by Stefanie R.
With the weather warming up (at least on most days), I’ve started thinking about finally getting into the necessary spring cleaning. I’ve been procrastinating far too long, and it’s beginning to get out of hand! Some days have been to rainy and cold to open up the windows and let in the fresh air that I love so much while cleaning, other days I’ve just been plain lazy. When it warmed up a bit yesterday and the clouds finally started to clear, I decided to push myself into starting the cleaning, and it began with the kitchen. Actually, it ended with the kitchen, too, but that’s besides the point! The rest of the cleaning will be done this week and this coming weekend.
Enough of my babbling, let’s get to the point of this post. Natural cleaning. The chemicals that are found in most cleaning products, such as bleach, ammonia, artificial colors and fragrances, and others, can be very dangerous and are a threat to your indoor air quality. These are especially dangerous to pets and children because they are smaller and closer to the floor, and children are still developing. This isn’t something that is news to most of us, but how about the fact that antibacterial agents can contribute to antibiotic resistance in bacteria?
Now, onto the natural cleaning products. These are just as good for cleaning as antibacterial products full of chemicals, and do not pose health risks to us, our children, and our pets, and they are better for the environment, too!
- A lot of your household cleaning can be done with baking soda. In your bathroom and kitchen, sprinkle baking soda on non-scratch surfaces, such as countertops, sinks, cutting boards, refrigerators, and more. Scrub the surfaces with a damp cloth or sponge (remember to wash your sponges in the dishwasher with your dishes).
- This can also be used to clean out appliances. Create a paste with baking soda and water and coat the inside of the appliance with the paste. Allow to sit overnight, and scrub out the next day.
- Cleaning out your plugged up drains can also be done with baking soda. Pour 1/2 cup into the drain, and follow with 2 cups of boiling water.
- Use one cup of baking soda for a medium sized room, and sprinkle on your carpets as a deodorizer. Allow to sit for half an hour, and then vacuum.
- Mix 1/4 cup baking soda with 1 cup vinegar and pour into your toilet bowl. Let it sit for a few minutes and scrub.
- For more tips on baking soda, visit 30 baking soda tips at About Green Living.
White Vinegar or Lemon Juice
- Use for stains, mildew and grease. Spray on, and then scrub. You can use a stiff brush, if necessary.
- Use 2 tablespoons of white vinegar (or undiluted lemon juice) mixed with a gallon of water to spray your windows and mirrors. Use newspaper to wipe off, to reduce streaking.
- To clean wood floors, mix 1/4 cup white vinegar with 3 3/4 cups water. Spray onto a cloth or towel until damp, and use to wipe floors and restore shine.
- Club soda can also be used in place of vinegar or lemon juice for cleaning glass.
- Use for spills on carpets. Remove any solid matter from the spill, then pour on club soda. Blot with a rag.
Plain Old Soap
- For a chemical free disinfectant, mix together 2 cups of water, 3 tablespoons of liquid soap, and 20-30 drops of tea tree oil.
- For carpet spot cleaning, mix 1/4 cup liquid soap with 1/3 cup water in your blender until foamy. Scrub the spot, and rinse with vinegar.
Using these cleaners that most of us already have in our homes will help reduce the chemicals in your home, save you money, and reduce your trash output. Off I go to continue my spring cleaning!