You are here

All-Natural Spring Cleaning Solution: Lemon, Vinegar and Baking Soda

April 11, 2014

Main Image

The weather is finally warming up and the flowers are blooming, which can only mean one thing: spring cleaning time is here! I have mixed feelings when it comes to spring cleaning. On one hand it feels so great to throw open the windows and scrub down my home from top to bottom. It’s a fresh start for the new season. On the other hand, home cleaning products can be very toxic and have strong, unpleasant odors. Even the all-natural brands leave my hands feeling itchy and dry.

This year, I decided to take a more natural approach to cleaning by challenging myself to clean my entire home using just three ingredients that I already had in my kitchen: lemons, baking soda, and distilled white vinegar. Though some nooks and crannies in your house might require you to use other cleaning products, these three ingredients do the trick almost everywhere else. It’s a chemical-free clean-stravaganza! 

What You’ll Need:

1 spray bottle filled with distilled white vinegar

1 spray bottle filled with half vinegar, half water

1 box of baking soda

6 to 8 lemons 

The Bathroom

Tub and shower: I used my spray bottle of vinegar to clean the hard water stains off the sides of my shower and tub. I even used it to wipe down my shower curtain! I don’t have tile in my bathroom, but if you do, try using a toothbrush to scrub baking soda on the grout to get ride of mildew.  

Drain: If your drain is clogged, mix 1/2 cup baking soda with the juice from one lemon and pour it into the drain. Let it sit for 30 minutes, then run very hot water into the drain. This was a very effective method!

Toilet: I sprayed the inside of my toilet with pure vinegar and let it sit for about 10 minutes before using a toilet brush to wipe it down. This worked like a charm. It looks like I won’t need to buy toilet bowl cleaner any more!

Mirror: I read that you can use vinegar to clean glass surfaces and mirrors, so I tried it. I sprayed the mirror with my vinegar and water mixture and wiped it down with a paper towel. Unfortunately, the mirror was slightly streaky, and I ended up spraying it with Windex in the end.

The Kitchen

Counters: I have laminate countertops in my kitchen, so I used a mixture of lemon juice and vinegar to wipe them down. This worked great at removing soap and food residue, and left my counters smelling lemony fresh! This method will also work on granite, but if you have tile you may want to use baking soda to scrub the grout.

Sink: It turns out that a stainless steel sink and faucet can very easily be cleaned with just vinegar! Spray it with your pure vinegar spray bottle and wipe it down with a clean cloth. It will leave your sink and faucet sparkly clean!

Pots and Pans: I have read from many different sources that a mixture of vinegar and lemon juice will clean even the dirtiest stainless steel pots and pans. I was excited to give this one a try, because after years of cooking, my pots and pans are turning a dark black color. However, I scrubbed them with this mixture for what seemed like hours, and the stain just wouldn’t go away. In the end, I had to use a more conventional cleaning method for this project.

Floor: If you have hardwood or tile floors, try mixing a cup of vinegar into your water before you mop. This will help clean any sticky spots off the floor. I found this method to be more effective than using soap and water.

The Living Room

Windows: I used the same vinegar method that I used on my bathroom mirror (vinegar and water)for the windows in my living room, and ran into the same issue. They were slightly streaky when I was finished, so I had to clean them again using Windex.

Carpet: This is one method I didn’t have the chance to try, because I didn’t have any stains on my carpet. However, if you do have stains on your carpet or even furniture, you can get rid of them the natural way by dabbing white vinegar on the spot and letting it sit for several minutes before using a clean, damp towel to rinse the spot. 

Overall, I loved using baking soda, lemons, and vinegar to clean most of my home, but also discovered the areas where these all-natural staples didn’t cut it. Still, these method cut down greatly on the use of harsh or toxic products, which is always a good thing!

Do you have any tricks for using these three ingredients for spring cleaning? Tell us in the comments!