30 Ways to Spring Clean Your Whole House—Naturally

There's no better time than spring to give your home some serious deep cleaning. It's finally warm enough to wash your windows without freezing them shut, and now that the snow has melted, it's a good time to give your siding a thorough scrub. But before you fill your cabinets with expensive heavy-duty cleansers, check out our guide to cleaning naturally with products you probably have on hand. These cleaning solutions are safer for kids, pets, and the environment, and they'll leave your home sparkling and beautiful.

  1. Window Washing

    Cleaning Windows with Vinegar

    Save yourself the time and expense of trying every "streak-free" window cleaner on the market. Instead, mix one part vinegar to two parts water in a spray bottle. Wipe off using black-and-white newspaper or a lint-free towel.

    Related: 9 Unusual Tips for Your Cleanest Windows Ever


  2. Streak-Free Stainless Steel

    Clean Stainless Steel

    Natural cleaners are best for stainless steel because abrasive bleaches and cleansers can cause damage. Treat tough stains with a baking soda–and–water paste. Keep your surfaces streak-free by polishing with olive oil.

    Related: How To: Clean Any Appliance


  3. Polishing Metal

    Natural Brass Cleaner

    You can make metal shine by treating it with a paste of salt and lemon juice. Apply to copper, brass, or steel with an old toothbrush, and you'll remove tarnish or rust in no time. It also works on food-stained plastic dishes!


  4. A Salt Scrub for the Oven

    homemade oven cleaner

    Treat fresh grease stains in the oven by sprinkling them with a handful of salt. When the oven cools, wipe it clean with a cloth.

    Related: The Must-Dos (and 4 Definite Don’ts) When Cleaning an Oven


  5. Furniture Polish

    Natural Furniture Polish

    Give an antique dresser a makeover with a couple of cooking staples—two parts olive oil and one part lemon will make it gleam.

    Related: 14 Crazy Cleaning Tips That Actually Work


  6. Silver Polish

    Natural Silver Polish

    Can't take the fumes of silver polish? The natural solution is amazingly simple: Make a paste of three parts baking soda to one part water, then rinse and dry. 


  7. Concrete Cleaner

    How to Clean Concrete

    Outdoor concrete can often be cleaned with nothing but old-fashioned water and a pressure washer. If stubborn stains leave you wanting something stronger, try hydrogen peroxide. 

    Related: How To: Remove Concrete Stains


  8. Washing Vinyl Siding

    How to Clean Vinyl Siding

    Vinyl siding is pretty low maintenance, but snow, rain, and wind can soil its surface. To keep your siding free of grime and dirt, wash with a solution of 70 percent water and 30 percent vinegar, then rinse clean.


  9. Fly Repellant

    basil pests

    Basil is a natural fly repellant. Grow it in pots on windowsills and in doorways to deter flies during the warmer months.

    Related: 9 Best Buys for a Bug-Free Home


  10. Freshen the Drain

    Clean Garbage Disposal

    Run lemon rinds through the garbage disposal to freshen your whole sink. Lemons can also have a bleaching effect on stained sinks. 

    Related: 10 Things Never to Put Down Your Garbage Disposal


  11. Clean Carpets

    How to Clean a Carpet

    Baking soda is a great way to clean and deodorize carpets. Sprinkle some on your carpets before vacuuming. You can also try cornstarch, which soaks up oils on the carpet.

    Related: 7 Secrets to Keep Your Carpet Looking New


  12. Sparkling Grout

    How to Clean Grout Lines

    Cleaning grout isn't a cakewalk, but using baking soda is a trusted way to keep grout stain-free. Make a paste of baking soda and water, and spread it on the area. Spray vinegar on the paste to create a foaming action, then scrub and rinse.

    Related: 8 Ways to Mildew-Proof Your Bathroom


  13. Bathtub Grime

    how to clean bathtub with baking soda

    Banish hard water stains from the bathtub by placing a vinegar-soaked paper towel over the area. Let it stand for up to two hours, then scrub with a baking soda paste and spray with a vinegar-and-water solution.

    Related: 9 Top Tips for a Bathroom That Cleans Itself


  14. Water Rings

    Water Rings on Wood

    If your guests forget to use a coaster, you can buff out a water ring with a mix of salt and olive oil. Rub the solution gently onto the table and wipe clean.

    Related: 7 Ways You May Be Ruining All Your Furniture


  15. Unclog a Drain

    vinegar and baking soda drain cleaner

    If you keep just one thing in your natural cleanser arsenal, vinegar's not a bad choice. To fix a clogged drain, try pouring one-half cup of baking soda, followed by one cup of vinegar. The chemical reaction will cause a cleansing foam. Once that stops, rinse with hot water. Wait five minutes and flush the drain with cold water. 


  16. Burnt Food on Pots and Pans

    how to clean pots and pans with baking soda

    Crispy cheese, burnt rice, stuck-on oatmeal—no wonder some folks despise washing dishes. Loosen the debris first by sprinkling baking soda and spraying vinegar. After that, it should come off with a little steel wool. If your dishes require something less abrasive, try a nylon scrubber.

    Related: 11 Ways You're Accidentally Ruining Your Cookware


  17. Freshen Wood Furniture

    coconut oil on wood

    Foodies love coconut oil for its health benefits, but it's handy around the house as well. Use a microfiber cloth to polish wood furniture with coconut oil, rubbing with the grain and letting it soak in before moving anything back onto the surface.


  18. All-Purpose Cleanser

    vinegar cleaner recipe

    Lemon and vinegar are two of the best natural cleansers, so why not combine the two? Make your own all-purpose cleanser by soaking citrus peels in white vinegar for two weeks. Once you strain out the peels, this cleanser can tackle almost any surface.

    Related: 10 Handy Household Uses for Vinegar


  19. Shiny Vinyl Floors

    clean vinyl floors

    The acidity of apple cider vinegar will clean your vinyl floors without leaving a soapy or waxy buildup like some cleaning products. Jojoba oil can buff out stubborn scuffs to keep your floors looking new.

    Related: 7 Unusual Tricks for Your Cleanest Floors Ever


  20. Venetian Blinds

    clean blinds with vinegar

    It can be tedious work, but it's good to clean your blinds regularly. A mix of 30 percent vinegar and 70 percent water can quickly remove dust and grime. Use a microfiber cloth or a special blind-cleaning wand. 

    Related: 9 Painless Ways to Keep Your Home Forever Clean


  21. Microwave Cleaning

    how to clean microwave

    Blast away baked-on food in the microwave by boiling two cups of water and the juice and peels of two lemons in a microwave-safe bowl. Let it stand for 10 minutes to allow the steam to cut through the grease. Finish with soap and water.

    Related: 20 Clever Household Uses for Lemons


  22. Dishwasher Cleaner

    how to clean dishwasher with vinegar

    You don't want to clean your dishes in a dirty, smelly dishwasher. Eliminate odors and gunk that's stuck inside your appliance by placing a bowl of distilled white vinegar on the top rack of an empty dishwasher. Run it through a cycle, and then when it's finished leave the door open to let it dry out completely. 

    Related: Solved! What to Do About a Smelly Dishwasher


  23. Polish Plants

    dusting plants

    Houseplant leaves collect an awful lot of dust. This isn't just bad for your allergies, it also prevents the plant from receiving the sunlight it needs. To get rid of the dust and add some shine, polish the leaves with a little bit of mayo. 

    Related: 7 Surprising Household Uses for Mayonnaise


  24. Whiten Whites

    how to whiten whites

    Freshen your white bedsheets and clothing by adding half a cup of baking soda to a cold-water prewash. It will make your whites look brand new. 


  25. Clean the Trash Can

    clean garbage bin

    Have a smelly garbage can? Scrub it down with a natural all-purpose cleaner and wipe it dry. Once you know it's completely dry, sprinkle baking soda at the bottom; the powder will soak up bad smells. 

    Related: 10 Ingenious Home Uses for Baking Soda


  26. Scrub the Stove

    clean stovetop

    Use half a lemon and bit of baking soda to clean messy stove burners. Rub the lemon slice over the stovetop, sprinkle baking soda on top, and then gently scrub the baked-on food and drips away with a sponge or nylon scrubber. 


  27. Tackle the Toilet

    natural toilet cleaner

    You don't need strong chemicals to clean the toilet. Mix baking soda and your choice of essential oil in a glass bowl. Once mixed, drop a spoonful of the mixture into the toilet bowl and sprinkle some under the rim. Next, pour two cups of distilled vinegar over the baking soda mixture. Let the concoction fizz, and then scrub stains with a toilet brush. Allow the remaining cleaner to sit for 15 minutes and then flush. 


  28. Spray Away Ants

    homemade ant spray

    Keep ants out of the kitchen and the rest of your house with a chemical-free approach. Stir tea-tree scented Castile soap with water and pour it into a spray bottle. Spray the mixture indoors and out to prevent ants from crawling inside. 

    Related: 12 Secret Uses for Dr. Bronner's Soap


  29. Garden Tools

    Clean Garden Tools

    If you didn't clean your garden tools before putting them away at the end of the season, you'll want to clean them before the start of the new one. Use olive oil to remove caked-on dirt and to condition the wood handles. 

    Related: 14 Things to Do with Olive Oil Besides Cook


  30. Wipe Down Counters

    clean stone countertops

    Splash a shot of vodka onto your stone countertops for a nontoxic cleaner. The clear alcohol is a completely natural disinfectant. 


  31. Don't Miss!


    If you have the money to hire a handyman for every household woe, go ahead. But if you want to hang on to your cash and exercise some self-sufficiency, check out these clever products that solve a million and one little problems around the house. Go now!