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What Do Coffee, Baking Soda, Vinegar, and Hydrogen Peroxide Have in Common?

green home cleaning

These things may sound unrelated, but each of these items can be used to keep a home smelling fresh without the chemical smell we’ve come to associate with cleaning.

Home cleaning products that have a strong chemical smell or have added fragrance can be dangerous for your health. According to testing conducted by the University of Washington in Seattle, many cleaning and freshening products on the market contain VOCs – volatile organic compounds. These compounds can be considered toxic or hazardous by US federal law

The study team tested 25 common products, including air fresheners, all-purpose cleaners, dish detergents, dryer sheets, fabric softeners, and laundry detergents.


You can get your home clean without using store bought products that release VOCs. In fact, you want to give this a try if you have family members with allergies and chemical sensitivities.

Baking Soda

Baking soda can help eliminate odors in the refrigerator and the garbage disposal for starters. Arm and Hammer has some great ideas for cleaning your home with baking soda. 

  • Place baking soda in a small bowl or open container at put the bowl inside at the back of your fridge. Replace every 10 -14 days.
  • Use baking soda in the garbage disposal. Place several spoonfuls of baking soda into the disposal. Run the disposal.


If you love the smell of freshly brewed coffee, how about using freshly ground coffee to freshen up the smell in closets and tight spaces?  Fill a sock or muslin bag with a great smelling ground coffee and then hang the sock/bag in a closet. It will help eliminate that odd stale air smell.

Hydrogen Peroxide

Spray and wipe down grout and countertop crevices with 3% Hydrogen Peroxide to get rid of mildew. Hydrogen Peroxide is inexpensive and can be found at drug stores and grocery stores. This is the same ingredient used in many teeth whitening products, so make sure you aren’t wearing your favorite shirt when you apply this.

White Vinegar

This is your workhorse alternative to store bought cleaning products. Vinegar can kill bacteria and it’s what many of our grandparents and great grandparent used to get their homes clean. This article from the Better Homes & Gardens website outlines numerous ways to use white vinegar to remove dirty messes and smells.

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