Can all-natural cleaning products pass the family test?

My all-natural cleaning supplies: Would they clean as well as harsher chemicals? Would they smell clean and fresh?

My all-natural cleaning supplies: Would they clean as well as harsher chemicals? Would they smell clean and fresh?

For a while I have wanted to switch to all-natural cleaners in the house but I wasn’t quite sure what to use and if they would really be effective.

So last week I searched on Pinterest for natural cleaner ideas and found a bunch of articles with “recipes” for how to create your own all-natural cleaning products.

(See the different versions of natural cleaners I found on Pinterest.)

So I bought a giant bag of Arm and Hammer baking soda (about $5) and the biggest darn jug of white distilled vinegar (about $6) you’ve ever seen. (See above!) I also bought two spray bottles from the hardware store (about $1.50 each).

I went on a cleaning spree one afternoon before Michael came home. I cleaned the kitchen and the two downstairs bathrooms with straight vinegar.

I used the spray vinegar on the counter tops, in the microwave and on the glass stove top. It lifted the food and dirt and seemed to leave everything clean.

I used a baking soda paste in my sink, and it’s never looked cleaner and seems to have stayed clean.

Then I used the straight vinegar on the glass walls of the shower, the bathtub and the sink and toilet. It seemed to cut the hard water and soap scum in the shower but it was still had a film after it dried. I’ll have to try again to see if another technique would work better. (The hard water stains are crazy out here even with a whole-house water softening system.)

The tub, toilet, sink and silver handles and spout all cleaned up nicely.

But I wondered about the vinegar smell.

The website said not to worry. It would smell fresh and clean, not like vinegar. However the big kids came into my room and said what is that smell?

When Michael walked in the garage door, he immediately said “What in the hell is that smell?” He told me to never to use it again.

I did feel good using an all-natural cleaner that the kids could even clean with. But I think I would like to try adding an essence of orange or lemon to help cut the smell. (Where would you buy that?) Or I guess rinse more thoroughly or use even more diluted vinegar next time. It cleaned well enough that I would use it all again, but I just have to figure out how to make it smell better.

Have you ever used homemade natural cleaners? What do you like to use? Are you bothered by the vinegar smell? How do you fix that odor? What are your favorite “recipes” for natural cleaning products?

52 comments Add your comment


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February 21st, 2012
3:38 pm

Like you I have tried the baking soda and vinegar cleaning but also prefer a fresher smell. After trying other so called natural cleaners I have finally found a brand I am happy with. The products are scented with essential oils of your choice. I like the lavender especially for fabric softener. Shampoos and lotions are in several different scents to choose from also. As for house cleaning, I have no complaints so far. My house is clean without the headache and not being able to breath after using harsh chemicals. Now smells like fresh air and my plants like that too. Check out the products at