Vinegar, baking soda and lemon are three common household items to have on hand. They are also affordable and effective. Mixes of vinegar, baking soda and lemon are gentle enough for everyday cleaning and also tough on layers of grime, grease and soap scum.
From using a mix of baking soda and lemon for cleaning a bathroom to creating a bucket of natural but effective cleaner to get up years of grime from a kitchen floor, these three powerhouse cleaners can do wonders in all of your living spaces. Using lemon in combination with other household cleaning products can clear the bathroom surfaces of bacteria and also help it smell delicious. Vinegar cleans, brightens, deodorizes and sanitizes surfaces.
Lemon for Cleaning the Bathroom
For cleaning countertops and glass surfaces that are cloudy with soap scum or hair product overspray, Good Housekeeping recommends cutting a lemon in half and sprinkling it with baking soda. Rub the lemon half cut side down into the film on the glass or countertop until it loosens and is able to be easily wiped away.
Cleaning with baking soda and vinegar in a bathroom is great for rubbing out tough rust spots or taking down a layer of soap scum build up, according to Reader's Digest. Sprinkle the sink or stained area with 4 tablespoons of baking soda and slowly pour 2 cups of vinegar. When the bubbling stops, rub the remaining cleaning agents around the surface and rinse away.
Read more: 14 Ways You Can Clean Your Home with Lemons
Using Baking Soda to Clean
When used alone, baking soda can quickly take down simple stains and thin layers of soap scum or food particles. Shake the baking soda over stains and let it sit. Wring out a rag soaked in vinegar and scrub the baking soda off of the surface of the countertops, appliances and other items.
For tough rust stains, baking soda does quick work to remove rusty rings from stainless steel sinks, pots and pans and ceramic bowls. Let the baking soda sit for an hour or more on the rusty stain and scrub it in before rinsing away. Steel wool works well to remove tough rust stains, but always be careful that the material you are scrubbing can handle the abrasive scrubber.
Vinegar for Cleaning Surfaces
Vinegar is a popular cleaner that's also affordable and safe to use on most household materials and surfaces. Aside from washing down stainless steel, porcelain and plastic surfaces, vinegar does well when paired with other common household cleaners. The acidic solution can take out tough stains and odors when mixed with baking soda. Sprinkle baking soda over a surface or down a sink drain and pour straight vinegar over the surface. The bubbling action works well to remove bits of food or layers of dirt. Don't use vinegar on granite, untreated cement or some stone materials, as it might etch the surface.
Baking Soda with Dish Soap
A mixture of baking soda and dishwashing liquid in 1/2 gallon of warm water is enough to clean floors, walls, countertops and other household surfaces. The baking soda picks up dirt and grease and the dishwashing liquid can cut through layers of grime.
- 1/2 gallon of warm water
- 1/2 cup of baking soda
- Few drops of dish soap
This can be put in a spray bottle or bucket for cleaning. Buff the surfaces after cleaning if the baking soda leaves a fine film.
Kimberley McGee is an award-winning journalist with 20+ years of experience writing for a variety of clients, including The New York Times, Las Vegas Review-Journal Home section and other national publications. As a professional writer she has researched, interviewed sources and written about home improvement, interior design and related business trends. She earned a B.A. in Journalism from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Her full bio and clips can be viewed at www.vegaswriter.com.