In cleaning one’s home there are a multitude of surfaces. It is always advisable to test a small area that you want to clean to see how the surface and the product react. When spraying vinegar the same precautions should be used as with any other spray cleaner to keep it out of your eyes.
Glass: I clean with vinegar — some people dilute it 1:1 with water. If my MCS is being problematic I find putting the vinegar on the paper towel to have less of an odor than spraying it directly onto the window and then wiping it off. Vinegar does have a strong odor but it goes away as it evaporates.
Glass stove top: if it’s just spilled food, I wipe with a wet cloth with detergent or a cloth with vinegar. If there is baked on stuff — I dump some baking soda on the surface (a couple of tablespoons) and with wet a paper towel it scrubs off. Make sure to wipe with a clean wet cloth when done. To lower the toxins in your home make sure your detergent is plant-based and fragrance free and not petroleum-based. I happen to use 7 Generation Free and Clear Liquid Dish soap. I often put the “dirty” baking soda from cleaning the stove in the sink drain and follow with vinegar to clean to the drain. (refer to post drains/toilets).
I have Formica counter tops. I either wipe clean with the cloth I’ve finished using from the dishes or I spray some vinegar and wipe it off.
Showers, sinks (kitchen stainless steel–bath is porcelain), tubs I also use vinegar. My shower head, if it gets crusty with mineral deposits, I place some vinegar in a small bag and tie it on and let is set around 20 minutes. The deposits should flake off. Again vinegar is a weak acid so you may want to test it on the surface to make sure it doesn’t pit the surface. Also be careful removing the bag so that you don’t get any vinegar spilled in your eyes.
My shower curtain and liner I toss in the washer. I then hang them up and let them dry. Michellina and Kathyrn have both discussed problems with mold on their sites and both wipe down their showers with a separate towel after each use. If you’re sensitive to mold or have MCS they are both good sites to check out. My shower curtain liner is PVC free (see Dr. Weil’s site for more info on why PVC is bad.)
Vinegar should NOT be used on limestone or marble or grout and NEVER combined with bleach. I don’t know if it is “bad” for other surfaces.
If I missed something let me know. Because I have MCS I am hypersensitive sometimes even using vinegar. I can only clean with it for limited time or I’ll get a headache. However, unlike toxic cleaning products once the smell dissipates (within minutes I have no negative effects.)
MCSgal asked in the comments — what about lemon juice? I searched on-line for someone who uses this because I have not. I have also heard salt works well as an abrasive. Here is a link to a site I discovered when I did the search. Simple Homemade. I have not tried these solutions so please share if you do or you have used them. If ever I link to a site that doesn’t want the link please let me know and I will remove it.
Sonda’s site has a ton of resources about detoxifying one’s life.
Update to Sarah’s question: I have not tried these but here are some links to clean your stove naturally. Let me know if they work. How to clean an oven naturally on Mother Nature Network. Hint: if you don’t have baking soda, vinegar, or lemons yet — you might want to put them on the shopping list.
If someone has a link about cleaning non-toxic and would like me to add it let me know.
Please share any suggestions you have — especially if these methods don’t work for you — I love finding new ways that work.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any compensation from writing this post. I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I have mentioned. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.