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Natural Cleaning
Reference Guide

The Back-To-Basics Natural Cleaning Reference Guide
provides in-depth information about the
recommended ingredients for safe, natural cleaning.



Best uses

Baking Soda

Sodium bicarbonate,
a naturally occurring mineral

Best uses:

  • Cleans
  • Deodorizes
  • Softens water
  • Scours as a mild abrasive
  • Neutralizes acids
  • Produces carbon dioxide when mixed with acids such as white vinegar


Sodium borate, a naturally occurring mineral composed of sodium, boron, oxygen and water Best uses:
  • Cleans
  • Deodorizes
  • Disinfects
  • Softens water
  • Cleans many surfaces including wallpaper, painted walls and floors

Essential Oil

A concentrated, fragranced oil extracted from a single plant, most often used with a vegetable-based carrier oil

Best uses:

  • A few drops can be added to homemade cleaning products for fragrance
  • Natural air freshener ingredient
  • Highly concentrated and flammable
  • Keep away from kids and pets
  • Never drink or consume essential oils
  • Some essential oils should not be handled during pregnancy or when nursing
  • People with asthma or allergies should avoid using essential oils
  • Can cause skin irritation, should never be used directly on skin

Hydrogen Peroxide

The original "oxy" cleaner, usually available in a 3% strength Best uses:
  • Cleans
  • Super anti-bacterial agent
  • Sanitizes cutting boards and food prep surfaces
  • Removes protein-based stains such as blood

Lemon Juice

Nature's perfect "green cleaning" citrus fruit Best uses:
  • A mild, natural bleach
  • Acidic cleaning agent
  • Natural deodorizer
  • Natural antibacterial

Microfiber Cloths and Dusters

Microfiber cloths and dusters are made from nylon/polyester blended fibers that are microscopically split and woven together to create a fabric that traps and removes dirt very effectively Best uses:
  • Traps and removes dust and dirt
  • Cleans glass, windows, mirrors with plain water
  • Can be used on any surface
  • Reusable many times
  • Do not machine dry using dryer sheets as the chemicals will render the microfiber ineffective
  • Use with caution on LCD, CRT and plasma screens as cloth can scratch sensitive surfaces

Washing soda

Sodium carbonate, in the same family as baking soda.
It has a higher pH level of 11, which makes it slightly more caustic

Best uses:

  • Laundry booster
  • Removes greasy or oily stains
  • Neutralizes odors as well as baking soda
  • Disinfects
  • Softens water
  • Keep away from kids and pets
  • May irritate skin; use rubber gloves
  • Do not use on no-wax floors, aluminum, or fiberglass surfaces such as sinks and bathtubs
  • Do not use to unclog drains
  • Do not use on wool or silk fabrics
Where to buy:
  • Can be found in the laundry section of most supermarkets

White vinegar

Acetic acid Best uses:

  • Cleans
  • Sanitizes
  • Eliminates mildew
  • Deodorizes
  • Cuts grease
  • Removes wax build-up
  • Natural fabric softener


A naturally occurring crystallized volcanic mineral

Best uses:

  • Removes odors
  • Non-fragranced
  • Great for pet odors
  • Safe for litter boxes
  • Sold in reusable pouches; after prolonged use, "recharge" in direct sunlight for a few hours
  • Also sold in loose granules
  • Absorbs moisture, therefore can potentially reduce mold in smaller spaces
  • Environmentally safe

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