Natural detergents | The Brown Bottle
photo by

Natural detergents

Dec 5, 2016 by Sora

Have you tried natural cleaning products such as baking soda, vinegar, wheat flour or lemon instead of conventional detergents? If you thought it sounded great but are not sure when and what to use specifically, let me help you.

The principle is very simple. They can be divided widely into two categories that leave stains in daily life such as on clothes, gas cooktops, windows, bathtubs and so on. Some stains are ‘acidic stains’ that are oxidised by reactions between oil and oxygen. Other stains are called ‘alkalic stains’ and they are produced when ammonia mixes with bacteria and germs that are growing. Both can be removed easily by using the opposite characteristic substance.

For example, to remove acidic stains like sticky oily residues near gas cooktops, use baking soda or leftover alcohol that is alkali. On the other hand, for yellowish stains in the toilet bowl, citric acid or vinegar, which are acid, works effectively. Understanding the mechanism under which stains are produced makes it possible to effectively clean with only natural substances.

Here are more natural cleaning tips for you.

Baking soda

For a pot which get scorched and food stuck to the bottom, add water with baking soda and boil for 15 minutes, then wash.

To remove old stains from the dishes, pour a mixture of water and baking soda, leave overnight, and wash.


It has many uses for house cleaning. To clean the stains in the microwave, mix water and vinegar in a 4:1 ratio, and spray the inside of your microwave. Run for 3 mins and then wipe out with paper towel.

To clean the surface of a sink which is stained with detergent or oily residue, wipe with a mixture of 2 tbsp vinegar and 1 tsp salt. The vinegar swells up the stains and makes them easy to be removed. It is effective for cleaning a bathroom floor or limescale near a water tap.

For stained glass cups and wine glasses, wash with salt and vinegar, then rinse with hot water.

Baking soda and vinegar

For shirts stained with sweat, dissolve baking soda in water and soak the clothes in it for about 30 mins. For stains on a shirt collar, mix baking soda and water in a 2:1 ratio and apply on the stain. After 15 mins, add vinegar, rub, and wash as normal.


For washing cotton T-shirts or white socks, put lemon slices or juice in hot water and soak the clothes in it. It makes them whiter and deodorises them with a lemon scent.

Wheat flour

For greasy frying pans, wipe with a newspaper and wash with wheat flour.

Leftover alcohol or ethanol

If you have leftover beer, spray this on the bathroom tile surfaces and floor. It helps to protect fungal and bacterial growth between the tiles. 

Also, it can be used to clean the inside of a refrigerator. It will both clean and remove the food smell at the same time.

Salt water

Mix 1 tbsp salt in 1 litre of water and boil cotton cloths or kitchen towels. Boil them for about 20 mins for all stains including stubborn greasy residue.

When you wash color clothes, soak them in salt water for approximately 30 minutes before washing. This protects color bleaching and makes colors brighter.

Share with your loved ones