Natural Housecleaning Carnival

Picture 3Welcome to our Natural Housecleaning Carnival! Do you desire to remove toxic chemical cleaning supplies from your home and need some help getting started? I am so glad you joined us today. Did you know that homemade natural alternatives are not only safer for your family and the environment but they are also far more economical as well! That is one of the reasons I love natural cleaning…it can be done with a few basic and simple ingredients, most of which you already have on hand.

Did you know? The average American uses about 40 pounds of toxic household cleaning products each year. These cleaning products contain dangerous ingredients, including neurotoxins, carcinogens, allergens, central nervous system depressants, heavy metals, and other agents that cause or contribute to cancer, respiratory problems, reproductive abnormalities, allergic reactions, and behavioral problems, among other issues.

Today the floor is open for you to share all your tips and tricks for getting rid of the toxins and filling out home with fresh natural housecleaning!

My Simple, Frugal & Natural Housecleaning Bucket

I am all about simplicity and frugality, so if I can clean the entirety of my house with a few basic tools, I am thrilled! My housecleaning bucket includes the following items: Two shakers, three spray bottles, and three tools.

Baking Soda – I keep this in a small shaker (reusing an old spice container) for dusting in my toilet bowl.
Oxygen Bleach Powder (learn about this natural replacement to chlorine bleach here) – I also use this in a small shaker to dust into my toilet bowl or tub and allow to sit before scrubbing down.
All-Purpose Cleaner – Currently, I use soap nuts liquid & vinegar with a bit of tea-tree oil (details here). Love it!
Window Cleaner - I use club soda and that’s it! Other alternatives or boosting agents: half vinegar & half water, lemon juice & water or soap nuts liquid.
Hydrogen Peroxide – keep this in the original dark container (otherwise it loses its effectiveness) and simply replace the lid with a spray nozzle. I use this to spray down my tub in accompaniment with vinegar or oxygen bleach, and to remove stains in the carpet (read more here).
Toothbrush – for all the small spaces around the toilets, sinks and for cleaning grout on my tile counter tops.
Toilet Brush
Scotch Brite Scrubby
– for giving the toilet bowl, tub and tile a good efficient scrub!
Olive Oil - this of course I keep in my kitchen but use it with a soft cloth (t-shirt) for cleaning the smudges off my stainless steel appliances.

What if you want to skip the whole homemade route? Check out the Mrs. Meyer’s line of cleaning products. These are wonderful natural products that I have used and loved in the past. Many products in this line are also sold by the case at Amazon and you can get 15% off with the subscribe & save feature.

Here are some previous posts on the topic:

Housecleaning on A Budget – Part 1 – all basic frugal housecleaning recipes!
Housecleaning on A Budget – Part 2
My Favorite Frugal & Re-purposed Housecleaning Tools

Using Soap Nuts for Household Cleaning
Natural Housecleaning Book Recommendations
Natural Stain Remover & Cleaning Agent: Hydrogen Peroxide!

Natural Bleach Alternatives
Natural Laundry Detergents: Homemade, Charlies & Soap Nuts
Natural Dishwasher Detergent

Let’s seek to be good stewards of the environment and our health by adopting some new practices. Just remember, natural alternatives may not clean as effectively as their chemical counterparts, but I don’t mind a little toilet bowl ring stain if it is not going to cause anyone any harm.

Now it’s your turn…

1. Homemade “Clorox” Wipes (Emily)
2. Washing Windows (Amy)
3. How To Clean Your Stovetop & Oven the Simple, Safe & Frugal Way (Katie)
4. Elbow Grease: The Most Natural Cleaner of All (Meghan)
5. Frugal & Natural Laundry (Vanessa)
6. Frugal & Natural Bathroom Cleaning (Vanessa)
7. Earth-Friendly Laundry for 10 Recommendation (Sarah)
8. Natural Cleaning Round-Up (Jackie)

To participate, post your tips & tricks on your blog. Link to this post and leave a comment with the title of your post and the link address below and then I will add them to the post manually. Make sure to submit a direct link to your post. If you do not have a blog, please feel free to share your tips in the comments. Have a question or problem in your housecleaning routine? Please share it below and let’s help each other out!

What’s in your housecleaning bucket? Do you have a favorite cleaning brand to recommend? How do you solve stubborn stains? Mold? Mildew?

About Lindsay

Lindsay Edmonds is first a lover of Jesus, wife, mother of four, homemaker, and writer. She loves inspiring women around the world toward simple, natural, and intentional living for the glory of God.

67 Responses to Natural Housecleaning Carnival

  1. Holly July 4, 2013 at 3:16 am #

    I need to do some house cleaning before Monday or on that very day before hubby arrives on Wednesday.. So excited.

  2. Charlie January 29, 2013 at 5:22 am #

    We use microfiber cloth on all out jobs, and they are the best to use.

  3. enviropurehome January 29, 2013 at 4:06 am #

    Yes I agree that Microfiber towels are the best!

  4. Santa Barbara House cleaning August 29, 2012 at 9:39 pm #

    Santa Barbara cleaning services are provided with housekeepers and housekeeping in a reliable way.

    • Charlie September 29, 2012 at 10:40 am #

      Great article! When I have time I need to come back to read some more of them.

  5. August 19, 2012 at 10:01 pm #

    Micro fiber towels seem to do the trick.

  6. San Antonio Carpet Cleaning August 19, 2012 at 10:00 pm #

    Micro fiber towels seem to do the trick

  7. anne July 24, 2012 at 10:53 pm #

    White vinegar, fresh lemon juice and salt can easily remove molds and mildews. They are always available at our home so there’s no excuse not to clean our houses.

  8. San Antonio Carpet Cleaning October 19, 2011 at 11:09 am #

    Microfiber towels are the best!

    • January 21, 2012 at 3:19 pm #

      Microfiber towels are the best, but be careful to wash them separately from everything else.

  9. Subway Tile Bathroom September 30, 2011 at 11:11 am #

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  10. Erica July 12, 2010 at 12:20 am #

    Hi again, im wondering – what do you think about this website, there are a lot of house cleaning companies

  11. Erica July 6, 2010 at 1:35 am #

    Great hints! Thanks a lot!

  12. Margarito Abela June 3, 2010 at 1:03 am #

    Hi, I just want to add one usefull cleaning tip here. For more effective dishwashing, add a few tablespoons of vinegar along with the dishwashing detergent when washing dishes. The vinegar cuts the grease and leaves dishes sparkling. Happy Cleaning )

  13. Morgan September 26, 2009 at 7:35 am #

    Lindsay, you mentioned in this article that you use olive oil to clean your stainless steel appliances. Are you speaking of stainless steel refrigerator panels, dishwasher, stove, etc? If yes, does the olive oil remove any of the finish off the appliances? Is olive oil a substance that is safe or recommended for stainless steel appliances? (I just don’t want to ruin the finish on them. :) )

    • Lindsay September 28, 2009 at 6:47 am #

      Olive oil is perfectly safe for stainless steel appliances. I am referring to the outer panels of my refrigerator, dishwasher, and stove top. The main ingredient for most of the natural stainless steel cleaners I have found is olive oil. It does not remove any finish.

  14. Rachel Loth September 15, 2009 at 8:23 pm #

    Love this post!!! Im doing a little talk soon about “cleaning green” and I use all the same things you do. Soap nuts are my favorite, arent they amazing?! thanks for spreading the word, great post.

  15. usul September 15, 2009 at 9:26 am #

    Thank you for all the tips so far. I recently bought a house with granite counter tops. Some people seem to suggest that using vinegar to clean granite is a bad idea. Does anyone have experience with this or have another easy natural solution for granite cleaning? Thanks

  16. K September 5, 2009 at 7:34 pm #

    Where can I buy tea tree oil and coconut oil? I am excited to try out some of these homemade cleaning and toiletry items, and I can see these are essential supplies!

    • Lindsay September 6, 2009 at 6:43 am #

      I highly recommend the tea tree oil & extra virgin organic coconut oil sold through Mountain Rose Herbs. They are a wonderful company!

    • Kika September 6, 2009 at 3:52 pm #

      I buy from “Planet Organic” (Canada) and the prices are good.

  17. Abundant Living September 5, 2009 at 5:10 pm #

    Needing an answer to this question: We have tile floors in our kitchen with grout between the tiles. Some of the spaces filled in with grout have discolored due to staining. I have tried a vinegar/water solution to no avail. Does anyone have any suggestions? Do you think peroxide would work?

    • Lindsay September 6, 2009 at 6:44 am #

      Have you tried baking soda or toothpaste with a toothbrush? Or you can also use oxygen bleach powder made into a paste with water and applied with a green scratchy or toothbrush. Works great for me!

      • Abundant Living September 6, 2009 at 5:37 pm #

        I will try it and let you know how it goes. Thank you for your reply! Your blog has been such a great help. =)

        • Deena September 9, 2009 at 11:11 am #

          I would alos reccommend what Lindsay stated, but you could use peroxide and leave on for a while to whiten. But after getting it clean, you really need to seal your grout or you will be in the same situation. Most people are not aware that grout should be sealed a couple times a year. Hope this helps. Blessings….

  18. Tammy Jo September 5, 2009 at 4:58 pm #

    Thank you! I just stumbled upon your website. I have been wanting to me more frugal and natural, which has seemed like an oxymoron. I just bought some soap nuts based on your recommendation. Will be trying out more of your suggestions too! Thank you for a great website that lines up with my homemaking too. Blessings from a homeschool mother.

  19. YW September 5, 2009 at 12:58 pm #

    This is my absolute favorite, natural, homemade, all-purpose spray. It is super easy to make and so cheap! Check out this video:

    Happy birthday, Lindsay!!

  20. Becky Rapinchuk September 5, 2009 at 7:46 am #

    Hi! I use/sell/love an even cheaper way to go than vinegar/water/baking soda – Shaklee’s Basic H2. It’s an organic,super cleaning concentrate that’s also non-toxic, natural and has no phosphates or other harmful chemicals. One 16 ounce bottle of the concentrate can be mixed into 3 different cleaners – window cleaner (costs less than 1 cent per 16 ounce bottle), all-purpose cleaner (costs less than 3 cents per 16 ounce bottle) and degreaser (costs 17 cents per 16 ounce bottle). If you were to use the entire bottle of concentrate as a window cleaner, it would be the equivalent of 5,824 bottles of 26oz Windex. Isn’t that unbelievable? The concentrate is about $12 and will last you FOREVER. I am a Shaklee distributor, but also purchased the products as a consumer for over a year before I began selling them. Every product is safe, green and guaranteed. I’d love to share Shaklee’s products with anyone that’s interested. You can visit my website at: Please feel free to email me with any questions – it’s great to live in a toxin free home and to know that what I use to clean will do just that – CLEAN!

    • Jane September 6, 2009 at 5:48 pm #

      I also am a HUGE fan of Shaklee products in general. The Basic H is superior to just about any natural cleaner that I have used or personally concocted. I love the fact that there is little to no scent to bother any sensitive little noses. The price and versatility of Basic H can’t be beat.

      I also love the oxygen bleach powder to throw in with the kiddos tougher stained clothes- it works like magic every time to get out even the “untouchable” stains.

      If you are in the market for a safe, totally affordable cleaner, give the Basic H a try- you won’t be dissapointed. I give Shaklee a double thumbs up.

  21. Ginger September 4, 2009 at 7:21 pm #

    Thank you, Thank you, Thank you for your natural living 101 tab! I’ve been scouring the web for days now and most of what I’ve found it so nicely organized on your one page! I wish I would have found it before – the irony is I used to read your blog more often but opted to put my computer free time toward homemaking activities. Little did I know that in just a few short months I would be making big changes in those activities and all the info could be found right here! Have a joyful weekend!

  22. allison September 4, 2009 at 6:30 pm #

    I learned this trick from my mother in law: Instead of scrubbing underneath your stove element when spills happen cover the dish that goes underneath it with tinfoil. It catches all the spills and you don’t have to scrub. When I take the tinfoil off, what ever was spilled onto just flakes off into the garbage or compost and I put the tinfoil in the recycling bin.

  23. Sharon September 4, 2009 at 6:14 pm #

    Okay, I’ve been reading through all of these great tips, but…. Yep, I’m one of the difficult ones. :o ) We struggle with water stains in our toilets. I’ve tried everything mentioned here. The only thing that ever removed them, ONCE, was when my husband took the pummice stone and scrubbed hard–so hard he scratched the bowl! We clean the toilets regularly, but the stain keeps coming back. Secondly, drip pans on our gas stove top. When water boils over, it leaves a brown “burned” stain. It does not come off with baking soda, borax,vinegar, scotch pads, nylon brush or toothbrush. The burner covers get a similar stain. We’ve tried soaking in straight vinegar, putting them in the dishwasher, rubbing with lemon. My husband says the only thing that has worked is Comet, but we’re trying to avoid buying that. I really like have products around that pose no danger to our daughter. I would love a natural solution to these dilemmas. Thanks for listening.

    • Jill September 5, 2009 at 7:59 am #

      Hi Sharon,
      I would recommend the Norwex Cleaning Paste! I have never found anything that it can’t remove! It’s a natural product too. The ingredients are: marble-flour, chalk, natural soap, and traces of coconut oil. I am a Norwex consultant, but I’m not recommending it just because I sell it. This stuff really works! And it lasts a LONG time! Mine will last at least 2 years! It’s a paste that you rub on a cloth and then start scrubbing away. Check it out at If you want to buy some, I can order it for you and ship it directly to your home.

      [email protected]

  24. Heather September 4, 2009 at 5:01 pm #

    My hand soap recipe is from the blog, Frugal Granola,

    “For a simple liquid soap that uses bar-soap as a base, grate one full-size bar of your favorite soap and add it to 1 cup of boiling water [or herbal tea]. Add this mixture to a heat-proof blender and whip it until the soap has disintegrated completely. Next add 1 tablespoon of honey and 1 teaspoon of glycerin to the mixture and blend it again thoroughly. Now add enough water to the mixture to bring it up to the six-cup mark and allow the mixture to cool, occasionally mixing it in the blender. When the mixture has cooled and is thoroughly blended, pour it into a bottle with a pump top.”

    He mentioned that the bar of soap he chose ended up being rather foamy; so he just kept adding water until it reached the proper consistency (which probably ended up being more than the 6-cups recommended). If you’re not using a scented soap or tea, a few drops of essential oil would work nicely to scent your soap, if desired.

    We prefer not to use the “antibacterial hand soaps” that are so widely available. Regular antibiotic use is really not necessary, and can cause antibiotic resistance, among other scary things. You just want clean; not medicinal. :) However, a liquid hand soap is often preferred by many over a slippery bar of soap at the sink.

    • Ashley September 4, 2009 at 5:41 pm #

      So, will this work in the foaming pump dispenser? The regular liquid dispenser tended to give out too much soap for little hands and would make quite a mess!

      • Heather September 6, 2009 at 5:11 am #

        I think it is worth trying. I don’t have a foaming pump dispenser so I can’t say for sure it will do what you want.


  25. Ashley September 4, 2009 at 3:00 pm #

    I’ve discovered that foaming soap is a much less messy way of teaching my 1 1/2 year old how to wash her hands. Does anyone know of a recipe to refill the bottle?

    • Shelley September 4, 2009 at 7:37 pm #

      I use the foaming pumps and refill with regular soap and water for my toddler. I’ve never actually measured. I just pour some soap in the bottom (about 1/4 inch) and fill 3/4 full or more of water and shake to mix it together. It’s always worked fine without having to buy a special refill. If the soap isn’t foamy enough after you mix it, all you would need to do is add a little more soap to the mixture and it will be just like what you buy at the store.

    • Tiffany September 4, 2009 at 7:58 pm #

      Just add 1/4 soap then the rest water. Make sure to mix it up before pumping out b/c the soap has a hard time being sucked up into the pump. If you don’t like the ratio, then change it to your liking:)

      • Selena September 5, 2009 at 5:26 pm #

        I use Dr. Bronner’s in my foaming hand soap bottles. I just use a squirt or two of the peppermint soap, add water almost to the top and then add about 10 drops of lavender essential oil. This is not only cleaning germs off my children’s hands, it keeps your hands REALLY soft through the winter! My mother-in-law couldn’t believe it!

  26. Shannon Hazleton September 4, 2009 at 1:31 pm #

    Happy Birthday, Lindsay. I hope you’ve had a wonderful day!!

  27. Katelyn September 4, 2009 at 12:16 pm #

    My favorite brand of natural cleaning products is Ecover. I have been using the cream cleanser for my sink and toilet, and the lemon all purpose cleaner for moping my floors for a couple years. I am switching to making my own products, so this has been a great resource. Thanks so much, have a blessed birthday Lindsay!

  28. Kate September 4, 2009 at 11:18 am #

    Happy Birthday Lindsay!!!

  29. Jackie September 4, 2009 at 10:45 am #

    Let’s try this again. :-)

    Thanks for all of your insightful posts. I really enjoy your blog.

    Here is my Natural Cleaning Round-Up.

  30. Jill September 4, 2009 at 10:22 am #

    I use Norwex products, mainly the antibac enviro cloth. This ONE cloth is amazing!!! It removes 99.9% germs, bacteria, microorganisms, etc. from surfaces with ONLY WATER, and there is a silver agent embedded in the fibers that destroys the germs & stuff so that the next day the cloth is GERM free!!!! Because the microfiber is so fine and there is so much microfiber in the cloth, this cloth is also a super duper scrubber. I use it to clean my floors, counters, table, counters, sinks, tub, shower walls, toilet, and more – and all with just WATER! I also use it to wipe off my kids’ hands. The cloth has a 2 year warranty, but will last years longer with proper care! It makes cleaning so easy and SAFE! My kids can clean right along with me and I don’t have to worry about them getting into any cleaning chemicles. This is what I use for frugal, easy, & effective cleaning.

    I am a Norwex consultant and I’d love to share more information about this way of cleaning, to anyone who is interested. You can contact me at [email protected]. The Norwex website is

    • Jodi September 4, 2009 at 10:56 am #

      We too use Norwex and love the products (I don’t sell them). The cleaning cloths and window cloths are amazing. The face cloths are awesome too and my husband acne acne prone skin…gone. All just with water and these special cloths. They last for years!

  31. Heather September 4, 2009 at 10:16 am #

    What kind of spray bottle top are you using with the hydrogen peroxide? I haven’t been able to make it work…

    heatherlbrandt (at) verizon (dot)net

    • Lindsay September 4, 2009 at 10:41 am #

      I use the original dark brown bottle that the product comes it. I just remove the lid and replace it with a standard 16 oz spray nozzle top.

  32. Melissa September 4, 2009 at 9:25 am #

    I recently purposed to figure out a way to use my Swiffer Sweeper in a way that was both frugal and natural (without using the wet clothes with all the chemicals in them.) I love the easy of using this tool, especially when the kitchen floor just needs a quick wet swipe all around, but I really dislike suing the wet clothes you can purchase 1)for the ingredients and 2)they don’t even really work that well and leave the floors sticky feeling.

    I use just warm water and white vinegar to mop the floor so I figured why not use it somehow with the Swiffer. I cut a old rag towel into strips the size of the Swiffer wet clothes. I keep the stack of pre-cut towels under the sink. When I need to Swiffer, I attach one of the towels and spray wet with a bottle of half water half vinegar that I use to clean other things with, wipe the floor down and viola! Clean floors in a couple min.

    When finished I throw the towel into the hamper, wash and reuse the next time the floor needs a Swifferin’.

  33. Kathy Days September 4, 2009 at 9:01 am #

    Everything I do I learned here, so I have nothing new to share. But I just wanted to say thank you for organizing this, Lindsay!

  34. Jennifer D September 4, 2009 at 8:07 am #

    We use baking soda to clean our flat-top stove. Mix up some baking soda and water in a small bowl – just enough water to make a paste. Scoop out some paste with an old vegetable scrubber, and scrub away. It doesn’t take much effort. Finish with a spray of 50% vinegar and it will be spotless and sparkling.

    Again, in the shower, we use baking soda paste to clean soap film off the smooth walls and textured floors. It’s quick and easy. A little spray of 50% vinegar afterwards removes the streaks and makes everything sparkle.

    Baking soda and vinegar are the only household cleaners we use! So efficient, cheap, and healthy. Anything else (hand soap, laundry soap, dish soap) must be all natural and non-toxic (we like Nature Clean). I have yet to understand why anyone would use anything else!

  35. Emily @ Live Renewed September 4, 2009 at 6:33 am #

    I posted on my blog about reusable Homemade “Clorox” Wipes. I am excited to share this alternative to one use, throw away, toxic cleaning wipes!

    Here is the link:

  36. Amy @ Finer Things September 4, 2009 at 6:21 am #

    Washing Windows

  37. Shannon Walker September 4, 2009 at 6:11 am #

    Hi Lindsey,
    Thank you for all the tips. I am going to try them this weekend. Just wanted to say if someone is having trouble with musty smells, that olive leaf powder works well, when you dust with it. I have mainly used it in our basement. I appreciate your dedication to natural cleaning. Since our first baby is due on 11/20/09, I am actively trying to clean everything for her arrival.


  38. Jana Pedowitz September 4, 2009 at 5:43 am #

    Thank you so much for doing this! I too use baking soda and vinegar by the case! I look forward to reading through everyone’s ideas and suggestions.

  39. Katie @ Kitchen Stewardship September 4, 2009 at 5:23 am #

    My post details natural, frugal ways to keep the stovetop and oven clean and safe!

  40. Meghan September 4, 2009 at 5:09 am #

    I’m excited to learn everyone else’s ideas! I wrote about this on my blog in an article called “Elbow Grease: The Most Natural Cleaner of All”.

  41. Rosemary Evergreen September 4, 2009 at 3:59 am #

    Mold and mildew are best treated by solving conditions of constant moisture.

    The biggest mildew problem we have is on our shower curtain liner, which is polyester. I wash it regularly with oxygen bleach and dry it in the sun. When it becomes permanently stained by mildew, every year or two, I trim off the bottom inch and sew a new hem. Since it was very long to begin with, it will still last about 5 more years with this treatment.

    • Kate September 4, 2009 at 9:53 am #

      The make cotton/linen shower liners… and are washable.

    • Sam September 4, 2009 at 8:49 pm #

      You can try weekly rinse using undiluted white vinegar to prevent mold growth on the shower curtains and bathroom walls

  42. Rosemary Evergreen September 4, 2009 at 3:53 am #

    I keep two mixtures in spray bottles for cleaning:
    vinegar and water, 1:1, and
    a dilute natural dish detergent solution.

    I use the vinegar solution for most cleaning, and the soap solution for places where the acidic cleaner isn’t recommended, such as tile floors, as well as for a laundry stain remover (since many stains are food-based, it works fabulously!).

    I use baking soda when I need a scouring agent.


    • Emily @ Live Renewed September 4, 2009 at 10:45 am #

      I love the idea of a diluted natural dish detergent in a spray bottle as a laundry stain remover I have been looking for something safe and natural to replace my Spray N Wash stain spray! Thanks for the great idea, I will definitely be using it!

    • Deena September 9, 2009 at 11:00 am #

      I also have a spray bottle of club soda handy for laundry stains as well.

  43. Sarah September 4, 2009 at 3:48 am #

    I’m very excited to see what everyone else does! Thanks for doing this.

    Here is something I had posted in April, but re-posted today so I could join in the carnival.

    It’s my current choices for body care and household cleaning.

  44. Vanessa September 4, 2009 at 3:42 am #

    Frugal and Natural Bathroom Cleaning

    Frugal and Natural Laundry

    I am doing a series on my blog about how two people living in the suburbs are slowly making the changes towards living a more frugal and natural life. I am posting a new idea/change every Friday in a series that I am calling “Kinda Krunchy.” My two links are two house cleaning posts that I have done so far!

  45. Emily @ Under$1000PerMonth September 4, 2009 at 1:48 am #

    I haven’t posted about this, but I find water and forethought to be the best cleaners. After each meal, I check under the table for what my baby dropped. By picking it up with a wet rag right away, I don’t have to worry about needing harsher chemicals when I mop later. By wiping the shower after everyone is done using it, mildew doesn’t have a chance to build up.

    • Katie @ Kitchen Stewardship September 4, 2009 at 8:18 pm #

      I am totally with you on the shower in particular. I use a highly absorbent microfiber cloth for that job, and they’re SO awesome. You can really get the wall almost dry with little effort, and I don’t have the mold and mildew problem at all.