Life Hack: All-Natural Cleaning Solutions Using Pantry Ingredients
Serious DIY-ers, cleaning nerds, and people who just want things to smell really good (everyone), this one’s for you. With help from Linda Cobb, Queen of Clean, we’re providing cleaning solutions you can make at home using ingredients you probably already have.
Bleach Alternative for Laundry
¼ cup lemon juice
¼ cup white vinegar
1 gallon water
How to use it: “Lemon juice is a natural bleach,” says Cobb. “Soak clothes in the mix for about 15 minutes before washing. You can dump the mix right into the washing machine and add detergent.”
Mild Citrus Cleaner
Fill a 1-quart jar with citrus peels. Use any peel or any combination of peels.
Fill the jar with peels and pour enough water into the jar to cover them.
Close the jar and let it sit for four weeks, giving it an occasional shake.
Strain the peels and dilute the remaining solution in a spray bottle: ½ citrus solution, ½ water.
How to use it: “It’s so simple. Use it to clean more delicate surfaces like granite and marble, and as a general all-purpose cleaner.”
All-Star Ingredient: Tea Tree Oil
“Tea tree oil is a natural antibacterial and antimicrobial,” says Cobb. “Although it is fairly expensive, you need to use only a small amount. Be sure you buy pure tea tree oil, not combined with anything else. Tea tree oil has a strong smell. Some people love it; others don’t. If you don’t like it, add some lavender essential oil or eucalyptus.” The one caveat? “Don’t store anything made with essential oil in the sun,” says Cobb. “It will oxidize in the sunlight.”
One tea tree oil we love?
Here are some solutions you can make with the magical ingredient:
2 cup water
2 tablespoon white vinegar
½ teaspoon liquid soap
20 drops pure tea tree oil
How to use it: Put mixture in a labeled spray bottle. Shake before using. Spray and wipe.
Natural All-Purpose Cleaner
1 cup water
2 teaspoon Castile soap
20 drops tea tree oil
How to use: Put mixture in a labeled spray bottle. Shake before using. Spray and wipe.
Mold Stain Remover
2 cup water
2 teaspoon tea tree oil
How to use: “This is great for the shower or tub where mold collects,” says Cobb. “Spray on the mold or mildewy area. Let it sit for 15 minutes, then wipe. If the stain persists, respray and rub with a nail brush, or put a few drops of undiluted tea tree oil on the mold and wait 30 minutes. Brush and rinse.”
Bonus tip: “If you forget your clothes in the washing machine and they smell like mildew, rinse them again with 1 cup of water and 10 drops of tea tree oil. Just remember to dilute the oil first.”