Household Cleaner Alternatives

In honor of Spring Cleaning season, here are some tips that I have acquired through the years from friends, family members, and the internet on household cleaning agents and tips.

Grease Stains (on walls)
Scrub a solution of 1/4 cup baking soda, 1/2 cup white vinegar, 1 gallon hot water, then rinse.

Coffee-stained Cups
Sprinkle baking soda, wipe and rinse.

Pots and Pans Stains and Smells
Boil 1/2 cup of water with 4 T baking soda, then rinse.

Roasting Pans, Drip pans, etc.
Sprinkle baking soda, then pour a solution of 1 cup hot water and 1/3 c white vinegar.  Let sit for a few minutes, scrub, then rinse.

Microwave Smells and Stains
In a shallow bowl, add water and 4 T baking soda.  Microwave until boiling, then use the solution with a sponge or rag to wipe down the inside of the microwave.

Alternative Glass Cleaner
In a spray bottle, mix a solution of 1 c water, 1 c rubbing alcohol, 1 T white vinegar.

All-Purpose Cleaner
In a spray bottle, mix a solution of 1 part water to 1 part white vinegar.

Brush a solution of 1 part bleach to 3 parts water, then rinse.

Furniture Polish
Use a soft rag and a mixture of 1 c olive oil and 1/2 cup lemon juice.

Garbage Disposal Smells
Sprinkle baking soda then run the disposal with warm water.

Hard Water Stains (on toilets, tubs, sinks, and fixtures)
I know of several solutions for this, depending on the severity…you choose what works best for you.  Simply soak, brush or wipe the surface, then rinse (or flush).

Soot on Fireplace Glass
Make a mild abrasive paste of distilled white vinegar, baking soda and water to clean soot from the glass on your fireplace. Wash thoroughly.

Notes:  The longer any of these surfaces soaks with these solutions, the better it will turn out.  It make take more than one round of cleaning for the stains to come out, but if the stain has been there too long, it may not come out completely.

For toilets, it’s best if you can turn off the water source to the toilet and flush several times until the basin is empty, then leave solution in the basin for about an hour (up to several hours overnight).  If you brush the basin, make sure to use something soft as to not scratch the surface.  A good alternative is a wet pumice stone.

  1. Undiluted white vinegar
  2. Rubbing alcohol (wipe immediately)
  3. CLR (very toxic stuff so make sure you have plenty of air flow in the room)
  4. Bounce dryer sheet (!)
  5. Rubbing a lemon cut in half, or lemon juice
  6. Lemon oil (on dry surface)
  7. Heated lemon juice and white vinegar
  8. Solution of Pinesol, ammonia, and water
  9. Solution of 3 parts hot water to 1 part white vinegar
  10. Rust remover
  11. Paste of baking soda and white vinegar
  12. Stove/Oven cleaner
If you know of more tips, please comment!

Disclaimer:  Legally, I cannot tell you to mix any cleaning agents.  I can only tell you that this is what I personally do.  You must decide for yourself if this is for you and in the privacy of your own home, without letting me influence you in any way.


  1. 2
    Karen Parris says:

    I love this! Lemon oil is my favorite on wood -but pure lemon oil is expensive, I am totally going to try the lemon juice with olive oil idea 😀
    -Yay for baking soda -I use it for Everything (including my face! )
    also, I have super hard water, so these hard water tips are going to really come in handy for my (usually) orange tub… 😉

  2. 3

    Glad to help. I haven’t tried baking soda on face yet. Please share!

  3. 4

    Thanks for the tips. I’ve grown to love baking soda and vinegar for cleaning. Soooo much cheaper and safer for the family.

  4. 5

    Definitely a useful list. I have been using baking soda more and more each day for cleaning purposes.


  1. […] and pictures, etc.)  Without further ado, here is my suggested list of what to do (see my post on cleaning agents and tips for help): […]

Speak Your Mind