As owner of an all-green home cleaning service in West Lafayette, Indiana, I get asked a lot on what green products to buy for X area and where to buy it. My answer is to use products that can be found in your pantry. Why? Green cleaning products, especially one’s we use are pricey, harder to find in stores and often has only one specific use.

My favorite natural cleaners are lemons, distilled white vinegar and baking soda. These are safe and effective for most uses in your home. If you clean with natural cleaners, you may save time and money, buy less product, have fewer harsh chemicals to worry about. **please test in a small area before cleaning with the following products**

Cleaning with Lemon/lemon juice


lemons for green cleaning


  • Remove stains in food storage containers – mix lemon juice with a little baking soda and rub into stains.
  • Remove smells from your fridge – Simply cut a lemon in half and place one in the corner. This should keep your refrigerator smelling nice.
  • Microwave cleaning – Slice the other lemon half and put it in a bowl of water. Zap for 2-3 minutes and wipe down the microwave.

cleaning Tupperware with a lemon


  • Remove hard scale on your faucets – Scrub faucets with half a lemon or some lemon juice and a soft sponge. Wait an hour and rinse off. I have found vinegar to be more effective.
  • Clean your drain – Boil a pot of water with half a lemon or lemon juice in it. Pour into drain to clean.

Cleaning with Distilled White Vinegar


use distilled vinegar to clean


  • Microwave cleaning – Put equal parts of vinegar and water in a bowl and zap for 2-3 minutes. Wipe off stains and dried food.
  • Dishwasher cleaning – pour a cup of vinegar into your dishwasher before running a cycle.
  • Deodorize Fridge – Wipe down fridge with half-water-half-vinegar solution.
  • Clean your kitchen sink


  • Remove mineral deposits from showerhead – Fill a small plastic bag(check for holes) with white distilled vinegar and tie it around your shower head. Ensure nozzles are entirely submerged in vinegar solution. After letting it sitting overnight, all of the mineral deposits, dirt and grime should have dissolved! Just remove and rinse off.
  • Remove hard scale on faucets – Same as above. Fill a bag with vinegar and tie it around faucet. Soak a paper towel with vinegar and wrap around the handle. Rinse off in a few hours.

Cleaning with Baking Soda


clean with baking soda and vinegar


  • Remove burnt food –  Sprinkle baking soda over the burnt areas, add boiling hot water and let sit overnight. Scrub in the morning.
  • Remove odors from disposal – Sprinkle baking soda down the drain periodically to absorb odors
  • Remove fingerprints on your fancy appliances – Sprinkle baking soda on damp sponge. Scrub area and wipe clean.


  • Drain cleaning – Pour a kettle of boiling water down the drain. Sprinkle half a box of baking soda and let sit for a few minutes. Pour a cup of vinegar and hot water on top. Plug the drain so the chemical reaction extends deep down inside. Rinse off with boiling hot water.

It is important to maintain cleanliness in every corner of your home, especially in the kitchen and bathrooms. Lemons, distilled white vinegar and baking soda are great substitutes for commercial cleaning products and are way safer for your family, pets and home. Now, look in your pantry for these natural cleaners and make cleaning a habit to avoid developing illnesses in your home.