Keeping it Minimal in the Home: Natural Cleaning

Today I'm taking a small detour from the usual design posts to talk to you about how I take care of our home. Over the years, I've started integrating more of a natural approach when it comes to cleaning. It started when a friend mentioned making her own laundry detergent- my curiosity was peaked. It appealed to both the minimal and practical sides of me. I loved the idea of buying less products, possibly using things I have lying around the house, and not having to worry about chemicals around my children. I also loved the idea of spending less money on said products. I'm still evolving and learning what does/doesn't work for us, but I thought I would share what things I have found to be easy and effective when it comes to cleaning, in case some of you are interested:

  • Laundry Soap - 76 oz. Borax, 4lb. Arm & Hammer Baking Soda, 55oz. Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda, 3 bars of Fels-Naptha Soap (grated in food processor), 3.5lbs Oxyclean. Mix all together and use 1-2TBSP per load. 
    You will notice the smell is very mild- you can add detergent crystals if you want. The recipe can be also found here . This one is SO much easier than it sounds. It lasts me about 7 months and costs only $20. For those curious- I use this on my HE washing machine and it works great.

  • Furniture Polish1 part lemon juice, 1 part vegetable oil. 

    This not only polishes my furniture but hides the little scratches that are inevitable after so many years and moves.

  • Watermarks on furniturenon gel toothpaste. 

    I panicked one day when a vase left a large watermark on our credenza and I stumbled across this trick. It worked like a miracle and left no evidence of a stain.

  • Grease stainsBaking soda.

    Baking Soda has a ton of uses, and this is only one of them….but I always have baking soda handy when I cleaning grease stains in the kitchen. Not cleaning related- but baking soda is also the perfect facial exfoliant(just enough grit, but not damaging to skin). I add it to my face wash a couple times a week and my skin feels so good afterwards.

  • Multipurpose spray or Clean Shower spray1 part vinegar, 1 part water.

    I keep a bottle in my shower to spray it down every couple of days so that I don't have to scrub as long or hard when I clean the bathroom. I also use the same spray when I deep clean our shower- I add in baking soda for stubborn spots along with a scrub brush. (Warning: your bathroom will smell like vinegar, so if this bothers you- skip this one!) I bought a 2 gallon bottle of vinegar at Costco for $4!

I would love to hear any tips or tricks that you guys have found!