One thing that most commercial household cleaners have in common is this: they smell great. After using many of these cleaners, a home-owner just ‘knows' the house is clean. The problem with this is that many of these cleaners, and their odours, are loaded with harsh chemicals which are harmful to the environment and to the people themselves. Finding natural homemade cleaning products is high on many peoples list.
Although the U.S.' Environmental Protection Agency has long been accused of being lax on the topic, other organizations such as the Environmental Working Group (EWG) has undertaken extensive studies into commercially available, traditional cleaning products and the effects their harmful chemicals have on everything and everyone.
Add to this the world-wide awakening to seeking eco-friendly and safer alternatives, and homeowners are now searching for a natural alternative, green cleaning products to use around their home.
The good news is that many of these natural cleaning products can be using readily available natural ingredients, many of which you might already have in your home. Here is a list of products we will be using to create our natural homemade cleaning products.
Natural Homemade Cleaning Products Ingredients
- White Vinegar
- Hydrogen Peroxide (3%)
- Lemon Juice
- Essential Oils
- Baking Soda
- Washing Soda
- Olive Oil
Let's take a look at how we replace some of the more common household cleaners with eco-friendly cleaning products.
Glass Cleaner: Windex or similar products
Commercially available glass cleaners contain toxic chemicals including butyl cellosolve, a carcinogen which is harmful to people and not safe in any quantify. To make our own version from natural products, mix 1 tablespoon of cornstarch in 4 cups of warm water. Shake to disolve and then add 1/4 cup of white vinegar. Use a spray bottle, and this will clean just about anything.
Never use vinegar on stone, pearls, ceramics, computers or phones. And never mix vinegar with bleach, unless you're trying to create a toxic gas.
While paper towels work, microfiber cloths (or similar soft cloth) are better at achieving a lint-free clean glass surface.
Toilet Bowl Cleaner
Many commercial products toilet bowl cleaners contain phosphoric acid and sulfates and are highly corrosive. Since they flush directly down the drain, they immediately contaminate groundwater and soil, and very toxic to plants and wildlife.
For a toilet bowl cleaner which is less harmful to the environment, mix 1/2 cup baking soda with a 1/2 cup vinegar (white, distilled) and pour it into the toilet bowl. Watch it fizz and after 30 minutes, scrub the bowl and flush.
For tougher stains, mix 1/2 cup Borax with a gallon of HOT water, and use that to scrub the bowl. To battle a life-time accumulations of stains, sprinkle a cup of Borax around the bowl, spray with 1/2 cup of vinegar and allow to sit overnight. Scrub and flush the next morning.
Commercially sold, lemon-scented furniture polish is deceptively harmful to both people and the environment. Awarded and “F” by the Environmental Work Group for its dangerous hazardous chemicals which include kerosene, mineral spirits and petroleum gases. It is a threat to soil, waterways and organic matter.
Yet a more natural solution is readily available. Mix equal parts of olive oil and vinegar, and add a few drops of essential oil for a fresh scent, and you've got an excellent furniture polish. Mix in small batches, only as much as you need. Great for your furniture and hardwood floors.
Air fresheners in spray bottles are often called “Cancer in a bottle”. These products are some of the most dangerous of all of the ones mentioned here. On this, even the normally lax EPA agrees.
Thats because most of these contain things like formaldehyde, petrochemicals and other polutants. According to research, the global air-freshener market is expected to reach 12 BILLION dollars in 2023.
Thankfully, essential oil diffusers are a great alternative to this toxic mess of synthetic fragrances. You can even create your own clean scent spray by mixing 30 drops of essential oil into a half cup of distilled water.
The next time you do laundry, consider this: a 2008 study by the University of Washington found that most laundry detergents contain dozens of toxins. Making your own laundry detergent is fairly simple.
Grate a bar of soap, and mix the shavings with 2 cups of Borax and 2 cups of Washing Soda (both readily available in stores or from Amazon). You can add a half-cup of Oxi-clean for extra power to remove stubborn stains. As you only need 1 or 2 tablespoons per load, this home-made mix will last for months.
Used occasionally, and in well ventilated spaces, bleach is not particularly harmful. But avoid using it daily. Bleach added to your washing machine, is a great laundry whitener. It is also an excellent disinfectant. These days, with increases cases of respiratory issues among people, you might wish to avoid the use of bleach altogether.
Readily available, household strength Hydrogen Peroxide (3%) is a good alternative to bleach. You can mix 1 cup of this into a gallon of hot water and clean/disinfect floors. The uses for Hydrogen Peroxide are countless, and much safer than bleach.
Kitchen and Bathroom Cleaner Alternative
Cream cleaners are popular for cleaning soap scum out of anything from the kitchen sink to bathroom tile and more. But commercially available cleaning agent like Soft Scrub is notoriously unhealthy for people and the environment. Yet its not difficult to make your own multipurpose cleaner by mixing baking soda, liquid castile soap and vegetable glycerin. (These last two items are readily available on amazon). The result is a natural cleaning solution based heavily on vegetable oils, and great for all your general cleaning needs.
We hope you found this information helpful. Whether spring cleaning your home, or anytime, consider replacing the commercially available toxic cleaners with one of these natural alternatives.
About the PublisherBo Kauffmann is a residential real estate agent with over 18 yrs experience in helping buyers and sellers achieve their goals. Inducted into the REMAX Hall of Fame in 2010 and receiving the REMAX Lifetime Achievement Award in 2019, Bo has sold over 500 houses and condos in the Greater Winnipeg market. He is an accredited buyer representative (A.B.R.) and a Luxury Home Marketing Specialist. Bo provides exceptional service to First-Time Home-Buyers, Seniors looking to downsize and Home Sellers of all ages. He can be reached easily By E-Mail or call/text him Call/Text Here
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