Three Quick, All-Natural Cleaning Tips

I readily admit that I belong to the cult of vinegar. I believe it can do most things, and those things it can’t can be addressed with a little castile soap. But when it comes to all-natural cleaning, sometimes we can all use a little zing in our routine, little things that make us smack our heads and say, “Why did I not do this sooner?” This list of three all-natural cleaning tips are among my favorites and are sure to be yours, too.

close-up pic of a rosemary plant in bloom
Rosemary oil is among the most fragrant and aromatherapeutic. (Image courtesy of THOR)

Tip 1. Add a Little Scent

Many of us use clean with a vinegar-water solution, but have you ever considered adding a few drops of essential or scented oil to the solution? Just give the bottle a little shake before you start cleaning and the entire room will smell like your scent of choice rather than vinegar. My personal favorite? Rosemary oil. I add 5 drops per quart of cleaning solution.

For those out there with an interest in aromatherapy, you might be interested in the following:

  • rose helps with depression and anxiety
  • eucalyptus helps with respiratory illness
  • lemon helps with headaches and mood
  • peppermint helps with focus and mood
  • rosemary helps with focus, memory, depression, and headaches
  • lavender helps with depression and stress
  • sandalwood helps with respiratory issues and stress


a half-peeled lemon and peeler on a cutting board
Lemon is for more than lemonade. (Image courtesy of Lenore Edman)

Tip 2. Think Lemon

You might find lemon a yummy addition to your salad dressing, mixed drinks, or roast chicken dishes, but did you know that a lemon makes a great tool for cleaning, as well? In fact, a good lemon can often accomplish more than a bottle of chemicals!

Try cutting a lemon in half and scrubbing your kitchen sink or bathtub with a little baking soda. Not only will everything smell great, but it will gleam like brand new. When you’re done? Give everything a rinse and toss the lemon into your garbage disposal to give it and your whole kitchen a fresh scent!




Tip 3. Disinfect…With Your Microwave

image of a white microwave
Microwaves: good for more than instant macaroni. (Image courtesy of Billy Mabray)

Do yourself (and your family) a favor: before you put that sponge anywhere near a counter, table, or dish, dampen it and throw it in the microwave for 30 seconds. The heat of the water in the sponge will kill off any bugs, germs, and icky mildew that might be breeding in that hardy sponge of yours. Just make sure to dampen the sponge thoroughly (if it’s dripping wet, that’s great!), otherwise you may burn it. Also, give it another minute or so to cool in the microwave before you go handling it. Don’t underestimate how hot that sponge water can get!

Want another pro tip? After dampening it, toss a drop of oil on your sponge before putting it in the microwave. Your house will smell wonderful in just 30 seconds!




Do you have any natural cleaning tips of your own? Share them with us in the comments section!


By Michelle Miller

Michelle Miller is a twenty-something blogger, cook, freelance writer and editor living in Seattle, Washington. She’s a feminist trying ever-so-hard to embrace her spaces, conventional or not. She looks forward to numerous bad hair days, burnt cremes, a soapbox or two, and maybe (just maybe) a yellow polka-dot bikini in the years ahead.

23 replies on “Three Quick, All-Natural Cleaning Tips”

Ace tips! Will be using the lemon and baking soda one, for sure. I’d add the “tips” of being aware that some essential oils are toxic to animals, so to be aware of where the oils are being used and also, to make sure essential oils aren’t getting into the tumble drier because of the fire risk they can pose. Another (somewhat more fun) tip for cleaning the microwave is to put a bowl of water in there with some lemon juice, heat for a minute or two, and then clean the muck off with the lemon juice and water combination (once it’s cooled) and a cloth.

I made a white vinegar/water/baking soda mixture to use to deoderise and disinfect my roller derby protection gear. The only issue is I sweat so much they ended up smelling like salt and vinegar chips.

Also, huge fan of using old pantyhose as my cleaning cloth. It just seems to scrub crap off showers so well.

Can the lemon be used on a wood table with a dark stain?  We put a cotton towel down and then put a hot plate on top of it and we now have little cotton fibers stuck to the table that will NOT come off.  Any ideas on how to get our mistaken iron-on transfer off???

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