Natural Home Cleaning with Vinegar, Baking Soda & Lemon

[fa icon="calendar"] March 09, 2017 / by Home Services Expert

vinegar and baking soda for home cleaningYou can stay up late and watch infomercials that tout the latest “wonder” cleaner – and then “hurry” before the end of the segment to “call right away” and scoop up two products – not one, but two! -- for the “unbelievable” price of one.

Yes, you can do all this and take your chances on the outcome. Or you can take a page from the home cleaning book of Experts in Your Home and rely on three products you probably have in your home already: vinegar, baking soda and lemon. They’re natural, they’re inexpensive and they can eliminate any stain or odor in your home. Used alone or together, they work.

In fact, they work so well and have so many uses that it would be impossible to enumerate them all here. The Vinegar Institute (yes, there is such an entity) lists about 1,000 ways to use vinegar around the home. With the spring cleaning season nearly upon us, let the cleaning experts at Experts in Your Home seize upon the high points of these three home cleaning agents – so wonderful that we were “sold” on them a long time ago.

Home Cleaning with Vinegar, Baking Soda & Lemon

Cleaning with Vinegar

vinegar for cleaningWhat makes vinegar so wondrous: Vinegar is “especially effective in removing inorganic soils and mineral deposits such as hard water films,” the institute says with some understatement. In fact, it is superb at cleaning glass and most surfaces, including most fiber carpets. Though white vinegar is not registered with the Environmental Protection Agency as a disinfectant, this might be a technicality – or an oversight. Vinegar kills both salmonella and E.coli, which means that in addition to its cleaning powers, vinegar is a powerful disinfectant (and even more effective than baking soda).

Heed several provisos: Vinegar has acidic qualities, which you may already know if you use it to make salad dressings. For this reason, it shouldn’t be used on granite, marble and stone; the acid can etch the surface. Vinegar can also break down unprotected metals such as aluminum, copper, iron and steel, though it is safe on stainless steel. Use vinegar with caution on all types of wood and wood floors. It should always be tested in a small, inconspicuous first, just to play it safe.

How to use vinegar: Once you make these few subtractions, vinegar still has hundreds of home cleaning uses – from appliances in the kitchen to toilet and shower stains in the bathroom. Pour it directly into a spray bottle when you need it for full-strength cleaning and disinfecting jobs. Or dilute it with some water.

Cleaning with Baking Soda

baking soda for cleaningWhat makes baking soda so wondrous: If you have an open box of baking soda in your refrigerator, then you already know that it can absorb odors – and competing odors -- in no time. Also known as sodium bicarbonate, baking soda is abrasive, which is a good thing because it dissolves into stains and takes the dirt right away with it. Despite such heft, baking soda is so pure that you can safely brush your teeth with it – and many senior citizens still do.

Heed one proviso: Baking soda should not be used to clean aluminum because it can cause discoloration.

How to use baking soda: Baking soda can be sprinkled on top of virtually anything to remove odors, with shoes, carpets and upholstery being the most common. (Vacuum the latter two for best results.) You can put its abrasive cleaning powers to work by mixing it with a little water to create a soda paste. It is gentle enough to use to polish silver flatware but tough enough to dissolve caked-on oven buildup and restore filthy lawn furniture – among hundreds of other uses.

Cleaning with Lemon

lemons for cleaningWhat makes lemon so wondrous: If you’ve ever wondered why so many of those “wonder” cleaners contain lemon, it’s because the acidity works as an effective disinfectant and stain remover. And many people prefer the scent of lemon over that of white vinegar.

Heed the same provisos as you would with vinegar. Those acidic qualities can backfire on incompatible surfaces.

How to use lemon: You can use real lemons or lemon juice alone to scrub, disinfect and deodorize. It’s a natural companion to baking soda and it bolsters the effectiveness of vinegar.

Part of the fun of using these natural cleaners is to experiment with them and share your success stories. Be sure to pass them along to Experts in Your Home. You never know: we may feature them in our own “infomercial” – or at least share two tips for the “unbelievable” price of one. 

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