19 Natural Cleaning Tips

19 Easy, Natural and Inespensive Cleaning Tips with Recipes and Instructions- pin for reference

Switching to natural cleaning options is an important part of creating a natural home. Natural cleaning options can save time, money, and reduce chemical exposure. I’ve compiled below my top 19 tips for easy natural cleaning. Please share your best tips in the comment section below!

1. Baking Soda for Oven Cleaning

A paste of baking soda and water cleans ovens without the chemicals or the hassle of the self cleaning cycle. Just make a paste on the bottom of the oven, leave for a few hours and wipe off for a shiny, chemical free oven. This post explains the specifics.

2. Save Money on Magic Erasers

Rather than buy the name brand magic erasers, buy the melamine sponge in bulk from a local source or on Amazon and save!

why microfiber?

3. Switch to Microfiber

I have saved a lot of money since I switched to microfiber, and I was using inexpensive homemade cleaners before switching! I have a basic set of antibacterial microfiber cloths and a microfiber mop set that I absolutely love and use daily. I can literally clean my entire house (except toilets) with just water now! To keep things simple, I have one color coded microfiber cloth per room. No chemicals and it saves money!

4. Make Scouring Powder

For soap scum on tubs and showers, make your own scouring powder with 2 parts baking soda, 1 part salt, and 1 part borax. It will cut through even the toughest scum!

Natural cleaning tips- infuse white vinegar with citrus peels for a potent natural cleaner

5. Citrus Infused Vinegar

Fill a jar with (organic) citrus peels and pour undiluted white vinegar over them. Leave for a few days (up to 2 weeks) and strain out the vinegar to use as a natural cleaner. It works as a window cleaner (dilute with water), for mopping floors, or for disinfecting surfaces.

all natural cleaning and organizing checklist

6. Use a Checklist!

Use a checklist for each room so that you can clean efficiently, or assign the jobs to children and know that they will be thorough. Here is my checklist (feel free to print and use!).

7. Treat Stains Naturally

small Wellness Mama Stain Treatment Laundry Guide small Laundry soaps and stain treaters can be some of the worst offenders for toxic chemicals. There are natural options that work really well, but it helps to know a little chemistry, as different natural options will work better on different types of stains.

Here is my reference sheet that I keep by my washer for quick reference: (Free Printable- Click Here)

8. Clean the Dishwasher

To clean your dishwasher effortlessly, fill a dishwasher safe bowl or jar with 2 cups of vinegar and set on the top rack of the dishwasher. I used a small glass Pyrex container.

Run through on a hot cycle with no other dishes in the dishwasher to clean and remove the musty odor.

9. Clean the Garbage Disposal

I use my garbage disposal a lot and sometimes it gets that not-so-lovely odor. To combat this, there are a couple of options:

  • Cut a lemon in half, shove in garbage disposal and grind (with water running) for 10 seconds.
  • Freeze lemon and orange peels in ice cube trays with vinegar or water and throw these in and grind for 10 seconds
  • Pour 1/2 cup of baking soda in and then 1 cup of distilled white vinegar and let sit for 10 minutes before running the water and and the disposal

10. Natural Air Freshener

In a medium saucepan, simmer a quart of water with natural ingredients to freshen and clean the air. Just make sure not to let the water evaporate off completely! My favorite combinations are:

  • 1 sliced lemon, 2 tablespoons rosemary and a dash of vanilla
  • 1 sliced lime and 1 piece chopped ginger root
  • 1 sliced orange, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, and a dash of nutmeg and cloves (smells like pumpkin pie!)
  • 1 sliced lime and 2 tablespoons thyme

how to make your own laundry soap and save money

11. Homemade Laundry Soap

Save a lot of money by making your own laundry soap! Here is the recipe I use and it makes enough for our family of 7 for months and costs pennies!

12. Remove Urine Stains

If you have potty training kids like I do, urine stains in mattresses can sometimes be a problem. Here is a great solution for removing the stains and smells using hydrogen peroxide, baking soda, and dish soap.

13. Clean Shower Heads

Clean a shower head by filling a plastic bag with white vinegar and then tie the bag around the shower head so that the shower head is immersed in the vinegar. Leave on for up to 12 hours and remove carefully. Pour it down the drain and your shower head should be clean and free of hard water residue.

14. Car Upholstery

Clean stains are car upholstery with Dawn, baking soda, and club soda. Here’s the method.

15. Clean Toilet

Dump a cup of baking soda into the toilet and let it soak for at least an hour. Pour in a cup of white vinegar, leave for 5 mins and flush. Unless the toilet is really dirty, this will clean it without scrubbing! Here is my bathroom cleaning checklist and recipes.

16. Stove Vent Fan

Clean the stove vent fan with boiling water and baking soda. Here’s how.

17. DIY Glass Spray Bottle

glass spray bottleI am not a fan of plastic spray bottles, especially when they contain substances that can break down the plastic. A friend gave me a glass spray bottle as a gift and I’ve since made several more using old Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar bottles with the tops from a plastic bottle. These also look a lot better in my opinion!

18. Microfiber for Windows

Since switching to microfiber for window cleaning, I will never go back! It cleans without chemicals and leaves no streaks or lint. This is my favorite brand.

Natural cleaning materials

19. Stock Up on Natural Ingredients

The natural cleaning ingredients I always keep on hand are:

What are your best tips for natural cleaning? Share below!
Use these natural cleaning tips to clean your whole house naturally: floor cleaners, all purpose cleaner, window spray, and more.

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Reader Comments

  1. thanks for all these money saving healty tips.I am going to use it for sure

    • For a carpet cleaner, I use hydrogen peroxide. I have used it to remove spaghetti sauce and even blood. I usually use it on the stain right after the mess is made, so I don’t know how well it works on “old” stains. But it’s very cheap ($1) and very effective on the stains I’ve tried.

  2. Absolutely amazing how well everything that you’ve posted have work. Love it and thank you so much for this site.

  3. I really enjoyed everything you posted here. I am interested in what you said about the Magic Erasers … In Canada, they are not allowed to be used in any day care facilities because they are so toxic. I wonder if the bulk brand of them are as toxic as the “Mr. Clean” brand? I read the instructions on the link you posted to bulk erasers on Amazon (humorous read, obviously a very bad translation). They recommend that you use gloves when you use these magic erasers. I’m not sure that they would be considered “Natural Cleansers” … Might be something to be careful about …

    • I was about to post something similar to this. According to my quick and very unscientific research the actual melamine foam itself is the biggest secret behind the magic eraser because it literally works like an eraser, but when I pulled up the wikipedia page on melamine foam (again I already said my “research” was very unscientific) the very first line of the article states “Melamine foam is a foam-like material consisting of a formaldehyde-melamine-sodium bisulfite copolymer.” As soon as I saw formaldehyde my initial reaction was shock that they were mentioned on this site. I’m curious what Wellness Mama’s take on this is.

  4. Make your own natural castile liquid soap for pennies on the dollar using Kirk’s Natural Castile Soap bar ($1.25 at my grocery store), chop up fine with good kitchen knife (no need to grate) and combine with 1/2 gallon water on stove till melted… Let set 8 hours, mix up well, and bottle up!!! Might need more water…mine was quite thick!!!

    • Thanks for posting this tip. I’ll make it right now since I have Kirk’s soap 😀

  5. Thank you so much for sharing urine remover and car upholstery cleaner. I love learning how to use household products to cleaning everyday issues and also the tough ones like urine on carpets and mattresses. Thanks, Amee

  6. These look like really top notch and usuable ideas. I’m really looking for to trying many of these tips. Thanks so much for sharing.

  7. Thank you for the recipes. I need to get rid of all the toxic cleaners in my home immediately. I just saw an article on the Mercola site: “7 Ways to Cancer-Proof Your Home”

    “Research has found that breast-cancer risk is twice as high among women who
    report the most use of household cleaning products and air fresheners,
    compared to those who rarely use such products. Women who use make-up on
    a daily basis can also absorb almost five pounds of potentially toxic
    chemicals into their bodies each year”

  8. Thank you for all of these! I just have two questions: 1) Where do you find the spray tops that you use for the glass spry bottles? I can’t find any small enough for the Bragg’s bottles. 2) What kind of dish washing detergent do you use? I have tried, unsuccessfully, making my own. I have gone back to using dawn.

    • I use ones that I removed from other plastic spray bottles and they seemed to fit well… I use Tropical Traditions dishwasher detergent since I haven’t had great luck with making my own either. 🙂

      • Thank you so much for getting back to me! 🙂

      • Thanks for all the great info on homemade natural cleaners. There’s a lot of I information on the web, but in many cases ideas don’t work well. I love, love, love your recipe for an all purpose cleaner and should be added to this useful list because of its versatility. It is better than any store bought cleaners and oh so cheap and fast to make. I love that it has no chemical or perfume smell. FYI, I also had no luck with your dishwasher recipe either and am trying to find a healthy alternative. Thanks for the tip.

      • I used to teach home ec and we made dish washer detergent in class and the trick is citric acid! I used equal parts washing soda and borax with 1/2 part powdered citric acid. It worked great and dishes came out sparkling!! Maybe you could try it and see if you have any luck!

    • Dawn has several toxic to humans and the environment in it. I use a product called “dish it out”, which contains only castille soap, and some other plant-derived ingredients with essential oils. You may have to use more to get a good grease cutting effect, but in my opinion, that is MUCH better than using a product such as Dawn that has toxic ingredients that can kill, and harm the environment.

  9. I use corse salt, lemons and baking soda to clean my copper bottom pots works great

  10. For an all natural wood polish, I use 2 parts freshly squeezed lemon juice mixed with one part olive oil. I put it into an olive oil mister and go to town! It works great!

  11. Hi, my name is Kaitlyn. I have been a huge fan of your site for a while. But recently have been doing research of my own…. and have found that castille soap and microfiber are not safe. I am trying to find a safe dish soap recipe…but have had no luck. Any ideas?

    • Castille soap is harmless and safe to use if you know the right one to purchase. Some contain lye, but you have to get Dr.Bronner’s or another which are all natural.

    • Castille soap is simply soap that uses only olive oil for the oil in it’s contents, and is perfectly safe! The lye, when making soap properly, is completely changed to a non-toxic product, and is therefore, no longer ‘lye’ but a completely harmless by-product of the soapmaking process, also making it totally safe. On the microfiber front, I have my doubts, as it is not, as claimed on wikipedia, good for absorbing water, etc. It is made from polyester, or other plastic materials, which aren’t so great and can be toxic. I have also found microfiber to leave definite film when using on windshields, so I don’t go for the great effects using it on glass, etc. I have found that it is good for dusting, and that is all…..

    • Liquid castile soap can be used to clean almost anything and yeah it’s perfectly safe..

  12. Do you have a recipe for a natural dish soap? This is one thing I’ve had a hard time finding. I’ve been making my own laundry detergent for a year now and love it!

  13. In my country I cant find Borax, can you tell me what could I use instead of it? Thank you in advance

  14. Melamine is toxic! I would NEVER use it for anything.

  15. I’m going to make laundry soap for the first time and I’m very excited. I wanted to make fabric softener if I was going to make homemade soap but I can’t find a recipe. Do you have a recipe for homemade fabric softener?

    • I have used a couple of tablespoons of baking soda dissolved in hot water,then added to the fabric softner dispenser or the final rinse. you can also add a few drops of pure vanilla extract for fragrance.

  16. After reading this article I am really impressed and I home others who have followed this article are impressed like me. I know that everyone is trying to save money and here I have found great tips. I hope many people will able to save money after reading this article.

  17. Used your all purpose cleanser, scouring powder and window cleaner today. AMAZING. It’s changed my life. Have you found anything that works well as a replacement for something like Pledge? I didn’t find that mircofibre could polish up my wood furniture.

  18. question about the air freshener….i was looking for something
    i can bottle and spray into the air other than at home…

  19. i have plenty of empty avc bottles..where do u buy good quality plastic spray bottle tops? that fit them? avc apple cider vinegar

  20. For the citrus infused vinegar, what is the water to vinegar dilution ratio?

  21. I don’t see amonia anywhere on these lists of natural cleaners. Is there any reason why? I just started using amonia to whiten whites rather then bleach. Stopped using bleach awhile ago because of sensitivities to it, but I don’t like how the laundry is slowly getting dingier and dingier. The amonia is in my first load of towels right now (a safe place to start). We’ll see how it turns out.

    • It’s your laundry soap and all the fillers making your stuff dingy.

  22. Hi there,
    I am really interested in your tips to give me for a healthier life style for my family. Could I please have a copy of the free booklet.
    Look forward to hearing from you.
    Many thanks.

    Kind Regards,

  23. Regarding the user of the melamine eraser, did Wellness Mama get back to you on the toxicity of them.?

  24. Thanks for these. I will have to print this out.

    For unclogging my shower drains or sink, I use 1 cup (2 max) baking soda, and white vinegar. I let it sit for 20 minutes or more. I usually fill my teapot and once it boils pour the whole thing down. Works like a charm and lasts a while.

    Sometimes if its bad my husband does have to snake the hair a little.. Hes a trooper. But the baking soda and vinegar works the best over other things we’ve tried.

  25. Hi Katie,

    Love your site. I’m new to making my own natural cleaning products. I tried making a disinfectant spray using borax as one of the ingredients and it totally clogged up my spray nozzle. 20 Mule borax does NOT dissolve in water and makes it impossible to get the solution to spray out. Do you have any tricks? Maybe use hot water in the solution? Thanks!! Hyun

  26. Everyone should consider going green at some point in his life. Natural cleaning requires more effort, but the results are good and what is more – it’s healthier, especially for people with allergies.

  27. Lemons have to be my favorite natural cleaning agent of all time. They smell so great, too! I never thought of using hydrogen peroxide as a cleaning agent, though. Interesting!

  28. Natural ways of cleaning are indeed the most cherished one! After all, nothing else can offer the feeling of care for your product as you share for them. I choose to follow these methods of natural and effective cleaning and I completely understand their good results. Thanks for sharing this useful post, Glad reading 🙂

  29. I think you have some awesome ideas here! Just a couple questions, instead of all that stuff for cleaning windows, have you not tried the norwex window cloth??? It is the best!! and just uses water! Also if you don’t use the norwex cloths on your toilet, what do you use?? They say that the norwex cloths disinfect themselves in 24hrs and don’t cross contaminate, so it should be fine, but I kinda wonder sometimes if I shouldn’t use something else for toilets, just incase….what do you use?

  30. Is there a specific “natural salt” to purchase from Mountain Rose?
    Is Borax found at any general store?


  31. It is not a good idea to pour vinegar down the drain or use it in laundry as it can cause your pipes to rust.

  32. Hi, I live in the UK and it is impossible to get borax or borax substitute anywhere. Is it ok to buy these types of things on amazon or would you say there’s a chance things might not be what they claim? I’m new to this so haven’t quite worked out where to start. Thank you.

  33. As I was reading through your posts I saw number 4 for soap scum. I decided I was going to put you to the test. Yesterday I used white vinegar only and cleaned a small window in our very soap scummy shower stall. My husband said “wow” you can see the difference. I had not gotten back to cleaning it and was wondering how I was going to have vinegar SIT on the vertical glass columns to break the scum up. Then I saw this and said “YOU’RE ON LADY”. I had everything- baking soda, salt, borax. Mixed them up and went to work. Called hubby in 15 minutes later and “HOLY COW- OH MY GOSH, WHAT DID YOU USE?”. Well, YOU won that challenge and now have my undivided attention. THANK YOU! Our rental property needed some love after much neglect and it is so WEIRD looking through CLEAR glass. No, really… CRYSTAL CLEAR.

  34. I have been very impressed with the cleaning efficiency of microfiber cloths but something tells me that anything made out of petroleum byproducts cannot be 100% okay. And indeed, I just did a quick search and found that anything made out of polyesters does shed very minuscule particles that are apparently harmful to nature especially after being washed in hot water in a washing machine. So that means, they’re also harmful to us. It’s too bad since microfibers are so good at cleaning.. I wonder if there is any natural fabric that can be as efficient as microfiber.

    • Flannel. I use cast off bits from old cotton flannel pajamas. More absorbent than microfiber, and I dont usually have lint issues.

  35. I just started switching my family to a all natural lifestyle, and I started with the laundry detergent. My wife is very sensitive to detergents but this one was wonderful. I was wondering if you had a recipe for fabric softener sheets or liquid?

  36. I was brou up usin a vinegar and water spray to clean windows with a cloth, usually a retired t-shirt and then buffing with newspaper. No streaks, only shine!

    One lday mentioned that she had been unable to get Borax, our local chemist (part of the Day Lewis chain)stocks it. You can also get it ?n Boots.

  37. Have you found an especially good container for scouring powder; a container that could shake it out easily?

  38. Great post. Useful tips , I admire your patience and motivation. Thanks for sharing

  39. What’s the best for mold and mildew in the shower grout?

  40. What do you use for ambitious shower mold?

    Many thanks, Kristina

  41. How can I remove mildew from outdoor fabric?

  42. These are really beneficial tips. I have tried using most of the tips given and honestly saying they are really effective.

  43. I tried #15 before and yes, it is very effective. It also saves me from brushing which is something I really don’t like. I will try the rest of the tips on your list!

  44. Cleaning Iron covered rust skillet using potato. Paired with salt and vegetable oil, this trick will return your skillet to its former beauty.

  45. Great post. I like your patience and motivation.I have been very impressed with the cleaning efficiency of microfiber cloths but something tells me that anything made out of petroleum byproducts cannot be hundred persent okay. And indeed, I just did a quick search and found that anything made out of polyesters does shed very minuscule particles that are apparently harmful to nature especially after being washed in hot water in a washing machine. So that means, they’re also harmful to us. Thanks for sharing

  46. Love the saucepan idea for air freshening. Some christmas blends make my house smell amazing during the holidays! Try Purple Frog Patches for on-the-go air freshening, their personal, all natural pods let you breathe in essential oils where ever you are!

  47. Thank you!