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The Eco-Friendly Home: 8 Natural Cleaning Solution Alternatives

Mar 21, 2015 9:30:00 AM

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As we welcome Spring into our homes this year, it's time to tidy up! Many commercial cleaning products contain harmful chemicals that can damage surfaces and cause adverse health effects in sensitive individuals. Before filling your shopping cart with these products to do some major home cleaning this spring, take a look at these 8 natural alternatives for home cleaning products.


1. Baking soda 

Baking soda is an excellent cleaner and deodorizer. It pairs well with vinegar to clean and remove clogs, and with natural soaps to soften water and boost foam cleaning power.

2. Borax 

Borax can be found in the laundry aisle of most grocery and department stores. It makes a powerful disinfectant and softens water to increase soap suds. Borax is ideal for cleaning walls and wallpaper without the risk of damage. It also removes stuck-on dirt and grime from floors.

3. Washing soda 

Washing soda is a wonderful natural alternative to cut grease from kitchenware, remove stains from clothes and surfaces, and disinfectant all around. It is ideal for cleaning sinks, tubs, and bathroom tile. Just avoid using it on aluminum surfaces. It is usually found in the laundry section as a solution. You can also purchase washing soda in its unaltered form, sodium carbonate (Na2CO3).

4. Cornstarch 

Cornstarch is an excellent alternative to clean and polish sliding windows, picture windows, bay and bow windows, fiberglass doors, and other glass surfaces. Use it to work tough dirt and stains from rugs and carpets.

5. Unscented soap 

Unscented soap is a biodegradable cleaning solution that can be used to clean a variety of surfaces. You can find soap in bar, liquid, powder, or flake form. Look for natural soaps that do not contain artificial dyes, scents, or additives. 

6. Lemon 

Lemon contains some of the most powerful naturally occurring acids in food. Use it to cut grease and kill bacteria.

7. White vinegar 

White vinegar or acetic acid cuts through grease and mildew, freshens, lifts certain stains, and clears wax buildups.

8. Rubbing alcohol 

Rubbing alcohol or isopropyl alcohol, kills nearly 100 percent of bacteria on surfaces. You can also use ethanol. Alcohol cleaning solutions can be found at your local pharmacy.

9. Hydrogen Peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide can disinfect and function as a bleach. It is a simple peroxide formula that is often used for medical purposes. The solution grades ideal for household needs are between 3-6%.

Natural Cleaning Solution Recipes

While the products listed above can work wonders on their own, you can mix them to create powerful cleaning solutions for virtually any application. For example, you can make an all-purpose cleaner by mixing a half gallon of water with a half cup of white vinegar and a quarter cup of baking soda. The solution effectively cleans sliding windows, bay and bow windows, garden windows, picture windows, mirrors, tile, etc. Natural citrus solvent also works well.

For carpet stains, mix 1:1 water and white vinegar in a spray bottle. Spray the solution directly on problem areas and leave it for 10 to 15 minutes. Scrub the stain out with a dish sponge or brush using a soap/water solution. For oily messes, apply cornstarch, wait at least 20 minutes, and vacuum the mess away. 

Clean and unclog drains by pouring a mixture of one gallon of hot water and 1/2 cup salt. For stubborn clogs, apply a one-two punch of 1/2 cup baking soda followed by 1/2 cup white vinegar. This creates a powerful chemical reaction that dissolves and washes away fatty acids. If you have metal pipes, finish by pouring boiling water. Avoid pouring boiling water down plastic plumbing, as this can cause serious damage and release harmful chemicals into the air.

Create a non-toxic wood polish by mixing 1/2 cup warm water with just a few drops of lemon oil. Mix the solution thoroughly and apply onto a slightly damp cotton cloth. Wipe the wooden surface with the damp cloth, then finish by wiping with a dry cotton cloth. The solution also works well on varnished wooden entry doors and wood siding. Exterior Medics specializes in wood siding installation and offers additional tips for maintaining wood's clean, sleek appearance.


If you're looking to renovate or repair your home, Exterior Medics offers a variety of solutions to fit your needs. Serving homeowners in northern Virginia and southern Maryland, we are a versatile and experienced home improvement contractor with a 100-percent satisfaction guarantee. Call us to schedule a free home assessment and learn more about our home improvement services.

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