Facebook Pixel

July 19, 2012

13 Green Household Cleaning Tips

Thursday Thirteen

I’m a big fan of using natural items for cleaning around the house and will use vinegar, baking soda, lemon and salt over manufactured items. Not only is it better for the environment, but it works out much cheaper too.

Thirteen Green Household Cleaning Tips

Lemon - dreamstimefree_117467  Salt - dreamstimefree_232233

1. Clean the base of an iron with a paste of white vinegar and baking soda. The paste will make the sole plate clean and shiny.

2. To get rid of perspiration marks and associated odour on shirts – soak in white vinegar and then wash in the normal method.

3. Kill weeds or unwanted grass by spraying vinegar directly onto the trouble spot.

4. Use baking soda to clean the inside of the fridge. It will clean up greasy marks and remove any odours.

5. Clean a rubbish bin with bicarb of soda and warm water. This will help eliminate smells.

6. Clean both the toilet seat and bowl with baking soda. Sprinkle baking soda in the bowl and leave a while before flushing.

7. If you spill liquids on a book or drop a book in the bath (horrors!) – sprinkle baking soda on the wet pages and let them dry – in the sun if possible.

8. If you need buttermilk for a recipe and don’t have any – mix one cup of milk with a tablespoon of lemon juice. This substitute tastes just as good as the real thing.

9. To refresh and sanitize a cutting board – rub all over with the cut side of a lemon or wash in undiluted lemon juice.

10. To sanitize your dishwasher – make sure the dishwasher is empty and place lemon juice in the soap dispenser. Run a normal wash cycle. This also makes the dishwasher smell nice.

11. To remove mildew use a mixture of salt and lemon juice.

12. To mop up oven spills if something bubbles over in your oven – put a handful of salt on top of the spilled juice. The mess won’t smell and will bake into a dry, light crust that can be wiped off easily when the oven has cooled.

13. Remove red wine from a tablecloth after a clumsy guest spills their drink – pour a little salt onto the splash immediately. This will soak up the wine. When the meal ends whisk off the cloth and soak it.

Do you have any good household hints?

Source: Green Cleaning by Margaret Briggs and Vivian Head


  1. CountryDew

    Those are great hints. Vinegar is wonderful around the house. I use it in all of my appliances – the coffee pot, the dishwasher, the washing machine. We have hard water and it keeps them running smoothly. A little in the wash makes the clothes feel soft.

    Excellent post!

    • Shelley Munro

      I’ve heard that a little vinegar in the wash also helps reduce lint. I’m not sure if this works, but intend to try it.

  2. Brinda

    This isn’t really a green household tip. Those are all terrific tips. I should be more “green” in everything. If you drop your iPhone in water, you can put it in a bag of rice to pull the water out.

    • Shelley Munro

      That’s a great tip. I murdered a very pretty green and purple phone with water. I wish I’d know this tip then!

      My grandparents used to mix rice in with the salt to stop it jamming up the salt shaker.

  3. Maria Zannini

    I love these!

    Ref: dishwasher

    I haven’t tried this but 1 cup of orange Tang is supposed to work just as well. It’s the citric acid that does the work.

    Ref: If you spill liquids on a book or drop a book in the bath (horrors!)

    Yikes! That’s never happened to me, but I have bought musty or smokey books from auctions and yard sales. I set them out (open) in the sun. It takes weeks to work, but I usually get the stench off.

    • Shelley Munro

      I hadn’t heard the orange tang thing. Something to keep in mind.

      I haven’t dropped a book in the bath either, but I’ve heard of people reading their e-readers in the bath and using a ziplock bag to help keep it dry.

  4. Jennifer Leeland

    These are great! I’d never heard of the vinegar getting rid of grass or the salt on oven spills. Thanks for the tips!!!

    • Shelley Munro

      There are lots of tips in the book I found. Really, if you have the four items I mentioned at your disposal then you’re set for almost anything.

  5. colleen

    I always vow to try these kinds of tips and then always seem to forget. I do use baking soda in water to stop stomach acid reflux though.

    • Shelley Munro

      Try baking soda and vinegar together for cleaning, especially in the kitchen. That’s all I use these days.

  6. Laney4

    Wrote down a bunch of these tips to try out soon, and the rest I already do. Many thanks!
    Have found that the other suggestions work too, from CountryDew’s comment re vinegar in appliances to Brinda’s iPhone rice comment (also works well with regular cell phones).

    • Shelley Munro

      Laney, that’s good to know. :)

  7. Savannah Chase

    Thank you for all the fantastic tips. I’ve done many of these but picked up a few new things. Very neat.

    • Shelley Munro

      Pinterest is a great source of inspiration for tips too. I’m always finding new ideas.

    • Shelley Munro

      I believe weeds don’t like salt very much either. A salt water mix or sprinkles of salt send weeds packing.

  8. Mary Kirkland

    I use a lot of these too.

    I clean your sink drains, use 1 cup distilled white vinegar and 2 tablespoons baking soda. Sprinkle the baking soda down first then pour the cup of vinegar down. The foaming action will clean the pipes.

    Use a vinegar and water solution to clean windows. Works as well as windex.

    • Shelley Munro

      ‘These work so well and at a fraction of the cost of most commercial products. And you can use baking soad in cooking too.

  9. Alice Audrey

    I’m going to try the vinegar on weeds thing right now. Last time I sprayed week killer didn’t work.

    • Shelley Munro

      Salt works on weeds too.

  10. Heather

    Re: The dishwasher. You can also use powdred lemonade mix in the diswasher. Not only does it sanitize, but the citric acid helps clear hard water deposits in the lines.

    • Shelley Munro

      So you could probably just use straight citric acid then if you have it in the pantry.

  11. Janice Seagraves

    To clean and make your garbage disposal smell fresh, grind up the rinds of lemon or oranges.


    • Shelley Munro

      This is an excellent tip. I often toss a lemon down after I use it in cooking.

  12. Laney4

    I also use the citric acid in with distilled water to make my fresh flowers last longer.
    Can’t use the baking soda mixture with the garbage disposal, but, yes, the lemon/orange peels work wonders and smell oh so lovely. In fact, I’m going to eat an orange right now so the peels can sit in the sink overnight!
    Ice cubes work well on sharpening the garbage disposal blades too.

    When you mention the vinegar or salt on the weeds, I presume it would kill grass too so can only be used away from the grass (like between bricks or sidewalk slabs/stepping stones)? I could really use this IF it works in the grass too. Any suggestions for weeds in the grass if these don’t work???

  13. Jonny Peterson

    There isn’t much that vinegar can’t clean! I swear by it for getting mirrors and kitchen surfaces thoroughly clean and there are no negative consequences for the environment.

    Nowadays there are many good green industrial cleaning services around too who specialise in getting great results using environmentally friendly products.