Swapping out yucky chemicals for a quick-and-easy household cleaner is one of the best things I’ve done for my family. You may already be familiar with these simple homemade concoctions, but I’ve learned so much in the last few years I thought I’d share just in case. I’ve gone way beyond just the basic household cleaner, and I haven’t looked back! Get all my “recipes” below, and please let me know if I’m missing one! I’m always looking for ways to cut out more of the bad stuff for my family.
Everyday, Non-Toxic Cleaning Solutions
Basic Cleaning Solution
-30 drops essential oils (lemon, eucalyptus, peppermint, citrus, etc.)
-1/4 cup white vinegar
-1 3/4 cups water
Combine all ingredients in a 16 oz. glass spray bottle.
Dishwasher Rinse Aid Alternative
When we got our new dishwasher, it kept telling me to “add rinse aid.” Honestly, I’d never used rinse aid and had no idea what it was, but I knew my dishwasher was desperately demanding it, so I did a little research. A quick look over the ingredients confirmed what I already suspected — this product didn’t need to be anywhere near my dishes (or the environment!), so I found this solution. You just fill up your rinse aid compartment with white vinegar! I’ve been doing this for over a year now and I will never use the chemical-laden alternative. Ever!
Non-Toxic Fabric Softener
I cut fabric softener out of my life when it started leaving spots on my clothes. I haven’t missed it too much as far as my clothes are concerned, but my towels seemed dull and not so fluffy. After doing a small amount of research, I learned that towels lose their fluff because of a build up of products like detergent and fabric softener! Who knew I was totally working against myself the whole time?! By cutting down on detergent use by half and adding white vinegar to the rinse cycle (I use the fabric softener cup in my HE washer), I’m happy to report my towels have made a full recovery.
Unclog Your Drain
Before you call a plumber for a clogged drain, try using this vinegar and baking soda hack from Crunchy Betty to clear it out. You can even turn it into a science project for your kiddos and make it fun for the whole family!
Garbage Disposal Refresher
Similar to the drain combo, the science behind baking soda and vinegar works in your favor when it comes to cleaning out your garbage disposal. For a quick refresher in between cleanings, I like to throw squeezed lemons or orange peels down the disposal. For a deeper, more intense cleaning, follow these steps from Apartment Therapy.
This wouldn’t be a Stir Crazy blog post without some mention of food, right? You know when you find the PERFECT buttermilk pancake recipe but you don’t have any buttermilk in your fridge? So frustrating! Well, you can simply make buttermilk using milk and vinegar. For every cup of milk, add 1 Tablespoon of vinegar, stir and wait 10 minutes. Voila, you have buttermilk!
Have you tried these tricks before? Am I missing any?? Tell me all about it!
[Photos by Emily Steward]