By Guest blogger, Ashley Lipman
Most of us desire a fresh, clean home without filling our lungs with chemicals or crowding our cabinets with a myriad of plastic bottles. We prefer a healthy home that doesn’t hurt our health or the planet that we inhabit.
Here are a few solutions to achieve the clean home you and your family deserve by incorporating all-natural and easy to use cleaning tools and remedies.
Is Vinegar Natural?
Many DIY recipes incorporate the use of vinegar as an all-natural cleaning solution. Most brands of vinegar are comprised of five to 20 percent acetic acid, by volume. Vinegar is made from the fermentation of carbohydrates and sugars. However, some vinegar is derived from a petroleum base, according to the Food and Drug Administration. If you read the labels, you should be able to tell if the vinegar is purely natural by looking for the words, Made from Grain. While this is the best vinegar to use, there are plenty of natural recipes that don’t contain vinegar, are more cost-effective (and smell) better. For example, it’s easy to find methods that harness the power of essential oils to clean countertops, floors, and appliances. It’s also important to use cleaning tools that won’t pollute our planet.
4 Steps to Healthy Cleaning
1. Choosing the Best Cleaning Tools
While many brands have gotten on board by using containers that are sustainable and renewable, many have not. The landfills are witness to the shocking number of plastics in use today. Further, it is impossible to find a spray nozzle that is not plastic unless you go to a commercial sprayer made from aluminum. However, these metal nozzles will not fit most residential containers and spray too much.
Look under your sink for a spray nozzle or two that you already have on hand. Clean the nozzles thoroughly. Purchase a tall glass bottle or reuse an existing glass bottle.
Instead of paper towels that are thrown in the trash, consider reusable towels. Reusable bamboo towels, for example, cost a bit more upfront, but each one can be rinsed with warm water and reused hundreds of times. They are completely sustainable and leave no carbon footprint on the planet.
2. Using Essential Oils
Essential oils smell great while many possess antiviral and antibacterial properties. Essential oils are derived from pressed plants; they are highly concentrated and highly effective for many tasks, including cleaning. Keep in mind that essential oils can have positive health effects on the human body. For example, when you inhale essential oils, they absorb through the thin nasal walls and enter your bloodstream. Therefore, consider the essential oils scent for use in each particular room. The bedroom, for example, will have a relaxing and calming effect if you use Lavender or chamomile in your cleaning mixture. It is also crucial that you choose the purest quality oils to achieve the best results.
3. Cleaning Your Mattress Indoors
You should freshen your mattress once every month or two. Typically, beds are neglected more than any other item in the home.
To get started, remove the sheets and open the windows to let the warm sunshine in (choose a sunny day). Then, vacuum your mattress with a portable vacuum. To prepare your mixture, in a glass bottle add 2-cups of distilled water. Next, add ten drops of Tea Tree Oil (Melaleuca), ten drops of Lemon essential oil, and five drops of Peppermint oil. Shake the bottle well. Then, mist the mattress well, remembering to spray the trim work. Be sure you let the mattress dry thoroughly before replacing with a clean set of sheets.
These essential oils are antibacterial, antimicrobial, and antiseptic. Lemon and Tea Tree Oil will leave a fresh scent and will help repel and rid your bed of dust mites. The Lavender essential oil works to kill germs, but the properties of Lavender will help you relax and enjoy a more restful sleep. Peppermint is versatile. It is a natural painkiller, making any aches and pains from the day, float away.
4. Cleaning Your Soft Goods Outside
When cleaning mattresses, pillows, blankets, and rugs, your best friend is the sun. It takes 30 to 60 minutes for direct sunlight to kill bacteria and germs while removing odors and absorbing moisture. Additionally, the sun can bleach stains from pets, and spills. If possible, take your soft goods outdoors and get it clean the natural way.
Nature supplies us with everything we need to keep our homes clean and healthy. These natural solutions are robust, while their lingering scents will keep you feeling peaceful and calm. Experiment with various oils in your concoctions to find the aromas that work best for you; you’ll never go back to filling your home with chemicals again.