19 Natural Cleaning Tips (+ Easy Recipes)

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Natural Cleaning Recipes and Tips
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Cleaning a house naturally is not any more difficult than cleaning it with harsh chemicals. It improves indoor air quality and is much safer, especially for children.

We’ve switched entirely to natural cleaning products and our house is just as clean (or cleaner!). I don’t have to worry about the kids getting sick if they lick the floors. (What, your kids don’t do that?) 🙂

The other great thing about natural cleaning recipes is that they are safe for kids to use. The earlier, the better I say!

Natural Cleaning Ingredients

Switching to homemade DIY cleaners might sound like a lot more work, but it’s actually quite simple. The ingredients are easy to come by and last a long time.

The natural cleaning ingredients I always keep on hand are:

Easy Natural Cleaning Recipes for Beginners

Here are a few easy and inexpensive natural cleaning recipes to get started around the house:

Homemade All-Purpose Cleaner – Four ingredients and thirty seconds to mix it up is all it takes! Customize the scent with essential oils.

Glass Cleaner – No need for that bright blue, highly scented stuff … vinegar + water cuts through dirt and leaves glass streak-free.

Tile Grout Cleaner – Mix 1 part water and 3 parts baking soda mixed into a paste. Apply to grout and let sit, scrub with toothbrush, remove with sponge.

Cookware – Use sea salt or coarse salt mixed with a little lemon juice and scrub. Also, try baking soda and water made into a paste. This also works well on stained tea cups or coffee mugs, and even the cutting board.

Fabric Softener – Mix 1 part vinegar and 2 parts water together. Add 1/4 to 1/3 cup to the final rinse cycle.

Toilet Cleaner – Use undiluted white vinegar, pour around the top of the toilet bowl, scrub until clean.

Wood Dusting Spray – Banish dust and nourish wood at the same time.

What could be easier?!

19 Tips for Natural Cleaning Success!

Through trial and error I’ve learned a bit about natural cleaning over the years. Below I’ve compiled my top 19 tips for easy natural cleaning so you can skip the learning curve!

Please share your best cleaning tips as well 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 and save a lot of money!

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 use 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!)
  • 2 tablespoons thyme and 1 sliced lime

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, tackle urine stains in mattresses with this 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 dish soap, baking soda, and club soda. Here’s the method.
19 Easy, Natural and Inespensive Cleaning Tips with Recipes and Instructions- pin for reference

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. 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 and are an Earth-friendly option vs. generating more plastic packaging.

18. Microfiber for Windows

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

Natural cleaning materials

19. Store-bought Cleaners

Yes … there are store-bought cleaners with good ingredients that make life even easier. While I enjoy making my own DIY cleaning recipes and truly feel it simplifies life, I honestly don’t love the smell of vinegar and not everyone wants to use borax.

Here are some store-bought green cleaners I’ve used over the years and love:

Ready for More?

Hooked and ready to try some more? Here are some other great natural cleaning recipes and ideas:

Here’s another article with some additional tips on natural cleaning.

Do you have any favorite natural cleaning tips? What are some of your favorites? Share below!

Use these natural cleaning tips to clean your whole house naturally: floor cleaners, all purpose cleaner, window spray, and more.

Katie Wells Avatar

About Katie Wells

Katie Wells, CTNC, MCHC, Founder of Wellness Mama and Co-founder of Wellnesse, has a background in research, journalism, and nutrition. As a mom of six, she turned to research and took health into her own hands to find answers to her health problems. WellnessMama.com is the culmination of her thousands of hours of research and all posts are medically reviewed and verified by the Wellness Mama research team. Katie is also the author of the bestselling books The Wellness Mama Cookbook and The Wellness Mama 5-Step Lifestyle Detox.


98 responses to “19 Natural Cleaning Tips (+ Easy Recipes)”

  1. Angela Avatar

    This was a great help..I just wish there was something on cleaning nasty black mold from sink or bathtub drains.

    1. Kathy Avatar

      Have you tried taking Dawn dish soap and vinegar, microwaving the mix, spraying it on, leaving it for 15 to 20 minutes and then rinsing? It really cleans well and most gunk comes off with the rinse but you may need to rub just a bit for really tough stuff. Then wipe down. Tah-dah!!! I love it!

  2. Beth Avatar

    Looking for a source for spray nozzles that I can put on my glass vinegar bottles and I found this blog post still recommending microfiber. I am aware of the new science and just read your new article on what to use instead. I have no idea how hard it is to sift through old blog posts (isn’t there a find and replace option!?) but in case the task is super arduous, I found this one and maybe you can update it to your new reccommendations. Long-time MommyPotomus fan turning into a committed Wellness Mamma fan. Keep up the good work!

  3. DOROTHY Avatar

    Natural cleaning products are the way to go. I tried several of these DIY cleaning recipes to scour our oven, sterilize our kitchen, and disinfect our bathroom and they did the job even better than cleaning products you buy that are full of harmful chemicals. The wood cleaning recipe works amazingly well. We don’t have to worry about harming the environment or the kiddos since these natural cleaning products are nontoxic and biodegradable. Thank you.

  4. Gramma Avatar

    Best way ever to clean a dishwasher…
    Turn empty dishwasher on NORMAL CYCLE until the hot water comes in.
    CLOSE dishwasher and allow cycle to complete.

    Works like a charm and freshens at same time!

  5. Amy Avatar

    Is your all purpose cleaner made with borax safe for baby toys or would you recommend a disinfectant cleaner? He’s only 4 months but puts his hand in his mouth after touching everything. His toys are limited to his play room which we try to keep as clean as possible.

  6. Andrea McCullough Avatar
    Andrea McCullough

    I am definitely going to try the soap scum scrub mix! I love using borax. I can’t stand the smell of vinegar though. I used to make a lot of homemade cleaners and just wasn’t quite happy with it between time, keeping stock, the smell of vinegar and soaps. I still do some homemade stuff but for the most part, I use Pro product now. No soap residues, no smell, no chemicals and even my kids can help me clean with it. I love it.

  7. michelle Avatar

    Easy to use all natural ingredients for cleaning kitchen and its things. But interesting concept of use is Citrus Infused Vinegar.

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