Streak-Free Stainless Steel
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!
A Salt Scrub for the Oven
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.
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.
Washing 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.
Freshen the Drain
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
Unclog a Drain
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.
Burnt Food on Pots and Pans
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.
Freshen Wood Furniture
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.
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
Shiny Vinyl Floors
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.
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.
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.
Clean the Trash Can
Scrub the Stove
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.
Tackle the Toilet
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.
Spray Away Ants
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.
Wipe Down Counters
Splash a shot of vodka onto your stone countertops for a nontoxic cleaner. The clear alcohol is a completely natural disinfectant.
Get the whole house clean with these natural cleaning recipes.
Want a cleaner, tidier, more organized home? Sign up for the Clean Sweep newsletter to receive weekly tips, tools, and bright ideas that will help you maximize your next cleaning session.