Cleaning without chemicals

Many consumers want to avoid harsh chemicals in their household cleaning products, using natural options instead.  In Cayman, there are several local and regional plant-based ingredients that can be used as healthy alternatives.

The following tips, using citrus fruits, coffee, and coconut oil, should help keep your home sparkling, smelling sweet and could save you money too:

Coconut oil

Coconut oil and other coconut by-products have
become hot commodities recently, being used in cleaning as well as
beauty products.

Simply rub coconut oil onto the surface of the
bath, or shower, with a damp washcloth and rinse thoroughly with warm
water to get it clean and shiny.

To remove labels, mix one part
coconut oil with one part baking soda, apply and let sit for a few
minutes before attempting to peel off. This will avoid sticky residue
being left behind.

Cast iron pots and pans require seasoning to
avoid food sticking and to stop them rusting. Coconut oil does this job.
Simply coat the entire inside of the pan, put upside down into an oven
preheated to 350 Fahrenheit, with foil underneath to catch drips, and
heat for 30 to 60 minutes before cooling.


Not only do locally grown citrus fruits smell refreshing, but their antibacterial properties make them perfect cleaning agents. Lemon and lime, in particular, are used in a number of ways in cleaning routines.

For example, greasy spots on copper, brass and stainless steel can be erased by cutting a lemon in half, dipping it in salt and rubbing on the area affected. This technique also works on hard-water stains, soap residue, coffee and tea marks in mugs as well as to clean cutting boards.

Garbage disposals can get grimy and smelly so chopping up citrus peel and grinding it in the disposal will deodorize the drain and keep your kitchen nice and fragrant.

Citrus peel and vinegar can also do wonders for windows. Fill a jar with peel and pour undiluted white vinegar over it. Leave for up to two weeks before straining. Dilute in order to clean windows, floors and surfaces.

To fill your house with a delicious and fresh scent, simmer a pot of water with a sliced lemon, two tablespoons of rosemary and a dash of vanilla. A sliced lime and a piece of chopped ginger root works just as well.



Jamaica, Cayman’s near-neighbor, is a country famous for its coffee, with Blue Mountain being one of the top brands in the world, and High Mountain favored as another popular brew.
Leftovers of ground coffee can be used for cleaning, thanks to the substance’s abrasive yet soft texture.

A small amount of ground coffee on a dishrag can help dislodge food that has stuck and dried. Simply rub the grounds on pots, pans or dishes to get rid of the food or eliminate grease. While this will not damage most pans, do not attempt on non-stick pans, as it will affect their special coating. 

The rough texture of the ground coffee also comes in useful when boiled in water and used to flush out sink drains.

Additionally, ground coffee can absorb bad smells. Place some at the bottom of your garbage bag, or on the bottom shelf of your fridge, in order to absorb unwanted odors.

The odor-removing qualities of coffee work well on your hands too. After cooking with pungent ingredients, rub some grounds into your hands and rinse.