I tend to go pretty minimal with my cleaning products and implements, so I don’t buy a lot of Magic Erasers or single-use pet hair picker-uppers or even paper towels. I do this a) because I’m frugal ($7 to take the cat hair off my couch twice? Please.) and b) because it is way better for the environment. I don’t have the slightest idea what is in the majority of bathroom tile cleaners, but I think it is safe to say that if you need to open a window to use a product, it is probably not Mother Nature approved. Now, I’m no dirty hippie, either. I like my house clean. In fact, I’m kind of a clean freak. So, instead of all the expensive, toxic cleaning products, I use things you probably have in your home right now. Things like this:
- Newspaper: It seems kind of counter intuitive, but I swear to you that newspaper is the best way to clean windows and mirrors. Seriously, the ink doesn’t smudge, and it leaves the glass cleaner looking than if you used a towel. I don’t understand it. I just know it’s true.
- White vinegar: Your mama probably taught you this, but did you listen? Vinegar cleans darn near everything, from toilets to stove tops to floors. You can also dilute it with water and add a splash of natural dish soap to make a great window spray or throw a little in the washing machine in place of fabric softener. It’s magical stuff.
- Lemon juice: This one is great for the bathtub or shower because it dissolves hard water stains and cleans tile like a champ. (Mix it with a little vinegar and baking soda to make a powerful, soap scum-busting paste.) You can also mix one part lemon juice with two parts olive oil to polish furniture or use it solo to shine brass and copper. And, it has the added benefit of smelling awesome (faux lemon-scented cleaners just can’t compete).
- Baking soda: I mentioned this one above, but there is more it can do, too. Baking soda is a great deodorizer (try sticking an open box in the fridge or next to the litter box) as well as a good stand-in for pretty much any commercial abrasive cleaner. You can use it to scrub counters and other surfaces, and they will look and smell nice and clean.