Commercial cleaning products have long been a staple in our homes, helping us maintain a clean and healthy living environment. However, over time, the formulas of these products have evolved, incorporating various synthetic chemicals and toxic solvents. These chemicals can be detrimental to our health and contribute to environmental pollution. The good news is that there's an alternative: household cleaning without harm. By using simple, natural ingredients, you can effectively clean your home while minimizing the impact on your health and the environment.
White Vinegar: A Versatile Cleaning Agent
White vinegar is a versatile natural ingredient that can be found in most kitchens. It offers several cleaning benefits:
- Cutting Grease: White vinegar is excellent at cutting through grease, making it an effective choice for cleaning kitchen surfaces and appliances.
- Removing Mildew: It's a potent mildew remover, especially in damp and humid areas.
- Odour Eliminator: White vinegar neutralizes odours, leaving your home smelling fresh.
- Stain Remover: It can also tackle some common household stains.
- Wax Build-Up Remover: When diluted with water, white vinegar can effectively remove wax build-up on floors and furniture.
Lemon: Nature's Antibacterial Ally
Lemons are not just for cooking but also effective against household bacteria. Their natural acidity helps disinfect surfaces and leave a clean, fresh scent. Lemon juice is particularly useful for cutting through grime and tackling stains. You can mix it with white vinegar or baking soda for extra cleaning power.
Baking Soda: A Gentle but Effective Cleaner
Baking soda is a gentle abrasive cleaner and deodorizer that can be used throughout your home. Here's how it can help:
- Cleans: Baking soda can effectively clean various surfaces, from countertops to sinks and even ovens.
- Deodorizes: It neutralizes odours, making it perfect for use in refrigerators and carpets.
- Scours: The gentle abrasiveness of baking soda can remove stubborn stains or build-up.
- Softens Water: When added to laundry, baking soda can help soften hard water, improving the effectiveness of your detergent.
Pure Soap: A Biodegradable Cleaning Solution
Pure soap is an unsung hero of the cleaning world. It's biodegradable and has a range of applications:
- Unscented and Biodegradable: Look for pure soap that is unscented and biodegradable, ensuring it's environmentally friendly.
- Versatility: Pure soap can clean almost anything, from dishes and laundry to floors and surfaces.
- Available in Various Forms: Pure soap is available in flakes, powders, liquid, or bar forms, making it convenient for different cleaning needs.
- Vegetable-Based Glycerin Soaps: Opt for soaps that are vegetable-based and avoid those containing petroleum distillates for an eco-friendlier choice.
Check out some easy cleaning recipes below:
Combine 1/2 teaspoon baking soda & 2 tablespoons vinegar with a dap of pure soap in a spray bottle. Slowly add 2 cups of hot tap water and shake until dissolved.
Baking soda in an open container will absorb odours in small spaces. To make a deodorizing spray, combine 1/2 cup water & 1/2 cup vodka or rubbing alcohol (optional) with 15-20 drops of essential oils of your choice.
Windows & Glass
Combine equal parts white vinegar & water in a spray bottle. Wipe with newsprint for a lint-free shine!
Carpets & Rugs
Cleaning spills - Blot or scrape as much of the spill as you can, working from the outside in. Wash immediately with one of the solutions below. Before using, test the stain remover on a hidden area of the tug to ensure it won't damage the carpet colour.
Blood stains - Sponge stain immediately with club soda or cold water. Blot dry. Repeat as necessary.
Non-oily stains - Mix together 1 teaspoon of white vinegar, 1 teaspoon of liquid detergent & 2 cups of lukewarm water. Apply to the stain with a soft brush or towel. Rub gently. Rinse with a towel dampened in clean water. Blot dry. Repeat as necessary.
Urine stains & odours - Absorb as much urine as you can with a dry towel. Next, spray the area with a solution of equal parts water & white vinegar. Let it soak into the spilled area, then absorb it with a clean, dry towel. Repeat until the area no longer smells. Dry thoroughly.
Floor cleaner - In a bucket, mix 1/2 cup of white vinegar with one gallon of hot water. Add 1/8 cup of washing soda for a stronger cleanser.
Wood floor polish - Mix 1 part vegetable oil with 1 part vinegar and apply a thin coat. Rub in well.
Ceramic tile - Mix 1/4 cup of white vinegar into 3L of water.
Mix 5 tablespoons baking soda, 4 tablespoons vinegar & 3 drops liquid soap. Apply paste inside over. Let sit overnight. You can easily wipe the grime clean the next morning. Dab a bit of soap on a sponge & wash the remaining residue away.
Add 1/2 cup of white vinegar or baking soda to your rinse cycle to soften the water and reduce static.
Mix 1 cup of olive, almond or walnut oil with 1/2 cup of white vinegar or lemon juice. Keep it in a sealed jar!
Are you curious about the ingredients in your favourite household cleaners? Check out the Environmental Working Group's Healthy Cleaning Database www.ewg.org/guides/cleaners to see how your cleaners rank.