Clean Your Whole House With Vinegar, Baking Soda And Lemon

Lemon sliced on cutting board.

One way to reduce the number of cleaning products you bring into your home is to clean with products you already have. People have been cleaning with household staples like vinegar, baking soda and lemons (or lemon juice) for a long time, and believe it or not, these items are safe and often effective. If you clean with these items, you may buy less, spend less money and have fewer harsh chemicals to worry about.

Click through to get some ideas for what you can clean with vinegar, baking soda and lemon.

VINEGAR

Making infused vinegar is so simple and easy you won’t believe it.

Image courtesy of Susy Morris.

Although vinegar is not registered as a disinfectant with the EPA, it will kill both salmonella and E.coli, two bacteria you'll want to avoid. Consequently, white vinegar can be used to clean loads of things around your home. Here are just a few suggestions for what you can clean with vinegar:

In the kitchen:

  • Clean your coffeemaker: Run the machine with equal parts water and vinegar. Halfway through the cycle, turn it off and let it sit for an hour. Then complete the cycle.
  • Unclog a drain: Pour 1/2 cup vinegar and 1/2 cup baking soda down the drain. Rinse with water.
  • Clean your microwave: Put one cup vinegar and one cup water in a bowl and microwave on high for about 10 minutes. Afterward, stains and dried food should be easy to wipe away.
  • Make glasses sparkle: Put one cup of vinegar in the bottom of your dishwasher before you run the cycle. After you run the dishwasher, your glassware shouldn't be cloudy.

In the bathroom:

  • Remove mineral deposits from a showerhead: Put vinegar in a plastic bag and tie the bag around the showerhead. Let the bag sit overnight, and rinse the showerhead with water in the morning.
  • Prevent mildew in the shower: Spray vinegar on shower walls and curtains.

Throughout the home:

  • Clean glass: Mix one tablespoon of vinegar in a quart of water. Spray onto glass surfaces and wipe dry.
  • Remove mold from walls: Spray vinegar on walls, let sit for 15 minutes, rinse and let dry.
  • Clean spills on carpet: After removing as much liquid as you can, spray the stain with a solution of half vinegar and half water and let sit for two minutes. Blot with a towel.

Miscellaneous:

  • Remove stickers: Rub labels with vinegar, let sit for 10 minutes, then remove.
  • Remove skunk odor from a dog: If your dog has a run-in with a skunk, scrub its fur with a half vinegar, half water solution and then rinse with water.

Don't Miss: How Two Charities are Changing the World by Cleaning

BAKING SODA

Baking soda can do more than keep your fridge smelling fresh and aid with baking. Its odor absorbing properties are useful throughout the home and it is capable of removing tough stains because of its abrasiveness. Additionally, baking soda is completely non-toxic and unlike vinegar, it doesn't have a strong smell. Try out baking soda for some of these household cleaning tasks:

In the kitchen:

  • Remove stains from coffee and tea mugs: Fill mugs with one part baking soda and two parts water and let sit over night. Scrub and rinse in the morning.
  • Remove odors from food containers: Simply rinse containers with baking soda and water to remove smells. Let sit overnight if necessary.
  • Remove burnt food from the bottoms of pots and pans: Sprinkle baking soda over the burnt areas, add hot water and let sit over night. Scrub in the morning.
  • Polish silver flatware: Make a paste with three parts baking soda, one part water and rub onto the silver with a clean cloth. Rinse with water.
  • Clean spills in the oven: Scrub the bottom of the oven with steel wool and baking soda. (Note: If you have a self-cleaning oven, don't use this method.)

In the bathroom:

  • Clean hairbrushes and combs: Soak brushes and combs in a baking soda/water solution.

Throughout the home:

  • Remove odors from upholstered furniture: Simply sprinkle the fabric with baking soda and then vacuum.
  • Erase crayon marks from walls: If your kids decide to use your walls as art canvases, put a baking soda paste of equal parts soda and water on the area, let dry and then wipe away. (Note: This method works best on white walls; colored walls could lose some of their color.)
  • Clean no-wax and tile floors: To achieve clean floors without scratching them, mix 1/2 cup baking soda in a bucket of water. Mop the floor and rinse.
  • Deodorize rugs: Sprinkle the rug with baking soda (like you would for upholstered furniture), let sit for 15 minutes, and then vacuum.

Miscellaneous:

  • Remove burnt food from a grill: Sprinkle the grill with baking soda, then soak in water for a few hours.
  • Clean lawn furniture: Mix 1/4 cup baking soda with one quart of warm water and wipe down furniture.

Related: Earth911's Green Spring Cleaning Guide

LEMON

Bowl of lemons

Image courtesy of Susy Morris.

Have extra lemons or a bottle of lemon juice that you rarely use? There's a reason that plenty of cleaning supplies have citrus in them; according to the DIY Network, lemons are a natural disinfectant and stain remover because of their acidity. As an added bonus, lemons will leave your house with a pleasant scent. Here are some common tasks that lemons (or bottled lemon juice) are up for:

In the kitchen:

  • Clean laminate countertops and cutting boards: Squeeze the juice of a lemon onto the counter or cutting board. Rub the lemon into the stains and let sit until the stains disappear, then rinse. (Although lemons do inhibit the growth of bacteria, it's advisable to seek out alternatives for cleaning surfaces that have been touched by things like raw meat to ensure you or your family members don't get sick.)
  • Remove stains from food storage containers: Squeeze the juice of a lemon into the containers, then add a little baking soda. Rub the mixture into the stains. Let sit overnight if necessary.
  • Clean your microwave: Slice a lemon, put it in a bowl of water and microwave for 45 seconds. This should make stains easier to wipe away and eliminate unpleasant odors.
  • Keep your refrigerator smelling nice: If you want your fridge to have a fresh scent, simply put half a lemon inside.

In the bathroom:

  • Prevent lime scale on faucets: Rub the fixtures with lemon juice and let sit overnight. Rinse in the morning.
  • Remove stains from grout: Make a paste from lemon juice and a teaspoon of cream of tartar (a natural bleaching agent) and apply to the area with a toothbrush. Once the stain is gone, rinse with water.

Throughout the home:

  • Clean glass: Mix four tablespoons of lemon juice with 1/2 gallon of water. Spray on glass and clean as usual.
  • Polish furniture: Mix one teaspoon of lemon juice with one pint of vegetable or mineral oil. Rub onto furniture.

Miscellaneous:

  • Remove rust stains from clothes: Apply lemon juice to the stain, sprinkle with cream of tartar and rub into the fabric. Let sit until the stain is gone and then wash in the washing machine.

Looking for more ways to clean cheaply? Check Out: 5 DIY Cleaners that Save Cash

Feature image courtesy of Susy Morris

  • Lila2004

    No Recyclebank link?

  • Ming

    Love to read your articles but can we still earn Recycle Bank points for them?

    • http://earth911.com/ Earth911-More Ideas Less Waste

      Recycle Bank points can be collected from the vertical social sidebar to the left of the post. Thanks for reading!!

      • Ming

        Thank you so much for fixing it quickly – I can see the button now.

  • PickyMom

    Natural, non-toxic & inexpensive ingredients used by our mothers & grandmothers, thank you for sharing this important message~

  • http://www.americashomeservices.com/ Riya Mathur

    Wow

  • http://www.americashomeservices.com/ Riya Mathur

    Nice idea to clean at home with cheap options by the way what is recommended items at home which can be cleaned using vinegar +baking soda + lemon , any list

  • lucy

    i always use vinegar to clean my kettle, just pour glass of vinegar to the kettle bring to boil and leave for 2 hours, when cool, empty kettle and clean with sourcer repeat routine if need better effect. rinse kettle with water.

  • http://www.miniclean.com.au/ Mini Clean

    I have been using environmentally friendly chemicals ever since from the cleaning company that I have. But thank you for these tips! I can now make my own recipe as well as I can do the cleaning by myself using the products that can be found in my own kitchen. I can save a lot from this indeed!

  • Mary Buchenthal Brandis

    Thanks for sharing this. I just bookmarked it. We are moving and for the first time made a home made cleaner for grout and it worked. Looking forward to try this.

  • Lisa

    How long is the spray good for a room temp before it goes rancid from the lemon/lime juice? Thanks

  • DD

    Pour cheap soda on oil stains on concrete add vinegar & baking soda. Lightened them a bit. Catch them early & their gone. Will try peroxide & baking soda too. Of course you can swab with gas & let soak then heat with propane torch, but I’d rather not

  • DD

    There is no reason to buy those chemicals. I’ve used 99.9% of them…….. they don’t work as well as specific Natural solutions….spending $ on harsh chemicals that don’t work, or are simply overkill is a waste of time, & I’ve burned my lungs more than once,only to have a Popular product not work. Vinegar & warm water for windows, clothes,faucets, mirrors. Grapefruit wiped on a cutting board kills the bacteria from raw chicken in 20 mins…. You can pick up most items when your grocery shopping, you spend less, pollute none, poisons in the home…. an outdated waste of time. Take off that Vet Suggested poison flea collar on your friend. Get a bag of Food Grade D.E. rub on their hair, sprinkle on carpet, and be done with fleas. Its non toxic, as safe as pure water. And your not touching poison every time you hug your friend, more importantly your not poisoning your friend anymore. P.s. we also feed it to her….Killed Giardia without dealing with the vets that only know how to feed her more poisons…..

    • DB

      What’s D.E? diatomic earth?

  • Anna

    Ditch your toxic bleach cleansers and switch to baking soda instead.
    Fill an empty spice jar or yogurt container with some baking soda for an
    easy way to dispense it anytime you need it. Baking soda is great for
    cleaning tile, tubs, sinks, toilet bowls, ovens, cook tops, and more.
    After shaking some on the surface, use a damp sponge or scrub brush to
    work it in.
    website

  • Jess

    Thanks for the cleaning recipe. I love use Vinegar baking soda and lemon juice to clean. It makes it smell good I used to use this stuff years ago and for some reason stopped and cant really remember why. I am very excited to use this stuff again. Thanks again

  • AnFarrall

    Thank you for sharing! I really enjoy this post. I love vinegar! It’s a miracle cleaner! Vinegar is a weak form of acetic acid that forms through the
    fermentation of sugars or starches. It is completely edible, and cannot
    harm your stomach. And luckily for us, many things can be cleaned using
    it.website

  • Deidre Wheeler

    I make my own all-surface cleaner from citrus peels and vinegar and it works quite good. I prefer cleaning my home with homemade solutions that are natural and absolutely non-toxic. Greets!