In the 1950s, detergents which had been manufactured as a temporary cleaning solution to replace the World War II shortages, surpassed the real thing in popularity and so today we have an alphabet soup of chemicals with which we clean. The good news is that we don’t have to turn our homes into veritable chemical factories just to get them clean; there are good old-fashioned alternatives.
- Vinegar will do away with coffee and tea stains;
- Borax and lemon will clean your kitchen counters;
- Baking soda will clean just about anything (and if you mix it with toothpaste, it’s great for that stubborn sweat stain too)
- Coffee grinds to soak up any scents
- Vinegar and liquid soap to clean your windows and glass.
All of that will save you money if for no other reason than that you probably already have these cleaning agents in your home. But, in addition to these old-fashioned, effective and non-toxic cleaning agents there is the cheap and quick (and also non-toxic) ways to clean the house. So for example, what do you do if you think you may have friends stopping by, have to clean the bathroom and don’t have any cleaning stuff readily available?
You improvise. Toothpaste is great for a quick clean. Actually, I use our Tom’s toothpaste to clean pretty regularly. It does a pretty good and natural job. For tougher stains, I turned to Burt’s Bees facial cleansing towelettes (the makeup remover). I figured if it was strong enough to get rid of greasy makeup which has to stay on your skin all day sweat and all, it was surely strong enough to get rid of stains. And so it proved. The bathroom was cleaned quickly and without too much fuss—certainly without any additional expense.
So next time you are tempted to buy that great new cleaning product, here’s my advice: don’t. Odds are, you already have something at home that works at least as well and is far better for you.