Spring Cleaning without the Toxic Chemicals – Cleaning with 3 Non-Toxic Household Items

It’s that time of year again… yes, yes, time for spring cleaning.  Open the windows, pull out the rugs and get to scrubbing. But don’t suffocate yourself with harsh chemicals found in standard cleaning products! Here are my top three favorite non-toxic cleaning items that you likely already have around the house.

Natural cleaning items - MinnesotaFromScratch.wordpress.com

Vinegar.  Plain ol’ white distilled vinegar found for a couple bucks at the grocery store works wonders. It might smell at first but that odor will quickly dissipate. Due to the level of acidity, it is amazing at killing all sorts of germs and mold.

I use it every time I wash laundry. I pour a bit of vinegar not only directly on my clothes but also in the fabric softener cartridge. Vinegar helps take the smell out of clothing and also removes residue from soap that may build up in the fabric over time.  Running your dishwasher through a cycle with vinegar in the cartridge will also remove soap scum and build up – I do it about every six weeks or so.

I wipe down my counters with vinegar and any other surfaces need disinfecting. I leave a cup out to eat up smells in my laundry room that sometimes occur if it gets too damp in the laundry room. I also use a cup of vinegar to attract fruit flies if they happen to find their way into my kitchen.

Natural cleaning items - MinnesotaFromScratch.wordpress.com

Baking soda. I LOVE this little miracle worker. I used to use Comet for every tough stain on my counter that wouldn’t wash off with soap and water but now I just pull out the baking soda. It’s almost magical how amazing it is at removing all sorts of stains (including red wine). It is also great at removing the stickiness that price tags leave on frames and other items.

Baking soda is also a phenomenal odor eater.  If my garbage gets smelly, I’ll wash it out and sprinkle a little baking soda in the bottom to keep it fresh.

For a deep cleaning, instead of using 409 or similar counter cleaners, I wipe down the counter with water, sprinkle baking soda on it and scrub it well, then wipe off the baking soda again with warm water.


Lemon. Lemon juice is very acidic which makes it great for cleaning with and a huge perk is that it smells very fresh!  It cuts through soap scum on bathroom hardware and shower doors and shines the metal. On my shower doors I like to cut a lemon in half, dip it into baking soda and scrub the door with the lemon. I let that sit for about five minutes and wash it off with a sponge. You won’t believe how well it works!

If you happen to use a microwave, cut a lemon in half and put it in a small bowl of water. Cook the lemon for 5 minutes on max power.  The lemon and water get the inside of the microwave all steamy which makes it so effortless to clean. Just wipe out the inside and you’ll be done in a snap.

Vinegar, baking soda and lemon are not only very economical on your pocketbook, but eco –friendly and non-toxic!

Take care, Stephanie


What are some of your natural cleaning tips?


4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. EcoGrrl
    Apr 03, 2013 @ 00:46:56

    Love it! I also use baking soda for cleaning my stove – that and a bit of water left to sit for a bit on the bottom of the stove makes cleanup a breeze!

    One note on vinegar which I read recently, “When shopping for vinegar, look for distilled white vinegar brands made from grain (there are several organic versions on the market). Some white vinegar comes from petroleum, a nonrenewable resource, so be sure to avoid those.”


  2. MinnesotaFromScratch
    Apr 03, 2013 @ 02:41:48

    Oh excellent point about vinegar. Thank you for sharing that!


  3. Alison @ Get Your Pretty On
    Apr 03, 2013 @ 23:41:17

    Thanks for the tips! I have a pesky stain in the grout of my kitchen sink’s back splash. Today is cleaning day and that bad boy is going to get the baking soda treatment!


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