Mix half vinegar and half water in a glass bottle and drop a generous amount of tea tree essential oil, and voila, you've just created the most natural all-purpose cleaner money can buy. You can use vinegar or lemon juice in this recipe. A vinegar solution will stay between uses in an airtight jar, but if you use lemon, as I did, you'll want to prepare only the amount you need for cleaning. You can also add 3 to 5 drops of essential oil to flavor (mint and eucalyptus go well with lemon if you want).
See what other Food52 readers are saying. White vinegar is made from acetic acid and water, and is a pressure cleaner that easily cuts through grease and removes mold, odors, stains, and wax buildup. Thanks to its high acidity, white vinegar reduces surface bacteria, making it a safe (though slightly less effective) alternative to bleach. Vinegar will work for those who value a safe cleaning method and want to remove harmful chemicals from their homes, but it won't leave surfaces completely free of bacteria.
Finding the best natural cleaning products for your home can seem overwhelming, especially if you think about every part of the house you need to clean. Bon Ami, a natural, fragrance-free and scratch-free alternative to Comet, is an effective and clean all-purpose cleaner for the whole house, from the bathroom to the kitchen. It even works on sensitive surfaces such as stainless steel and granite. The AspenClean all-purpose cleaner, one of the most natural products on the market, is an excellent cleaning product for the whole house.
Like other AspenClean products, this effective cleaner has an A rating from the EWG and is one of the few all-purpose cleaners to have earned its “verification” badges. Not only is it effective as a refrigerator cleaner for cleaning the inside of appliances, but it can also be used as an environmentally friendly cleaning product anywhere else in the house, even on surfaces where pets and babies touch. Rochelle Wilkinson, owner of Dirt Detectives Cleaning in Phoenix, Maryland, says the Better Life stain and odor remover is her go-to product for cleaning stains in “high-traffic areas,” such as the hallways that everyone walks through. Like other Therapy Clean products, the metal cleaning solution is comprised of plant-based ingredients and has the USDA's biological-based and cruelty-free certifications.
Many natural cleaning products are for difficult cleaning tasks and work just as well as chemical cleaners. Natural cleaning products are also extremely versatile and clean a wide range of surfaces, including floors, countertops, and bathrooms. I understand why people think that the most intense, worst-smelling cleaning products are needed to thoroughly clean your home, but the truth is that non-toxic products are just as effective, if not more so.