Ever wonder what’s in your everyday household cleaners? Even if you can easily find out, you may not want to know. Lots of cleaners can have unnecessary and toxic ingredients that can pollute the surfaces and air in your home. But there’s good news (great news even!) — you can make effective home cleaning solutions with a few simple ingredients from your cabinet. These old-fashioned ways of shining things up are surprisingly effective, cheap, and green! Head below the jump for 8 ways to put your kitchen pantry to work!
Salt 1 of 8Everyday salt can team up with lemon juice, or just half a lemon, for a potent sink, counter, or cutting board scrub. Salt can also help you cut through the grease on oily pots and pans, and can even absorb grease stains on wooden tables or counters.
Here are even more ways to put salt to work
Granulated Sugar 2 of 8Think that bag of sugar is just for sweets? Think again! Sugar is a mild exfoliant that's perfect for cleaning hands that have been doing greasy kitchen work -- just mix some sugar with a bit of olive oil, gently massage for a few minutes and then rinse. Sugar can also be used to clean your spice grinder -- add a few tablespoons of sugar to your grinder, grind for two minutes, and then carefully wipe out any tiny bits.
Image: Romain Behar
Baking Soda 3 of 8Gentle and non-toxic yet tough enough to use when you really need to scour a surface, baking soda is a fantastic and inexpensive household cleaner. You can use it to scrub anything from pots and pans to tiles and grout. Its odor-fighting properties also make it great for freshening rugs and carpets and cleaning really smelly things like trash cans.
Learn more about cleaning with baking soda here
Essential Oils 4 of 8Lavender, eucalyptus, rosemary, tea tree, lemon and peppermint oils have disinfectant properties, some can even kill bacteria and mold. These powerful oils can also give a variety of natural cleaners a boost. But beware -- these oils are very concentrated and should be kept well away from little hands.
Get to work cleaning with essential oils
Image: Ken Irwin
Cornstarch 5 of 8
White Vinegar 6 of 8Before the advent of chemical cleaners, vinegar was a standard household cleaner, great for cleaning and disinfecting countertops, cleaning greasy stovetops, and even unclogging drains. Put it to work in your home
8 ways to use vinegar to clean your coffee maker, kitchen, and more!
Lemons 7 of 8With a great smell, high acidity, and natural anti-bacterial properties, lemons are great for cleaning around the house. They're ideal for scouring a cutting board, scrubbing a tough stain, or freshening the dishwasher.
Click here for 20 ways to use a lemon besides eating one
Olive Oil 8 of 8
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