Clean your house with vinegar and baking soda.

photo credit: elycefeliz

It’s true — you can clean just about anything with vinegar and baking soda. Good thing, because household cleaners are full of some nasty toxic chemicals. From chlorine bleach to formaldehyde to a bunch of other ingredients I can’t pronounce (and don’t want anywhere near my skin or lungs), many conventional cleaning sprays and powders cause more problems than they solve. Not to mention the prices.

The good news is that you can get your home sparking-clean on the cheap with good, old-fashioned baking soda and vinegar. Here’s how to use them:

  • Countertop cleaner: Mix equal parts vinegar and water in a spray bottle. Spray on counters and wipe with a damp sponge. If you’re worried about your kitchen smelling like vinegar, squeeze in some lemon for a nice citrus scent.
  • Oven cleaner: Make a paste with baking soda and water, and spread a layer on the inside of your oven. Let sit overnight, and then scrub it off in the morning.
  • Toilet bowl cleaner: Sprinkle some baking soda into your toilet bowl, then pour in about half a cup of vinegar. Let it sit and bubble up for 10 minutes, then scrub away the grime.
  • Grout cleaner: I found this one on the Bob Vila blog. Make a paste with baking soda and water, and spread onto your grimiest grout. Spray with a mixture of half vinegar, half warm water, and let it do it’s bubbling thing. Then scrub and rinse.
  • Drain cleaner: Help keep the plumbing flowing by pouring half a cup of baking soda down the drain, then a cup of vinegar. A few minutes later, pour in boiling water. This isn’t a fix for serious clogs, but could help speed up a sluggish drain.

Finding Organic Vinegar and Baking Soda

For a truly toxin-free home, go organic. Spectrum Naturals┬áhas an organic white vinegar, made from organically grown corn and rye. Because baking soda is a chemical compound (sodium bicarbonate), it doesn’t contain any living matter and doesn’t fall under the “organic” product category. Just look for natural versions, like the ones from Bob’s Red Mill and Mountain Rose Herbs.