more supplies, to get the job done. Alternatively, if we simply take care of a potential problem the second it happens (wipe up a mess while it is still wet, soak the blouse as soon as the stain occurs, etc.) we will end up saving ourselves a lot of time and hassle that tends to make cleaning such a chore in the first place.