Eco-friendly Cleaning

So many of the cleaners currently on the market are environmentally toxic, some of them even just toxic, period! This is becoming a major concern, especially when children are involved. What is a homemaker to do? There are actually more options than one might expect where eco friendly cleaning is involved.

(When at the store, note that just because a cleaning product says that it’s environmentally friendly doesn’t make it so, and eventually, everything’s biodegradable, so that label doesn’t really mean much of anything!)

First of all, think reuse, reuse, reuse. Rags are a great substitute for paper towels, and you can use a reusable mop, such as a rag mop, instead of one with a disposable base. Try using a natural sponge instead of a disposable one.

Then, for ingredients… here are some household basics that will help you keep your home clean without destroying the environment (or poisoning your family):

  • Distilled white vinegar
  • Lemon juice
  • Baking soda
  • Plain white soap (without scents, colors, or other additives… purchase or make your own)
  • Isopropyl alcohol
  • Cornstarch

One thing to remember while cleaning just about anything is that hot water  tends to speed the cleaning process. Regular soap is a great cleanser. It needn’t just be for the body.

Clean glass using a vinegar solution or straight lemon juice. These are also both great for cutting through grease.

For light abrasive cleaning whether on the counters, in an appliance, or in the oven, add a little bit of water and some baking soda and scrub away.

In the bathroom, tea-tree oil works great on mildew, and so does vinegar. To clean the toilet, vinegar is great for around the rim detox. For inside the toilet, let lemon juice and baking soda sit, followed by a good scrub.

You can take care of a clogged toilet or a clogged drain with nothing more than vinegar and baking soda. Adding a little hot water speeds this up even more.

To clear out a nasty odor from the disposal, grind up ice cubes (to clean it) and pour some lemon juice in it (for the scent).

When it comes to stains, first of all, don’t let them sit. Not for a minute, not for a day. You’ll find, as grandmother always said, club soda is great for carpet stains, (and non-toxic!).

If that doesn’t work, let cornstarch soak it up for a bit, then follow that with a water-vinegar solution scrub.

For an anti-bacterial disinfectant, add a few drops of either tea-tree oil or lavender to water. Both are excellent antiseptic agents.

For deodorizing, baking soda works great, whether in the fridge, the pantry, or the carpet. Once you’ve taken care of odor, get rid of those chemical air fresheners. Use candles or potpourri instead, or even incense, if you’d like a nice scent.

To polish furniture or wooden floors, add olive oil to either lemon juice or vinegar and rub away for a nice shine.

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