Friday, July 20, 2012

☆ Green Tip: Natural Cleaning Solutions! ☆

No one should want to or have to breathe in nasty chemicals from their home cleaners, but sadly most of us do. While you may feel like you're cleaning away dirt, stains, and muck, you're also spreading countless toxic chemicals through your home with those commercial cleaners. Not to mention the effect those have on the environment. If you have pets or children then that's another concern for their little systems. Many of those chemicals stay in our systems as well. Some are carcinogenic, others cause allergic reactions, reproductive problems, asthma and breathing problems, and a whole slew of other health problems. And don't even get me started on those those anti-bacterial cleaners and hand washes! (I'll rant and explain about those in another post ;p)
So what to do? There are plenty of eco-friendly natural cleaners on the markets, though you should still be reading labels as not all are really that great for you either and many companies like to up their "organic" level with water. Sad I know, but it's true. So be weary of greenwashing and always read labels. 
If you don't want to fork up the money on eco cleaners then there are plenty of alternatives you can make using ingredients you likely already have in your home. Affordable and convenient? Win win! 

White vinegar 
White vinegar is a superhero amongst natural cleaning products. It can replace most of the products you might use now, not to mention it's safe, completely natural, and cheap cheap cheap! If you're concerned about the smell, fear not, it disappears when it dries, if you still don't like the smell then add your favourite essential oils for a lovely aroma. 
  • As an all-purpose kitchen cleaner for counters and floors, mix 1 part white vinegar with 1 part water in a spray bottle.
  • Prevent oven buildup and shower mildew by wiping down surfaces with a cloth and vinegar.
  • Use as a natural fabric softener by adding 1/2 cup to the rinse cycle of your wash!
  • Get rid of rings in your toilet bowl by using pure vinegar.
  • Clean windows by mixing 1 part vinegar with 4 parts water in a spray bottle.

The acid in lemons is a great degreaser and cleaner, making this little lemon a cheap and powerful natural way to clean your home.
  • As a degreaser in the Kitchen: use the rind to to scrub your pots and pans, and add the juice of a lemon to your favorite dishwashing liquid to make it even more effective. 
  • Combat odors and stains: fill a spray bottle with 1 part lemon juice and 1 part water. Mist countertops and cutting boards, wait a minute or two for the mixture to work its magic then wipe away. 
  • When you're done, toss the lemon rind down the garbage disposal to fill the whole room with its uplifting aroma. 
  • Brighten your white without bleach in the Laundry Room: It may not be able to get out super strong stains like wine or grass stains, but for a normal wash of whites it will get the brightness back with a long soak in the hot water and lemon juice. 
  • In the Bathroom: the low pH of lemons make it naturally antibacterial. Add 1/2 cup of lemon juice to your toilet bowl and let it soak for ten minutes, then flush away the germs.
  • For mold and mildew: use the acidity of a lemon spray. It's also great at breaking up mineral deposits on the shower door.

Baking Soda!
Who doesn't have baking soda already at home? It works great for stubborn things like cleaning your grill and removing coffee or tea stains. It also works to spot treat wallpaper, books, and porcelain. So what else can it clean?

  • Sprinkle baking soda on a damp cloth, wipe and rinse with clean water to use on countertops, tiles and other surfaces.
  • Clean away burnt food from pots and pans by soaking the pot or pan overnight with a scoop of baking soda in hot water; the burnt food will come off easily.
  • To remove stains (from most surfaces) use baking soda paste (3 parts baking soda, one part water), apply and leave on overnight, then scrub or wipe clean.
  • Sprinkle your carpets with baking soda to remove nasty odors. Let stand for at least fifteen minutes and vacuum! 

Another easy to find item already at home and works fantastic to remove spills and stains! 
  • Remove blood and wine stains overnight by soaking in cold water and salt. 
  • Remove burnt food from pots and pans by adding salt immediately to help the burnt material come off easier. 
  • Clean your coffee pot by adding 2-3 tablespoons of salt to the pot and bring to a boil. 
  • In the bathroom, restore white enamel on sinks, bathtubs, or toilets by making a paste of turpentine mixed with salt. Apply the paste and let sit 15 minutes, then wipe with a damp sponge. 
  • Unclog a sink by mixing ½ cup salt, ½ cup baking soda, and ¼ cup cream of tartar and pour into drain. Then pour a kettle of boiling water and let sit at least two hours, then run water to clear out.

Hydrogen Peroxide
Sometimes an old-school cleaner like hydrogen peroxide is the best turn-to alternative instead of nasty bleach and bleach-based products that are also loaded with other chemicals. Hydrogen peroxide is fantastic for it's non-toxic antibacterial, fungal, mold, and mildew properties, making it great for cleaning cuts and wounds, but also a fantastic all-purpose cleaner!
All you need is a bottle of hydrogen peroxide (3% should do), a spray nozzle and you're good to go!
  • Remove stains by spraying directly on stain and allow to dry. Repeat if stain is still visible. For blood stains, apply directly on stain and allow to sit for 1 minute. Rub, then rinse with cold water.
  • Another alternative for cleaning tubs and tiles. Simple spray with a layer of hydrogen peroxide, followed by a layer of vinegar and scrub away!

What are your favourite go-to home cleaners? Or what genuinely eco brands do you use instead? 


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1 comment:

  1. Vinegar and baking soda are the best helpers in green cleaning. Thanks for sharing your tips.


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