Clean Cleaning

Natural household cleaning with lemons

Cleaning your house isn’t a mysterious process. If you want to clean your house without adding to your chemical body burden or to the overall environmental impact of your family, what do you do? Do you just buy a bottle that screams, “NATURAL!” You could, but why not just choose the basic ingredients you already have in your house. With a little knowledge about what these basics do, you can clean your house without polluting it.

The Basics

  • Boiling Water
  • Vinegar
  • Baking Soda
  • Salt
  • Lemon

pH in Cleaning

You don’t often need a chemical reaction to get clean. Cleaning is generally a physical change.

Most of the dirt you want to remove is acidic. Most soaps are alkaline. Natural soaps are created with an alkaline substance (like lye) and oils (like fat). By moving that dirt closer to neutral, you make them easier to remove. Rinsing in acid returns a surface or fibers to neutral, which is where you want to end up when you are done cleaning.

Acidic cleaning solutions are used for: removing mineral deposits from hard water, removing mold, cleaning the toilet bowl, and removing rust stains. Acidic solutions break down deposits and mold, so they are easier to remove.

Alkaline cleaning solutions are used for: laundry, all-purpose cleaners, and cleaning the oven. Alkaline solutions break up fats and oils, so they are easier to remove.

More information on pH, specifically as it relates to washing cloth diapers.

Simple Solutions

  • Surface cleaner = vinegar + salt
  • Glass cleaner = vinegar + water
  • Shower door cleaner = baking soda then vinegar
  • Grease spot remover = salt
  • Grease cleaner = vinegar
  • Toilet bowl cleaner = baking soda then vinegar
  • Drain cleaner = boiling water
  • Drain unclogger = 1 cup baking soda followed by boiling water
  • Pan scouring cleaner = salt
  • Rust remover = lemon juice
  • Mold & mildew cleaner = vinegar

Add essential oils or use herb infused vinegar to get the fresh smell you like.

Try It Now!

It’s a Saturday. You were probably going to do a little cleaning anyway. Try one of these simple, natural household cleaning solutions and tell us how it goes. Share your favorite clean cleaning solutions.

pH in cleaning info from “pH, Chemical Reactions, and Cleaning,” Scott Warrington,

Image © Brookefuller |

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1 thought on “Clean Cleaning”

  1. I’ve been using these since I became pregnant with my daughter. Every time I cleaned my shower I would gasp for breath for hours after using brand name cleaners. I figured that wouldn’t be good for baby… Then I kept up with it. My house smells great too, not like bleach and floral like most cleaners.

    I also boil lemon slices, cinnamon and vanilla in water to scent the air when people are coming rather then use candles and air spray. Smells so much nicer!!


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