And I’m not talking about just straightening out messy piles of paper, but about actually cleaning the space you’re in—like your computer keyboard or communal microwave. But if you’re like me and don’t like using chemicals, what should you do?
Usually, I use white vinegar or lemon juice to clean everything—at home and at work. When I did some research to back up my theory, I found that a lot of people do the same thing. But, I also found some other au naturel methods people use to spruce up their surroundings, and you can, too.
My grandma believes vinegar can clean anything, and I think she’s right. If you’re lucky enough to have a window in your office, you might as well make sure you can see out of it, right? Enter vinegar.
However, the Mother Nature Network suggests lemon juice to clean windows, so you can see which you like best—vinegar or lemon juice. Business 2 Community also suggests using vinegar to brighten up metal office supplies, like scissors. Easy, right?
2. Computer Keyboard
The other day, I saw a co-worker using a Lysol wipe to clean his keyboard. I’ve done it, too, but what about when you just want to dust it off without liquid?
After all, I sometimes get paranoid that the liquid will somehow destroy my hard drive! I decided to get a blush brush from the local dollar store and used that.
Plus, it’s easy to store in my desk drawer, as well as bring along when I travel with my laptop. How-To Geek suggests using alcohol and a cotton swab or Q-tip to get rid of keyboard grime and germs. They recommend isopropyl alcohol (not ethyl) that’s about 60 percent alcohol or more.
You can also use a pencil eraser to clean dirty computer keys, How-To Geek says, as long as the eraser shavings don’t get under the keys. (I tried this and it was tricky, so I’d opt for the Q-tip method first!)
I don’t use microwaves, but I recently saw a friend using chemical-laden wipes to clean his out and I thought, ewww. Then he is going to heat things up in it and eat those things?! No thank you!
I told him there must be a better, non-chemical way, and I found one. The Mother Nature Network suggests adding a couple tablespoons of lemon juice to a cup of water (about ¾ full), then heating it to boiling.
They say to leave it in the microwave for about 10 minutes. When you open it, it’ll be steamy and smell nice and lemony and then all you need to do is use a cloth to wipe it clean.
This option sounds WAY better, safer, and more pleasant-smelling! I watched my friend do it and the entire room smelled wonderful.
Here at Simplemost, we’ve talked about the pros of lemon juice, lemon water, and lemons before. Obviously, we’re BIG fans. If you want clean counters at work without inhaling chemical fumes, look no further than a spray bottle full of water—and add some lemon juice, says my mom.
The DIY Network says you can even cut a lemon in half and squeeze the juice on the counter, particularly onto stains. You can let it set in, have the acid work its magic, then rinse with water. If you don’t have a lemon handy, bottled lemon juice will do the trick, too.
5. Garbage Disposal
Is there an unusual scent in your office kitchen? It may be coming from the garbage disposal. After using a lemon in your water (which is super healthy, as we’ve written about), put the peels in the disposal and your kitchen should smell way better in no time! My friend taught me this trick and it works wonderfully.
6. Air Fresheners
Or, like my mom prefers, put some cloves into an orange and watch every desk passerby love the smell and ask what it is. Organic.org also has a great way to make Pomander Balls, with oranges, cloves, and a variety of spices, like cinnamon and nutmeg. Yum.
Photo by Vitamin C9000