Natural cleaning hacks – swap your cleaning caddy for the fruit bowl with genius natural remedies

Time to ditch the Flash in favour of an onion

Cleaning our homes with harsh chemicals is doing more than just killing germs, it's destroying our eco system too. We should be looking for natural cleaning hacks as and when we can, to get better results for all.

Using lemons to clean your home is a favourite hack of many cleaning experts including Instagram sensation Lynsey Queen of Clean. However, beyond the humble lemon, there are a whole host of natural cleaning hacks using fruit and veg and store cupboard essentials to get your home sparkling without a single chemical.

From onions to cucumbers, your fridge and pantry is bursting with ingredients that can cut through grease and make quick work of grubby walls.

Enjoy all our care and cleaning ideas for further expert tips

Here are just a few hacks hiding in your fruit and vegetable drawer that you never knew about.

Natural cleaning hacks for an eco-friendly home

natural cleaning hacks for eco friendly home

(Image credit: Future PLC/ Polly Eltes)

1. Remove burn marks with onions

They might not be the best smelling cleaning solution, however, onions are ideal for tackling burn marks in an oven or cooker. Onions contain enzymes that react with oxygen to create an acid that can dissolve grease. Gently heat half and onion, and rub the cut side over the marks and see for yourself.

2. Clean the kitchen sink with lemons

Sweet smelling and a very effective mild bleach, lemons have citric acid that cuts through grease and limescale. To get a kitchen tap or drying board looking like new, wipe over with half a lemon. Leave for about 5-15 minutes for the citric acid to work its magic, then rinse off.

bowl with fruits on wooden chopping pad

(Image credit: Future PLC/ Polly Eltes)

3. Remove crayon from walls using cucumber

They're not just for salads. Try rubbing the skin of a cucumber on walls to remove crayon marks. You can also clean your bathroom mirror with the juice to stop it fogging up when you shower.

4. Shine your pots and pan with rhubarb

Get any rusty pans looking shiny and clean by simmering some rhubarb in them. The oxalic acid in the Rhubarb will transfer to the water to help lift any unsightly marks.

5. Get your bath gleaming with grapefruit

Much like lemons, grapefruits are filled with citric acid that is great for cleaning. You can use it in a similar way to lemons for large areas like a bath that would be harder to do with the smaller citrus fruit.

bowl full of fruits

(Image credit: Future PLC/ Colin Poole)

6. Polish plants with a banana skin

If your houseplants are looking a little dusty, give them a polish with the inside of a banana skin. It works as a great polish, shifting dust and also moisturised the leaves. This works best on big and tough leaves such as yuccas, orchids and cheese plants. It also works a treat on leather.

7. Buff the silverware with potato skins

If you're planning on making roast potatoes or mash this weekend, keep hold of the skins to get your silverware sparkling. When used with baking soda, the oxalic acid in the potato mixes with the baking soda to dissolve rust.

8. Polish the furniture with olive oil

natural cleaning hacks

(Image credit: Future PLC/ Polly Eltes)

Brew your own fresh-smelling furniture polish with some store cupboard essentials. Pour one part lemon juice to two parts olive or linseed oil into a clean jam jar, then put the lid on and shake well. Perform a spot test on your wooden furniture by blotting a splash onto a clean cloth and applying to a concealed area. If there aren't any visible changes in the surface, work in the polish all over and buff to a shine.

9. Recycle the papers for cleaning windows

A handy trick any hairdressing apprentice will know well. Old sheets of newspaper are perfect to use as 'cloths' for cleaning windows as they’re cheap, disposable and recyclable. Simply spritz with a splash of white vinegar and water and clean for streak-free windows.The same can be applied to mirrors, there's something about the absorbency that ensures no watermarks.

10. Descale with white wine vinegar

chemical free cleaning hack

(Image credit: Future PLC/Colin Poole)

'Mixing up a spray bottle filled halfway with water and halfway with half distilled white vinegar can help to remove limescale on all different types of surfaces' explains Dr Richard Hastings, a leading expert in microbiology and infection prevention, at Hycolin.

'For a build-up of limescale on taps and basins, wrap a cloth soaked in the vinegar solution around the tap and leave it overnight. Use an old toothbrush to scrub away and reside and then rinse clean with water. However, do not use a vinegar solution on plated taps as the vinegar is far too acidic.'

11. Scrub the kitchen tiles with vinegar

natural cleaning hack

(Image credit: Future PLC/ Polly Eltes)

Mix up a little homemade solution to scrub the kitchen or bathroom tiles, using ½ cup of white (distilled) vinegar with a litre of warm water. Dip a scratch-resistant cloth into the natural cleaning solution and gentle scrub the tiles. Allow to air dry afterwards.

A homemade vinegar solution is also a great way to clean grout in between your tiles.

12. Scent laundry with lavender

jobs to do in the garden

(Image credit: Future PLC/ Alun Callender)

Scented water for linens and laundry is so easy to make and can make a real difference to your ironing when spritzed onto clothes. To make 180ml, mix 30ml vodka and 150ml distilled water and add 12-18 drops of lavender oil. Decant into a stoppered bottle and add a pretty decorative label.

Related: How to unblock a sink with or without a plunger

Will you be trying any of these natural cleaning hacks at home?

Rebecca Knight
Deputy Editor, Digital

Rebecca Knight has been the Deputy Editor on the Ideal Home Website since 2022. She graduated with a Masters degree in magazine journalism from City, University of London in 2018, before starting her journalism career as a staff writer on women's weekly magazines. She fell into the world of homes and interiors after joining the Ideal Home website team in 2019 as a Digital Writer. In 2020 she moved into position of Homes News Editor working across Homes & Gardens, LivingEtc, Real Homes, Gardeningetc and Ideal Home covering everything from the latest viral cleaning hack to the next big interior trend.