And 9 other all-natural cleaning alternatives
Dear Windex: You’ve gotten us through many a streaky mirror snafu. But you’re full of weird chemicals we can’t pronounce and you kind of give us a headache when used in unventilated spaces.
So, in conclusion, we’re trading you in for these ten super-simple, all-natural alternatives. Bring on the vinegar. Bring on the grapefruit.
Formula: Grapefruit + Salt
How-To: You can always use baking soda and vinegar, but we prefer this fresh-smelling citrus combo for a spa-like vibe. Just sprinkle half a grapefruit liberally with salt, then wet your bathtub and sprinkle another ¼ cup salt around the perimeter. Use the grapefruit to scrub the tub, making sure to squeeze a little juice over your drain and faucet. Rinse away with lukewarm water.
Formula: Washing Soda + Borax + Vinegar + Essential Oil
How-To: Pour 1 teaspoon washing soda, 2 teaspoons borax, 2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar, 2 ½ cups hot water, 5 drops of lavender oil and 7 drops of lemon oil into a spray bottle. Shake well. Add ¼ cup of liquid castile soap and shake again. Together, these ingredients act as a natural disinfectant.
WOOD FURNITURE POLISH
Formula: Olive Oil + Apple Cider Vinegar
How-To: In a bowl, mix ¼ cup olive oil with a few drops of apple cider vinegar. Dip a rag into the mixture and wipe down your furniture. The vinegar draws the dirt out, while the oil ensures the wood doesn’t get too dry.
Formula: Vinegar + Lemon Juice + Water
How-To: Combine 1 tablespoon of vinegar with 1 quart of water. Add a touch of lemon juice for a citrusy scent if you feel like being fancy. Spray and wipe. Then let your toddler resume licking the window.
Formula: Castile Soap + Distilled White Vinegar + Essential Oils
How-To: Mix ¼ cup castile soap with ½ cup distilled white vinegar, 20 drops tea-tree essential oil and 20 drops sweet-orange essential oil. Add 2 gallons of hot water to the solution and mop away. (This combo is best for tile, vinyl and linoleum.)
Formula: Cornstarch + Water
How-To: Mix equal parts cornstarch and water to form a paste, apply to the offending spot, leave overnight and brush away with a dry cloth in the morning.
TOILET BOWL CLEANER
Formula: Baking Soda + Tea Tree Oil + Vinegar
How-To: Sprinkle half a cup of baking soda into the toilet bowl, add 10 drops of tea-tree oil and a splash of distilled white vinegar. Let it fizz for a few minutes, scrub and flush.
Formula: Soap Flakes + Borax + Washing Soda
How-To: Combine half a cup of soap flakes or grated bar soap (without artificial fragrances and moisturizers) with half a cup of borax and half a cup of sodium carbonate (aka washing soda like Arm & Hammer). Store in a jar with an airtight lid. Use 1 tablespoon per load.
Formula: Lemon Juice + DIY Laundry Detergent (see above)
How-To: Bring tired whites back to their former glory by adding ½ cup lemon juice to your detergent right before pouring it into the washer. (You can even use the same trick to deodorize your dishwasher: Just put a small cup filled with lemon juice on the bottom rack and set the machine to run on the rinse cycle.)
Formula: Ketchup + Cloth Rag
How-To: God, is there anything ketchup can’t do? Simply squeeze a dollop onto a cloth and rub it onto your pots and pans. Then scrub-a-dub until you see ’em shine.