Thursday, May 14, 2009

Chemical Free Cleaning

Our grandparents used to clean the house with good old vinegar and baking soda. Then advertisements told us that we needed a separate cleaner for each room. Our granite needs a different cleaner than the tile and stainless steel and oh no don’t clean the toilet with the same thing you are cleaning the bath with!!! Plus unless these products contain chemicals your house is just not going to be clean! This is not true!

If you have ever looked on the back of one of your cleaning products you might see a warning label that says the product is not safe for humans or animals…doesn’t make much sense to scrub our house down with something that says that on the label. Yet we all did it because commercials told us to. You don’t need to read the ingredients on the back of your cleaners…virtually all your cleaners have to go unless they say they are non-toxic. That smell you have always associated with clean is actually chemical fumes. They are VOCs (volatile organic compounds) which are petrochemicals that give off gases at room temperature…plus not so good for our earth when washed down the drain.

There are plenty of natural products on the market today. Trader Joes has an absolutely fabulous product- Cedarwood and Sage Multipurpose Cleaner. It cleans glass, mirrors, countertops, stainless steel, walls, tile, linoleum, sinks, and granite. You can also make your own cleaner. Get a spray bottle and fill it with 2 cups water, ½ cup distilled white vinegar, 1 teaspoon pure castile soap, ¾ cup hydrogen peroxide, 20 or so drops of an essential oil like lavender. You can also add tea tree oil for its antibacterial properties. In Australia it is used in hospitals as a disinfectant. In the summer you can add 10 drops of citronella oil to make your cleaning send the insects away.

I no longer use scrubbing powders. Baking soda and a little water works just as well. If you add a little vinegar it will start to fizz for extra cleaning power. Vinegar is an amazing cleaner and can be used to clean virtually everything in your home. Don’t worry the smell fades once dry.

One of the things I have always hating cleaning most is the microwave, but here is a secret I learned. If you heat one cup vinegar for one minute in the microwave all that stuff crusted inside your microwave will wipe clean with a damp cloth. I didn’t believe it, but it was seriously amazing. Vinegar and olive oil makes a great floor polish. Olive oil alone is great for leather and vinegar and water for the windows. Lemon juice is an amazing grease cutter and great for cleaning wooden cutting boards. Soda water works on carpet stains.

Whatever you are cleaning, there is something natural you can use. Next time you are buying dish detergent, laundry detergent, hand soap, etc. opt for the natural products. Your body and the earth will thank you. One more thing to think about…air fresheners. You are just spraying chemicals into the air unless you buy natural products with essential oils. Bye for now.

1 comment:

  1. This is a great article, Nat. I am on my way to get some of the suggested products. Thanks for the excellent info.
    Auntie Carole