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Do “Natural” Cleaners Really Work, and What Makes Them Work?

Natural cleaners, baking soda, lemon, salt, vinegar

Cleaning without the Harmful Side Effects of Chemical Cleaners

Keeping your space clean is top priority for most of us. A clean workspace can help us focus on the task and reduce unnecessary stress. But does the need for a clean environment also mean you need to use harsh and potentially toxic chemicals to get the work done?

Although most chemical cleaners are designed to sanitize and disinfect surfaces, greatly reducing the chances of spreading disease and illnesses, they also can cause skin irritations, respiratory problems, and allergic reactions. On the other hand, natural cleaners are not as toxic and operate without these adverse effects. If you want a clean environment without the potential side effects of using chemical cleaners, you should look into these natural options!

What Are Natural Cleaners?

Natural cleaners are cleaners made of natural, non-toxic, and non-synthetic cleansing agents. Even though natural cleaners may be refined, the constituent elements occur in nature with minimal human intervention. They are free from harmful chemicals traditionally used in most household cleaners and don't cause harmful side effects. Some commonly known natural cleaners are lemon juice, white vinegar, baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, and castile soap.


Because of their acidic nature, lemons are great for removing soap scum and stains caused by hard water by reacting with calcareous deposits. The citric acid in lemons makes it hard for bacteria to grow making citric acid an anti-bacterial agent. Lemon juice can also be used to remove stains caused by coffee, sweat, and tea. Lemons can even remove rust by reacting with iron oxide deposits. Lemons are not just great for cooking, but they also do a great job at keeping your kitchen clean.

White Vinegar

White vinegar contains almost 5% acetic acid and can dissolve debris, dirt, and grime. Vinegar is also great for removing pesky mold and can prevent a future outbreak. Adding full-strength vinegar directly to the surface will instantly kill mold. Vinegar is used as a natural preservative and pickling medium for many foods. It is also fantastic for its deodorizing and disinfecting ability. To make its application easy, add vinegar to warm water in a spray bottle and use it as a powerful homemade disinfectant solution.

Natural cleaning with lemon, white vinegar, baking soda

Baking Soda

Sodium bicarbonate, more famously known as baking soda, is one of the most potent non-toxic cleaners and natural disinfectants. Unlike air fresheners that mask the odor, baking soda removes odor by absorbing it. The basic nature of baking soda reacts with the acidic nature of the odor to neutralize it. Baking soda goes hand in hand with vinegar to cut grease and unclog drains. Just sprinkle baking soda on the desired surface and add vinegar to start the chemical reaction. The fuzz is not just cool to look at, it will get your ceramics shining.

Overall, natural cleaners definitely work. Although they aren't as strong as other synthetic, chemical cleaners, they do the job without harmful side effects. The science behind how they work resides in their acidic and basic nature.

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