8 all-natural cleaning hacks that will change your life

Unless you can afford to hire help regularly, cleaning is never an easy chore. Not only is it expensive, but it's a time-consuming, sweat-inducing production. Seriously, scrubbing the bathroom floor puts most of our other workouts to shame.

And not to add fuel to the fire, but the cleaning products sitting under your sink right now are most likely packed with toxins that have been linked to respiratory issues, environmental harm and, yes, even cancer, according to the EWG.

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These cleaning hacks will change your life
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These cleaning hacks will change your life

Dryer balls are the ultimate way to fight static 

Not only are dryer balls the perfect way to incorporate scents into your laundry (we love Grove's Sleep Essential Oil Blend!), but they're also incredibly effective at fighting static. 

According to Alex Crane, a product development lead at Grove, you can either attach one or two safety pins to your wool dryer balls or roll up aluminum foil to include alongside the dryer balls in your dryer. They both act as a lightning rod to help reduce the electricity building up in the dryer. 

The perfect bathtub cleaner 

Spray Grove’s Tub & Tile Cleaner on top of Bon Ami and let the mixture sit for three to five minutes to make tub cleaning easier. The miracle ingredients packed in Bon Ami act as a gentle yet effective abrasive to make your tub looking spankin' new.  

Use soaked cotton balls to block odors

Even if you think you're pretty responsible about taking out the trash, there's only so much that can be done about the pervading odors. To help mask these foul smells, Crane suggests soaking a few cotton balls in your favorite essential oils and tossing them at the bottom of your trash can. 

Use a cheesecloth to polish sterling silver 

Chu-Min Lee, who also oversees product development at Grove, let us in on one of the company's favorite and most versatile products: Cheesecloths.

Not only are the washable cloths perfect for polishing sterling silver without leaving scratches or marks, they can protect plants from getting cold, says Lee. 

Grove's customers also use the cloths as a strainer, baking, to steep tea, for cooking and for crafts.

Shop our favorite cheesecloths here.

Get rid of stains with hydrogen peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide might be the miracle solution you've been looking for. It's a great eraser when it comes to stains, but only on white clothing! 

Lemon juice also works as a great natural bleaching agent. Lay clothing doused in lemon juice outside in the sun, which will help speed up the stain-removal process. 

The best way to clean your enamel cast iron

Enamel cast irons are notoriously difficult to clean, but baking soda is a convenient and time-saving solution for the cookware. Simply mix the baking soda, which acts as an abrasive, with water, and you've got yourself an all natural and homemade solution. 

Use this homemade concoction to ward off ants 

According to Crane, peppermint oil is a great and natural way to keep those persistent ants away. Mix in 15-20 drops of peppermint essential oil with water into a 16-ounce spray bottle, and spray on surfaces where those ants are prone to showing up. 

Ants apparently hate the smell of the plant, which many say has been effective for bug control. 

Make an all-natural vegetable cleaner

Mix one part white vinegar and three parts water to create an all natural, homemade vegetable cleaner. Vinegar acts as an effective way to rid vegetables and other produce of harmful bacteria. Water helps dilute the solution, so the vinegar doesn't affect the taste of the produce! 

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And whereas it may cost an arm and a leg for safer and natural cleaning products (but why?!), there are a myriad of ways to find nontoxic cleaning brands that are not only affordable but versatile as well. We spoke with Alex Crane and Chu-Min Lee, who both oversee product development at Grove Collaborative, for their biggest household cleaning tips and tricks.

The subscription service is beloved by consumers looking for a sustainable and nontoxic lifestyle (they just launched a wellness section!) so, it's safe to say we're in safe hands. We repeat.

Scroll through above for Crane and Lee's biggest tips, from laundry hacks to bathroom tips to even pest control! 

Related: Make sure to pay special attention to these dirty spots

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18 things in your home that are covered with germs
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18 things in your home that are covered with germs

Sink: It’s where all your kitchen dirt goes (we hope). In fact, it’s home to as many as 500,000 bacteria per square inch. Spray it down often, clean out your food trap, and scrub with scouring powder like Bon Ami at least once a week.

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Cutting boards: Whether you’re chopping meat, veggies or fruit, your cutting board could be Ground Zero for foodborne illness. Prevent cross-contamination by dedicating one board to meats and another to produce. And always wash your board ASAP after using it—especially if you were working with raw meat. Researchers at UC Davis also recommend plastic cutting boards over wood, because they’re easiest to sanitize—they can go in the dishwasher. Clean a wooden cutting board with soap and warm water, dry it quickly, and seal it with butcher-block oil whenever you notice the wood is drying out.

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Countertops: All the action—chopping, mixing, drink-pouring—happens here, so of course they’re covered with little particles of everything. First off, cut the clutter to give crumbs and germs fewer places to hide. Then wipe them with a damp microfiber cloth after every meal.

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Fridge shelves and drawers: Your refrigerator is home to both raw and cooked foods, and if it’s disorganized, they probably come in contact now and then. Store raw meat in a plastic bag to serve as an extra barrier, and stop spoiled food from turning into science experiments by throwing it away as soon as you notice it. Another cool trick we use at our house: Empty and wipe down the shelves and drawers whenever you do a big grocery shop.

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Sponges: They’ve been banned from commercial kitchens—ban them from yours, too. But if you must use a sponge, rinse it with hot water after every swipe. At the end of every day, get it wet and nuke it in the microwave for a minute. Toss it after a few weeks (one week if you’re missing the daily sanitizing routine).

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Dish towels: If you rush through washing your hands, some germs may still be hanging out on them and you’ll transfer those germs to the dish towel. Change dish towels a few times a week, and wash them with hot water when you do the laundry.

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Makeup brushes: They touch your face every day, coming in contact with oils, bacteria and dead skin cells. Wash them with mild soap whenever you notice makeup buildup.

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Towels: Like dish towels, they pick up any germs left after a shower. Plus, if your bathroom has poor air circulation, towels may get musty if they stay damp too long. Wash them in hot water at least once a week.

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Tub: The equivalent of the kitchen sink for your bod, the tub takes in a lot of grime. Wipe it down with a microfiber cloth every day and get rid of mold spots with baking soda or vinegar. (Find dozens more ways to clean with baking soda here.)

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​​​Floor around the toilet: It gets splashed, plain and simple. For starters, make sure to put the lid down every time you flush. Clean up noticeable spots right away and scrub with bathroom cleaner at least once a week.

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Faucet handles: You touch these before your hands are clean. ‘Nuff said. Wipe them down with a damp microfiber cloth.

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Toothbrush holder: It’s all about gravity: Many of the germs on your toothbrush drip into the holder. Rinse it out daily—do double-duty while you’re brushing your teeth with the other hand. Then sanitize your toothbrush holder in the dishwasher (if it can take it) or give it a good scrub with soap and water.

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Electronics: Smartphones, keyboards, mice, the remote control (OK, let’s be real: 17 remote controls)—germy fingers come in contact with them all the time. In fact, the National Institutes of Health recently found that cellphones are 10 times dirtier than toilet seats. Wipe them with a damp microfiber cloth as often as possible. Don’t forget to remove any cases so you can clean underneath.

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Doorknobs, handles and light switches: Even if your hand only touches these items for a fraction of a second, that’s enough time to transfer bacteria. Once again, a quick wipe-down with a damp microfiber cloth will do.

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Shoe rack: Footwear is a huge culprit for bringing germs into your home, so it’s no surprise that their storage unit is a bacterial breeding ground. Put some elbow grease into cleaning this one and wipe it with bathroom cleaner—you never know what somebody stepped in.

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Carpets and rugs: Even if you’re using the no-shoes rule, carpets suck up every crumb, dead skin cell and germ that hits them. Vacuum weekly and spritz high-traffic areas with a carpet sanitizer. If you can toss rugs into the laundry, do it.

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Bags: Your purse holds money (super dirty!) and your kid’s lunch bag holds food (raise your hand if you ever forget to clean it out over the weekend). Follow the manufacturer’s instructions on cleaning these to keep them in the best shape.

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Toys: No matter whose toys they are—your kid’s or the dog’s—they probably spend a lot of time in somebody’s mouth. Consider what they’re made of, then clean accordingly, tossing them in the laundry, dishwasher, or wiping with a cloth.

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