Choosing environmentally friendly cleaning products and removing toxic ones goes a long way towards ensuring your home is filled with fresh, clean air. Living in a less toxic home can improve your sleep and concentration, help the environment and bring you piece of mind. Plus, with these helpful tips, not only can you save the planet; you can also save some serious money too.
All you need is a few basic ingredients:
Baking soda is made from soda ash, and is slightly alkaline (its pH is around 8.1; 7 is neutral). It neutralizes acid-based odors in water and adsorbs odors from the air. Sprinkle it on a damp sponge and use it as a gentle non-abrasive cleanser for kitchen counter tops, sinks, bathtubs, ovens, and fiberglass. It will eliminate odors and even neutralize the smell of many chemicals if you add it to the laundry. It is also a useful air freshener and a good carpet deodorizer. Plus, it’s very inexpensive.
White Vinegar and Lemon Juice
White vinegar and lemon juice are acidic so they neutralize alkaline substances such as scale from hard water. They also kill mold, germs, and bacteria. Acids dissolve gummy buildup, eat away tarnish and remove dirt from wood surfaces. Each ingredient costs about $2.00.
Here is a list of non toxic solutions for specific jobs. Keep this handy list on hand when it’s time to do your “green cleaning”:
- Combine equal parts white vinegar and water in a spray bottle. Clean with rags, paper towels, or newspaper.
- House Plants – The all natural air freshener!
- Boil and then simmer a few sections of a citrus fruit or cinnamon or cloves in a pot with water for an hour.
- Add drop or two of your favorite essential oil on the inside of your toilet paper roll. Each spin will release a fresh scent to your bathroom.
- Combine 1 tsp lemon oil and 1 cup vegetable oil. Apply with clean dry cloth.
All Purpose Cleaners
- Vinegar and salt mixed together make a good surface cleaner.
- Baking soda (4 Tbsp) and warm water (1 quart/liter) is a good general cleaner.
- Baking soda on a damp sponge. This will clean and deodorize all kitchen and bathroom surfaces.
- Mix 3 Tbsp white vinegar, 1 tsp vegetable oil soap (such as Murphy’s Oil Soap), and 3 cups hot water. Use from a bucket or a spray bottle. Use and wipe clean.
- Use dry table salt or baking soda with a damp sponge to scour and then rinse.
- Sprinkle baking soda into the toilet. Next add vinegar and then scrub with brush. This will clean and deodorize.
Drain Cleaner and Freshener for Disposal Drains
- Pour 1/2 cup baking soda down the drain. Then pour in 1 cup of vinegar. Let the mixture foam for a few minutes. Then flush with a gallon of boiling water. Lastly if you have a disposal, finish up with some ice cubes to sharpen the blades and old citrus rinds to freshen up.
- Soak pots and pans in warm water and a couple teaspoons of baking soda in the water. Then clean normally with liquid dish soap.
- Stain remover: soak the stain with club soda and blot until the stain is removed.
- Dog/Cat Urine on Carpet: use towel to absorb as much as possible. Wash using warm water and liquid dish soap. Rinse with 1/4 cup vinegar in 2 cups warm water. Soak up with towels and apply pressure to absorb as much moisture as possible. Leave towels in place for a few hours. Then remove towels and allow to dry completely. A fan can be used to speed up the process.
- To Freshen Carpets: mix 2 cups baking soda with 30 drops of lavender essential oil in bowl. Make sure any clumps are broken up and mixed well. Next, before vacuuming, sprinkle this mixture from a shaker type container. Let stand for 15 minutes. Then vacuum.
- Mix: 1 cup vinegar, 1 Tbsp vegetable oil based soap, and 2 gallons of hot water. Use with a mop.
- Combine these to your laundry: white vinegar (1/2-1 cup), and/or baking soda (1/2 cup).
Removing Sticky Labels and Adhesives
- Use vinegar. Be sure to soak as much as necessary to loosen first. Only use this on surfaces that are washable.