Cleaning like a pro means getting the job done efficiently. But contrary to popular belief, you rarely need specialized cleaners with hard-to-understand ingredients. Products with organic ingredients can work in your kitchen and bathroom— at least for your daily and weekly routines. And surprisingly, even for some really tough spots!
Castile Soap, vinegar and baking soda
Not many cleaning products are made with certified organic ingredients. Not even most “eco-friendly” brands. But some brands of castile soap and vinegar are indeed made with certified organic ingredients.
Castile soap is actually designed for your cleaning your skin, not your kitchen and bathroom. And of course, vinegar for eating. I prefer organic for both.
And hey, if organic ingredients are good enough for my body, they ‘re good enough for much of my cleaning.
That may sound strange. But I clean with organic ingredients— at home and in my cleaning service— because they meet my cleaning, health, and environmental standards.
In this post I’ll talk about two widely available brands. And a few starter tips for cleaning like a pro!
You may also need baking soda. Of course it’s not grown organically, because it’s not grown at all. But it can boost the power of castile soap, so I’ll talk about it too.
Buying products made with organic ingredients
I buy locally and in bulk when I can. I love supporting my local economy, and saving packaging waste. And in bulk, I sometimes save money. That’s all part of cleaning like a pro.
If you can’t buy locally or affordably, check out online shopping at Thrive Market— at wholesale.
No recipes— just add water!
I don’t recommend mixing castile soap and vinegar. Instead, I say use them separately. Each product is far more effective that way.
Here’s another tip. Dilute your castile soap and vinegar in water. You’ll get better results. And save time not fussing with recipes! That’s what it means to clean like a pro. You’ll find dilution tips below.
Diluting is also a cost-effective and green way to go. Your supplies will go further! In contrast, most “Ready to Use” cleaners are mostly water, which you pay extra for. And transporting all that water from the factory to your home wastes energy. So when you dilute products at home, you’re reducing your carbon footprint.
Three simple products for your routine
Clean like a pro with the following simple products. Together, they’re likely to work for your kitchen and bathroom routine.
We’re talking hard, washable surfaces. Like your counter top, stove top, small appliances, sinks and showers. Along with cabinet and drawer faces.
Pure castile soap
Castile soap is a plant-based, petrochemical-free soap that cleans almost everything.
Sure, the label’s eccentric. But if you look among the fine print, you’ll find instructions for diluting and using the product. Personally, I use one or two tablespoons soap in 16 ounces of water.
For many more tips about castile soap, check out Going Green With a Bronner Mom. Love this blog! OK, it’s not about cleaning like a pro. But it’s chock-full of helpful green tips.
Please note: If you’re tackling serious grease, or live in a hard water area, try using a non-toxic dish liquid instead. It’s more concentrated than castile soap, so add more water. Seventh Generation brand is widely available.
Various brands of distilled white vinegar are made with organic ingredients, Including Spectrum. And some natural grocery stores sell organic vinegar in bulk.
For general cleaning, mix half-and-half vinegar and water in a spray bottle. Spray surfaces, and wipe clean.
Vinegar rinses baking soda residues— fast! Simply spray your vinegar and water solution, and wipe clean.
Got a clogged bathroom sink drain? To unclog it, try vinegar with baking soda. Apartment Therapy offers a tutorial.
Don’t use vinegar on grout or stone, as it can weaken or damage the surface.
Green Myth alert— Vinegar doesn’t work on grease. Not for me, at least. Try a plant-based dish liquid instead, like Seventh Generation.
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OK, baking soda contains no organic ingredients. It’s made from trona, a naturally occurring inorganic mineral. But still, it’s a simple substance that can help you clean like a pro.
Use baking soda, with a damp sponge, for scouring tough spots on your stove top, sink and bathtub. Add castile soap as needed.
Green Myth alert— Baking soda’s not a multi-surface or “all-purpose” cleaner. Soaps and detergents work better for that purpose.
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What’s worked for you?
Have you tried castile soap, vinegar and baking soda? How are they working for you, in the real world?