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By Rebecca Fending
Within recent years, the growing concern when it comes to the toxicity of household chemicals has risen to levels that call for a chemical-free cleaning revolution. Many companies such as method, Seventh Generation and even Arm and Hammer have answered this call by creating cleaning products that are derived from plant-based formulas to mitigate the public’s aversion to conventional cleaning products. However, if you’re looking for inexpensive, simple, and chemical-free cleaning options, these household cleaning hacks are your answer:
Lemony Fresh Chemical-Free Cleaning
This first trick is for anyone who might have an unsightly inner microwave. We’ve all been there-you’re warming up your meal and you hear the dreaded pop as your food battles against the radiation. You race to the microwave from the other room, but it’s too late: there’s shrapnel on the roof, sides, and warming plate of the device. Here’s the simple way you can clean your microwave so it looks brand new again:
- In a microwave-safe bowl (preferably glass), measure out a half cup of water and squeeze two lemon halves into the water.
- Drop the rest of the juiced lemon in the bowl and microwave on high for three minutes, let sit for five minutes inside the microwave.
- Carefully remove the lemon water bowl and wipe the inside of the microwave with an ordinary sponge. Ta-da! Repeat as needed as some older and caked on messes may require a few rounds of soaking and scrubbing.
Rub Away Rust
This hack works great for rust and hard water stains, specifically in showers and sinks. Typically, banishing these sorts of chemical buildups is a nightmare: vicious scrubbing on all fours (or on your feet) until your joints can’t take it anymore and your arms feel like Jell-O. Here’s how you can spare your hands, knees, and sanity while deep cleaning:
- Slice a grapefruit down the middle and generously sprinkle course kosher salt over the exposed flesh.
- Start scrubbing problem areas of rust and hard water buildup with the grapefruit, the same you would do with a sponge. Repeat as needed.
- Wipe away grapefruit juice and salt residue with a dampened paper towel or rinse with water and enjoy the citrusy scent of a clean bathroom!
Bake Away the Burn
Overdue for an oven cleaning? Cleaning your oven is often an overlooked sanitization duty, but when left neglected it can affect your cooking and baking projects. This baking soda paste trick can make your oven look brand new with just a light bit of scrubbing:
- In a medium bowl, mix one cup baking soda with enough water to form a paste (add water in increments of one tablespoon).
- Remove oven racks and spread baking soda paste on all sides of your oven’s interior. Let sit overnight.
- In the morning, spray with vinegar and wipe away baking soda and vinegar with a sponge. Repeat as needed.
And when all else fails, vinegar and baking soda is the classic dynamic duo when it comes to low-cost, chemical-free cleaning. In a bowl, mix just enough water into your baking soda to form a paste (about two-parts baking soda to one-part water, similar to the oven cleaning trick). Spread the paste onto whatever you’re trying to clean (I’ve found this is helpful with a burnt and blackened stove top, as well) and then spray or sprinkle vinegar directly on the paste. Let the solution sit for 15 minutes, then scrub with the rough side of a sponge. Repeat as needed until cleaned to desired result.