July 8, 2012

Our Favorite Cleaners

We try to keep things simple over here. We try. Often I fail, get overwhelmed and then figure out what I need to cut out of my life. 

I used to buy bleach, simple green, air freshener, 409, toilet bowl cleaner, carpet cleaner, and many more! I loved all the smells and different products. I would find them on sale and stock up. 

Not anymore. We keep it simple now.

For everyday cleaning we use two products: vinegar and baking soda.  

Our cleaning routine entails:

I keep the bottle next to the sink for easy access

Citrus Vinegar Cleaner

Fill a jar with citrus peels (lemon, orange, whatever you have!) and add white vinegar. Let it sit for two weeks. Put half vinegar solution, half water in an old spray container and label it. There you go! It will smell like lemons and disinfect better than bleach. (so I've heard!)

A gallon of vinegar is about $2 and I use this cleaner for everything. I don't worry about my son wanting to spray cleaners in his mouth (he does this!) or getting into any cleaning chemicals. I also feel better about asking my toddler to help spray the tub. It's fun and keeps life simple!

For further reading on the uses of vinegar: 30 Household Products Vinegar Can Replace

Baking soda is the other cleaner we use. It helps remove stains from tubs, sinks and counters. I also polish silverware and teapots with it. My daughter has a blast putting baking soda and water paste all over the tile in the tub.

For more reading on the uses of baking soda: 27 Ways to Clean with Baking Soda

A quick warning. It is an adjustment to switch to simple cleaners. It requires more "elbow grease" as my mother used to say. It's harder to remove stains and icky stuff, so just think of it as your daily toning!

What are your favorite, simple cleaning solutions? Do you find it hard to give up those favorite chemicals that work so well?


  1. I've heard that including lavender and/or thyme are good for antibacterial results. But even herbalists/natural advocates admit that they don't work quite strongly enough for killing bathroom type germs (making sure poo germs are clear of your bathroom sink, etc). However, they are supposed to be able to kill salmonella... so I'm excited about that. I'm hoping to make a concoction of thyme, lavender, vinegar, rosemary, etc for the kitchen... but I'll admit being nervous. I was exposed to bacteria when I ate out once and got a horrible infection. The doc said some employee probably didn't wash their hands *shudders* I will never go through that again.

  2. That sounds like quite the concoction. We use this vinegar in the kitchen for everything. Im pretty confident it takes care of the yucky stuff!

  3. Tea tree oil is supposed to be a good anti-bacterial cleaner. My bathroom spray has tea tree and lavender.

  4. Gonna make the vinegar solution today! Thanks Sarah!

  5. Like Kate above I use a mix of 1/3 vinegar, 2/3 distilled water, lavender and tea tree oil. I works great, smells great too.
    I also spray on the ants when they colonize the kitchen floor. They leave within minutes.
    My sink tends to get greasy so I sprinkle baking soda first, then spray, then use the rag and it gets really clean. i found the vinegar alone is not enough to cut the grease otherwise.


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