When we head out to get supplies and groceries these days, it’s pretty frustrating to find empty shelves — especially when it comes to cleaning products. But if your store happens to be out of your favorite cleaner, try one of these natural options instead.
Refresh your oven with a ‘lemon bake.’
Returning the inside of an oven to pristine condition is just a bake away. “Simply fill a casserole dish halfway with water, add two halved and squeezed lemons, including the peels, then ‘bake’ for an hour at 300°F,” recommends cleaning expert Melissa Maker. “Steam from the water loosens dirt while the lemon oils act as a degreaser, so grime quickly wipes away.”
Banish mold & mildew with a tea-rrific brew.
Bye-bye, mold and mildew! Just spray one part vinegar, one part dish soap and 5 to 10 drops of tea tree oil on spotty areas, recommends Kait Schulhof, founder of ACleanBee.com. Let sit for 30 minutes, then simply wipe away with a brush. Vinegar and tea tree oil are natural antifungals that kill mold and mildew on contact, restoring gleaming tile instantly.
Clean fridge shelves with baking soda.
The simplest scrape-free way to banish fridge food spills: “Stir 2 Tbs. of baking soda into 1 qt. of hot water and let the mixture soak on problem areas for 10 minutes,” says Maker. “Wipe with a damp cloth and dry with a towel.”
Shine up wood cabinets with zesty essential oil.
You know that sticky film that builds up on kitchen cabinets? Here’s how to dissolve it fast: In a spray bottle, combine 13⁄4 cups of distilled water, 2 Tbs. of liquid Castile soap and 20 drops of orange essential oil, then give cabinets a quick swipe, advises cleaning whiz Jess Kielman. “Orange essential oil removes grease, and the olive oil in Castile soap cleans wood while moisturizing it so it doesn’t dry out.”
Make bathtubs sparkle with a mineral spritz.
No need to sweat over stubborn bathtub “scum.” Becky Rapinchuk, author of The Organically Clean Home ($15.49 Amazon), has the simple solution: “Just add 1⁄4 cup of Borax and 2 cups of hot water to a spray bottle, shake, then spritz and let sit for up to 15 minutes.” Borax is a mineral that naturally whitens by converting some of the water molecules into bleaching hydrogen peroxide.
This story originally appeared in our print magazine.