Simple, Natural Cleaning


ver the last year, I’ve slowly been phasing out my old cleaning products in favor of more natural/eco-friendly/less-deadly/whatever-you-want-to-call-them ones.

Motivated by a combination of cost and health factors (crawling babies gnawing fingers covered in floor cleaner much?), it’s been a journey full of vinegar, baking soda, and skeptical glances from visiting family members.

I have to say, not only do I feel better using products that are safe yet effective, it’s also been nice to simplify the whole process. No more looking for the right cleaner for this or that–one all purpose cleaner and my favorite microfiber cloths in every cabinet and I’m set.

Not to mention that most of these products are crazy cheap. Cheap as in less than $4 for 1.32 gallons of vinegar at Costco cheap.

I’m still tweaking my arsenal, but here’s what I’ve found works best for me so far.


Cleaning Supplies: Steam Mop Using Water Only

I never thought I’d see the day when I was excited to get a mop.  But while it does speak of the mundane nature of my days, I have to say, this mop did not disappoint. Easy to use and it only takes one tank of water to clean all of my floors.


Cleaning Supplies: Norwex Cloths + Water

That’s right: water.

Since discovering Norwex microfiber cloths, I have come to-dare i say?-enjoy cleaning. Really.

I’ve heard great things about microfiber in general, but these are special.  They’re constructed with an antibacterial silver-based agent that’s designed to inhibit bacterial odor, mold, or mildew growth inside the cloth.

While EPA regulations now prevent Norwex consultants from making claims about the cloths’ ability to completely eradicate bacteria on surfaces, the microfiber in the cloths is so fine (1/200th of a human hair) that they have an incredible ability to thoroughly clean surfaces, no matter what is on them.

Bottom Line: You really do need only WATER + these cloths to get surfaces clean.


Skeptical? Check out these video demonstrations:

  • This demonstrates how well a Norwex cloth cleans up residual surface proteins (from raw chicken) on a counter-top.
  • This one is a test done by a Norwex customer to see if and how well a Norwex cloth removes bacteria from surfaces.
  • And this one, produced by a Canadian Norwex consultant, claims Norwex cloths pick up 99% of bacteria on surfaces.

No Norwex consultants nearby (or still uneasy about using only water) but want to go a more natural route?

Try an all-purpose cleaning solution of vinegar and tea tree oil (or whatever other essential oil floats your boat). Here are some other great natural cleaning ideas. I’ve heard great stuff about BioKleen too.

And, by the by, this was not a paid endorsement of Norwex products or anything.  I’m just happy to tout the merits of a product that’s made my cleaning duties that much more enjoyable and chemical-free.

Bathroom Surfaces

Cleaning Supplies: Solution of Vinegar + Tea Tree Oil, Norwex Cloths

While Norwex cloths + water alone could do the job, in my home’s less reputable nooks, I just feel better spraying a little cleaning solution.

Vinegar alone would cut it, as it has crazy antibacterial properties, but the tea tree oil (which has similar properties itself) helps tone down the smell during the cleaning process.  (The vinegar smell on the cleaned surface actually goes away after a couple of hours).

Shower and Toilets

Cleaning Supplies: Baking Soda, Vinegar Solution, Norwex cloths

Most of the time, I just wipe the shower with Norwex cloths alone.

But, if things are looking in need of an extra scrub, I’ll sprinkle a bit of baking soda and/or vinegar solution and then go to town with a damp  cloth (for the shower) or toilet bowl brush.

And that’s it. Pretty simple. But then that was the idea.

Do you have any favorite cleaning products or tips?

About Jenn

Jenn is a mommy of three and wife to her best friend. She enjoys good books, dinner guests, elevenses, and proper apostrophe use.

  • brenda ven

    I’m going to try the vinegar/bsoda on my shower walls/door and get back to ya. I do love the microfiber cloths, and will designate 1 for each area of my cleaning. As for the steam mop cleaner…… that thing was pretty darn amazing. If I had tile floors, I get me one! Tea tree oil, where do I get some of that?

    • Essential oils can be found at most health food stores, and that little bottle will last a few years if kept in a cool dark spot! Other antibacterial essential oils are Rosemary and Eucalyptus.

      • Love Eucalytpus! We use it for stuffy noses 🙂

  • The simplest ingredients always do the best work!

    • I’m finding that, too–it’s refreshing. 🙂

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  • Emily Frandsen

    can you use oils with the norwex cloths or do you use a separate rag when you’re cleaning with vinegar and oils?

    • Hey Emily! I’m no expert, but I have used my homemade vinegar + tea tree oil cleaner with them and have not noticed any ill effects. Mostly, though, I just use water. Or Norwex’s cleaning paste (for ovens, etc).
      I pretty much only use Norwex cloths for cleaning–they’re just so effective!

      • Emily Frandsen

        great, thank you!

      • Holly

        Hi! Norwex doesn’t recommend using essential oils or cleaners with the cloths. The cleaning paste is a great alternative though, and it can be used with the cloths. It has a nice fresh and gentle scent to it that I happen to like quite a bit. I’m glad to see a great review of Norwex products–I just love them and they’re all I use now. Their mop is my fave for sure, and I hate mopping. haha 🙂 Hope that helps!

        • pam

          curious to know where you heard you can’t use essential oils with cloths?

          • CarlingSnell

            You can use essential oils with Norwex cloths BUT it can coat the fibers in the cloth which will cause it to smell faster and not allow the silver to breathe. The silver inhibits the growth of mold and mildew. So if you feel that you have to use essential oils (Norwex can remove 99% off of the surface) then wash your cloths and deep clean them more often. If you have more questions feel free to contact me on my site or on Facebook! 🙂