A dear friend of mine gave me a really thoughtful gift the other week — a book called The Naturally Clean Home. It’s a neat little book containing basic homemade recipes for easy concoctions to clean anything in your home from wood furniture to bathtub tile to carpet.
I already liked the idea of homemade, natural cleaners because conventional cleaning products often contain harsh and toxic chemicals. The smell of bleach makes me dry-heave. But so far I had only tried a vinegar and baking soda mix to clean pans with burnt-on food (which works well!). This little book has many variations of cleaners, but it seems that castile soap, vinegar, baking soda, and lemon juice are the main stars. Surprised that so many cooking ingredients can be used for cleaning? Vinegar and lemon juice have antibacterial properties. And baking soda is a great alternative to toxic chemicals in household cleaning scrubs. The other benefit of these homemade cleaning formulas is that they are very economical. You can buy huge containers of white vinegar and baking soda from Costco and use those for several different cleaners rather than separately spending $9 on bathroom cleaner, $8 for counter spray, $7 for wood cleaner, and so on. Check out this great little book or do some online research about homemade non-toxic cleaners.
In the meantime, here’s a little recipe of my own that works well to clean things around the house that can get grimy, like an electric facial cleanser brush head, razor handle or make-up brushes.
Hilary’s Cleaning Concoction
Fill a glass with two teaspoons of baking soda, ½ cup of white vinegar, and ½ cup warm water. Sink the item into the glass — it may float, so to keep it immersed in the cleaning fluid you can hold it in place with a clean butter knife or something similar. Keep it submerged for a few hours or overnight. For makeup brushes, rinse with cold water and lay out on a clean washcloth to dry. For plastic or rubber items, you may need to lightly scrub with a clean toothbrush to remove grime or mildew before rinsing and drying.