You can have a clean apartment and keep the whole process Earth-friendly, too. Read on for ways to keep a spick-and-span apartment by replacing cleaning chemicals with eco-friendly products.[find-an-apartment]
The wonders of soda
Baking soda can do a lot more than help your baked goods rise. To pretreat fabric stains, make a paste out of baking soda and a little water, rub into the stain, and let it sit a little while. Then wash as usual. You can also add soda to the wash to boost the cleaning power of your detergent and fluff up blankets and towels. Use it as your powdered detergent, either in the washing machine or for your hand-washed clothes. It will soften, deodorize and clean at the same time.
For household cleaning, the paste you created to pretreat stains can scrub counter stains without scratching and safely clean grout, faucets and tub and shower surfaces.
To clean carpet, sprinkle soda on the affected area, rub gently and let it sit for a few minutes to absorb surface stains and odor. Then vacuum it up. You can deodorize an entire carpet by sprinkling baking soda and letting it sit before vacuuming—no rubbing required.
Lemon juice has dramatic bleaching abilities along with all other kinds of cleaning benefits from its citric acid. You can shine chrome, clean wooden cutting boards or add some salt for an effective compound that cleans copper and brass.
Bring on the baking powder and mix it with lemon juice for a power-packed cleaning paste or combine lemon juice and olive oil for a fragrant furniture polish.
Fresh lemons work great, but a bottle in your fridge will do just as well. And if you've got some to spare, you can make a refreshing glass of lemonade to relax with when you're done.
Read more: 10 Tips to Detox Your Apartment
White vinegar: not just for salads
There are few natural substances as versatile for cleaning as vinegar. You can dilute it with warm water to clean floors, disinfect laundry (and soften at the same time), clean/disinfect cutting boards, clean stainless steel, degrease dishes and wipe down virtually any surface you can think of!
You can even unclog a drain by throwing down a handful of baking soda, followed by a half-cup of vinegar. Let the mixture sit for a while and rinse it down with hot water. You can also run vinegar through your coffee maker and dishwasher to clean and deodorize them. You'll be amazed how effective this simple concoction is!
Earth-friendly commercial cleaners
It's fun and cheap to make your own eco-friendly cleaners at home, but sometimes it's hard to resist prepared versions. Mrs. Meyers makes a variety of fresh-smelling cleaners and environmentally-friendly products for the household, along with hand, body and baby care lines. Try fragrances such as basil, lemon verbena and geranium.
Trader Joe's Cedarwood and Sage Multi-purpose Cleaner is great on a wide variety of surfaces. You can also try the oxygen-powered Bio-Ox, a wide variety of green cleaning products from Caldrea, or search online for countless other green cleaning options.
You can have a sparkling clean apartment without having to sacrifice the environmentally-friendly approach — just fill your pantry with green alternatives to harsh cleaning chemicals.
Photo Credit: Shutterstock / matka_Wariatka