A Fresh Start: Natural Spring Cleaning

You can handle all your spring cleaning with five common kitchen ingredients.

| March/April 2010

  • Create a thick paste of baking soda and warm water to remove stains from clothing and upholstery.
    Photo By Povy Kendal Atchison
  • Lemons are a natural bleaching agent that help brighten white laundry.
    Photo By Povy Kendal Atchison
  • Versatile and inexpensive vinegar is a natural cleaning agent.
    Photo By Povy Kendal Atchison

A clean living space makes a house a home. But using harsh chemicals can contaminate your home with toxins, defeating the purpose of all that scrubbing, soaking, washing and dusting. Exposure to chemicals common in household cleaners can have adverse effects on your family’s health. Household cleaners can cause mild irritations; they also have been linked to cancer and asthma. They are responsible for thousands of poisonings every year, mostly of children.
Chemical-laden cleaners pollute our air and water, packing landfills and contaminating water sources and marine habitats after being washed down sewer systems. Petroleum-based cleaners and plastic packaging also help deplete nonrenewable natural resources.

Fortunately, nature provides simple, effective materials that clean and disinfect naturally, leaving your home clean and safe. Just open up your cupboards—five simple, nontoxic items can handle all of your household cleaning.  


Lemons are natural disinfectants because of their antibacterial properties. For many, the refreshing citrus smell exemplifies cleanliness.

• Cut a lemon in half and use it to clean wooden chopping boards or to help remove stains from countertops. Let the lemon juice sit for a while, then wipe clean. Avoid marble and granite surfaces because the acid can be corrosive. (Try club soda instead.) 

• Dip a cut lemon in coarse salt and scrub copper-bottomed pots and pans. Use the same preparation to help dissolve soap and hard water stains in sinks. Throw the used lemon into your compost pile for eco-friendly waste disposal. 

• Odors and bacteria can build up over time in your garbage disposal. Place a whole lemon in your garbage disposal and turn it on for a quick, easy way to clean this hard-to-reach area (chop it into chunks if your disposal has trouble processing large items).

2/24/2015 11:31:22 PM

Baking Soda also works great for ovens! Just make a paste with water, rub on the sides of the oven and let sit. Wipe grease and grime away. It may take a couple times if your oven is dirty. I have used this and it works.

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