Tips for Choosing Natural Cleaning Products and Making Your Own Cleaning Solutions
Signs of new life and renewal are slowly starting to arrive this month. After a long winter with lots of white snow, many of us are eager to get outside, enjoy the increased daylight, and take in all the new, fresh sights and smells of spring. For many of us, it is also a time to open up our windows and get our homes back into shape. You guessed it… time for spring cleaning!
Before you head out to the store to pick up your cleaning supplies, make sure you know what you are buying. Many cleaning products are filled with toxic chemicals that can cause or increase respiratory issues, cause headaches, burn skin and clog the natural detoxification pathways in the body. Combining chemicals, especially bleach and ammonia is particularly dangerous. Even some air fresheners have formaldehyde, which is an irritant to your lungs and mucus membranes, in addition to being a carcinogen. Unfortunately, there are no regulations on what has to be listed on the labels of cleaning supplies, so it’s hard to know for sure exactly what each product contains. The good news is that you have choices.
In order to make sure you protect yourself and your family, consider buying natural cleaning products or making your own cleaning solutions at home. If you plan to purchase supplies, we there are many natural cleaning supply companies available. Two of our favorites include Citra Solv and Seventh Generation. Neither of these companies use toxic chemicals, and they both are committed to preserving the health of consumers, as well as the environment. All ingredients are listed on their labels, as well as on their company websites.
If you want to make your own supplies, the three staples of natural cleaning are white vinegar, lemon, and baking soda. Here are some tips for making different cleaners:
- Mix equal parts water and vinegar in a spray bottle for an all-purpose cleaner. It cleans, disinfects, and deodorizes most spaces. Do not use this on marble, as it can cause discoloration.
- Straight vinegar can also be used in toilets, tubs, and sinks, and you can add half a cup during the rinse cycle in your washer, in place of fabric softener. Vinegar is also a good glass cleaner.
- Lemon juice dissolves soap scum and is great deodorizer.
- Lemon can be used to polish silver and shine brass.
- Mix half a cup of lemon juice with a cup of olive oil for a handy furniture polish.
- Put whole lemon peels through your garbage disposal for a fresh scent that lasts.
- Baking soda is a great replacement for non-abrasive scrubbing powders.
- Mix baking soda with half a cup of lemon juice or vinegar to make a strong, natural cleaning paste.
Spring cleaning doesn’t have to be hazardous to your health. With choices for natural
cleaners at the store and the option of making your own cleaning products, you can feel confident knowing that your clean home is also a safe home for you and your family.
Next time we will talk about planning for your garden, and offer a fun poem for Plant a Flower Day!