TOXIC CLEANING INGREDIENTS
How many name brand products do you use everyday inside your home for cleaning and disinfecting? You may think it is clean by the smell left behind, but that smell may have more hidden dangers than you may think.
According to the California Protection Agency, “When cleaning products and air fresheners are used indoors, occupants are exposed to airborne chemicals, potentially leading to health risks.”
Chemicals mix together and cause a reaction in the air, which then causes a reaction inside you that may trigger asthma, rashes, eczema, allergies and other disorders reacting to cleaning product toxicity.
Lysol is a widely used household name for cleaning kitchens and bathrooms, the warning label on the back states,
“Hazards to humans and domestic animals. Causes moderate eye irritation. Avoid contact with eye, skin and clothing. Wash thoroughly after handling and before eating, drinking, chewing gum or using tobacco. If you have sensitive skin, wear rubber gloves. If contact with skin, wash area for 15-20 minutes, call poison control or doctor for treatment advice.”
CLEAN YOUR HOME NATURALLY
Natural ingredients do not come with such warning labels and there is little worry about mixing them together and creating dangerous silent toxic fumes. They do however: deodorize, absorb food odors, cut through tough greasy ovens, clean drains, remove hard water deposits or tarnish on silver and are antibacterial.
Using natural cleaning products is not only thinking green and safer for you, your family and the family dog Fido, they are also less expensive and conveniently stored in cupboards or refrigerator.
Alternative All Purpose Cleaning List:
- Vinegar – kills bacteria and is antifungal
- Baking Soda – eliminates odors, cleanser, whitens & shines
- Lemon Juice– removes tarnish on silver, hard water deposits, stain remover, bleach alternative, cuts grease, whitener, kills mold & mildew
- Olive Oil – polish and dust alternative
- Hydrogen Peroxide – disinfects, removes blood stains, stain remover
- Coarse salt – stain remover, cleanser
- Rubbing Alcohol – antibacterial
- Borax (sodium borate)– laundry booster, stain remover, cleaner, removes mold, disinfectant
- Liquid Castile Soap
- Essential Oils – add your favorite scent for cleaning or as natural air and fabric fresheners
- Plastic Spray Bottles – or you can reuse and recycle the ones you already have
Natural Air Fresheners
- For garbage disposal citrus works best. Cut up fresh lemon or orange, toss it in and turn it on, you will immediately smell the difference.
- A box of baking soda inside the refrigerator fights odors and does the same outside around the house. You don’t have to leave a whole box, a small bowl will work just as well.
- Leave fresh coffee grounds open on counter
- Pick your favorite smelling herbs or flowers, dry them out and leave in bowls around the house. They look so pretty people won’t even realize they are deodorizing as well.
Green Cleaning Formulas
Toilet Bowl Cleaner – 1 Cup Baking soda, 1 Cup vinegar, 10 drops essential oil.
Turn off flow valve to toilet & flush 1 or 2 times until water is drained. Pour in baking soda, and then slowly pour in vinegar, being sure to get vinegar to cover as much of the bowl surface as possible; add essential oil. The baking soda will react with the vinegar–this is normal! Use your toilet brush to scrub surface & remove any rings or stains. Turn water back on and flush.
Drain Cleaner – Coarse Salt, Apple Cider Vinegar, Baking Soda
For light drain cleaning, mix 1/2 cup Salt in 4 liters water, heat (but not to a boil) and pour down the drain.
For stronger cleaning, pour about 1/2 cup Baking Soda down the drain, then 1/2 cup Vinegar. The resulting chemical reaction can break fatty acids down into soap and glycerine, allowing the clog to wash down the drain.
After 15 minutes, pour in boiling water to clear residue.
Caution: only use this method with metal plumbing. Plastic pipes can melt if excess boiling water is used. Also, do not use this method after trying a commercial drain opener–the vinegar can react with the drain opener to create dangerous fumes.
Mold Remover – Hydrogen Peroxide, White Vinegar, Water
Bond recommends combining 1/2 cup hydrogen peroxide or white vinegar with 1 cup water. Spray on mold and do not rinse. She also recommends treating mold with a spray mixture of 2 tsp. tea tree oil and 2 cups water.
Glass Cleaner – Water, Vinegar, Rubbing Alcohol, Essential Oil
Ingredients • 2 cups water • 1/2 cup white or cider vinegar • 1/4 cup rubbing alcohol (70% concentration) • 1 to 2 drops of orange essential oil, which gives the solution a lovely smell (optional)
How to use: Combine ingredients and store in a spray bottle. Spray on a paper towel or soft cloth first, then on the glass. Hint: Don’t clean windows on a hot, sunny day because the solution will dry too quickly and leave lots of streaks.
Furniture Polish & Dusting – Olive Oil, Water, White Vinegar, Essential Oil
Mix 2-3 tsp Olive Oil, 2 cups water, ¼ cup vinegar and 10 drops essential oil.
Making your own green products to clean your home is thrifty and a safer alternative to expensive name brand products. Nature works just as well and even better in some cases than their toxic cohorts.