How to Clean Your Whole House Using 2 Cleaners (And a Lemon!) |

How to Clean Your Whole House Using 2 Cleaners (And a Lemon!)

nina April 3, 2013
2 cleaners and a lemon
This is a guest post by Sara Baker of A Joyful Mother
The television constantly bombards us with the newest and neatest cleaners a person could possibly imagine. Store shelves are lined as far as we can see with pretty looking bottles promising us magic results.
As a housewife, I often feel compelled to buy these products to make my house look like those commercials. But when I sit back and ask myself if I really need to spend lots of money on these cleaners and if I really, truly need them, the answer is always no!
I own two cleaners for everyday messes. And they cover my every need! Dr. Bronner’s liquid castile soap, and good, old white vinegar. Can I really get everyday messes done with these? Yes! 
Let me show you how.
Dr. Bronner’s is a liquid castile soap that is made from oils and essential oils. It works wonderfully for just about every type of mess! It comes in many different sizes and many different scents (using essential oils). One 32 oz. bottle lasts my family 6-8 months!


I keep Dr. Bronner’s (highly diluted) in repurposed foaming soap dispensers. You can buy the foaming soap for cheap at a store and I would suggest to dump the chemical soap in it. Rinse and wash well until the chemical smell is gone, and remove stickers if desired. Refill with about 1/4 cup or less of Dr. Bronner’s soap and the rest with water. You can adjust for how strong you would like the soap. The foaming dispensers use very little soap for each squirt and it goes a long way! I use the eucalyptus soap for added bacteria-killing powers.
Even though it is in a handsoap dispenser, I squirt some on wet washcloths to wipe my son up after meals and snacks (gentle enough to not need rinsed off, yet strong enough to get the ever-present butter  and bacon grease off his cheeks and fingers), wipe up messes on the floors or counter-tops, wiping tables, or to scrub appliances.


I use a little squirt of undiluted Dr. Bronner’s soap into the toilet bowl and scrub with a toilet brush. I have never needed to use anything stronger (and I don’t, ahem, scrub my toilet bowls weekly, either).
A little squirt of undiluted Dr. Bronner’s with a scouring pad scrubs the bathtub squeaky clean and I feel so much better putting my son in a tub cleaned with Dr. Bronner’s!!
Dr. Bronner’s also works well in the sink bowl with a rag or scouring pad.

Whole Home Cleaning

A little squirt of Dr. Bronner’s in a bucket of hot water washes the floors amazingly. I also squirt some in a bucket of hot water to wash any types of things that require cleaning! Chairs, tables, cabinets, childrens’ toys…you name it! It is a wonderful spot-cleaner on carpets, too.
Vinegar is also a must-have in any home. It kills germs and freshens. I usually use it where Dr. Bronner’s can’t, or for lighter jobs. I keep it in a spray bottle with half-vinegar and half-water.


I use vinegar-water spray to clean my fridge, inside and out. Any little spills that need a spray get a spritz of my vinegar bottle. Sometimes I use it to soak vegetables and fruits to clean them.


My same vinegar spray bottle is used to clean my toilets seats and sink counters and water faucets. A little elbow grease, and you are set to go!

Whole Home Cleaning

I use the spray bottle to spray, then dust off surfaces. It is convenient and handy. I also like to spray whenever bugs can enter the home…it tends to divert them, or so I’ve noticed. You can do this as often as you like! I use vinegar to clean my vacuum basin, sometimes to wash the floors, in the rinse cycle in my laundry machine, and to wash children’s’ toys.
But wait! “Neither of these cleaners completely disinfect!,” you may say. In your own home, you don’t need to worry about disinfecting…in fact, disinfecting may make you and your family sicker! Read more about that in “Why I’m Not Afraid of Germs.

And what about the lemon?

A few months ago, I saw in my Facebook Newsfeed a little picture of a halved lemon cleaning a sink faucet. The picture claimed to remove hard water stains with ease. I don’t remember the source, but I must say, I tried it … and it works like you wouldn’t believe! I don’t think my sink and bathroom faucets have ever shined so much as before I learned this handy trick.
Slice a lemon and rub all over your faucet (when my faucet is done I use the same lemon to scrub the whole sink). Rinse with water and shine with a dry towel. Done!

Is This All I Really Use?

On a day to day basis, yes! I will admit that I keep bleach in a storage cabinet, just in case. I feel it is good to keep on hand. But I never use it around my son, or around the things he touches. I have noticed a huge difference since switching to this cleaning style (not to mention it is 10x easier and cheaper!).

Have I Missed Anything? What Else Could You Clean With These Cleaners?

Sara of A Joyful Mother is a follower of Christ, married to a strong man with a leader’s soul, and Mama of a sweet little boy who is more like his Daddy every day. Sara is passionate about natural health and the vibrancy it brings, the powerful role of the stay at home Mama, Christianity, herbs, real food in all its deliciousness, and natural birth. You can find her at her blog, A Joyful Mother, writing about abiding in the home with joy (Psalm 113:9) and finding fulfillment in the little things Mamas do every day.

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  1. I am wondering if there is anything additional I would need to use to clean up the kitchen after handling raw meat or eggs? Or will the above mentioned cleaners still do the job and clean up a anything harmful?


  2. have you ever tried a few drops of bonners in with your vinegar and water solutions>i see a lot of recipes that do this with dawn. i keep wanting to try bonners but its rather exspensive and have had several people say they dont like it. so i m leary about buying it and being stuck with something i dont like


  3. I know the questions here are old but no, don’t mix dr Bronners with vinegar. It will make an awful gunk. The ingredients don’t work together. As far as the meat germs go I find lemon works great for wood cutting boards along with plain old hot water. Rinsing things with water alone for 30 seconds gets rid of almost all of the harmful germs. It’s marketing that makes us think we need antibacterial everything to kill germs. I use vinegar or dr Bronners on my counters that I prepare food and have never had any issues.
    I have to add baking soda to the above list though. To me the perfect cleaning trio is Dr Bronners, vinegar, and baking soda. With the occasional lemon. 🙂


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Hi, I’m Kate.  I love medical freedom, sharing natural remedies, developing real food recipes, and gentle parenting. My goal is to teach you how to live your life free from Big Pharma, Big Food, and Big Government by learning about herbs, cooking, and sustainable practices.

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