Green Recipes for Household Cleaners
Recently I purchased a ‘daily deal’ on one of the uber-trendy sites only to find that my to good to be true deal was, in fact, just that. The ‘eco-friendly’ cleaning service showed up with toxic chemicals to clean our home. When I questioned (the new employee who’d only been hired a week ago), she replied that she didn’t have time to stop by the office to pick up the healthier cleaners. Huh? Even after offering my green varieties to her, it was a downhill slope from there and after our four hours of guaranteed cleaning, I had two shiny, albeit, toxic smelling, commodes to show for it. Clearly, the company was not prepared and hence, was not properly staffed. In life, we must all be careful of these types of ‘deals’ and more often than not – as we have all experienced at one time or another in life – there is often a high price for a good deal!
This applies to many store bought household cleaning products. Although you can purchase nontoxic products at most supermarkets today, you’ll want to be equipped with the knowledge of which brands are merely ‘green washing’ their claims; those that are toxic (and perhaps the best deal) and choose only those name brands who can be trusted. Our friends at EWG (the Environmental Working Group), have recently debuted a preview of their Cleaners Database 2012 which reviewed over 2,000 products and 200 brands for health and safety. You can get a pocket guide of the eight products to avoid HERE by supporting their work. Additionally, you can find out what products made their Hall of Shame (is your cleaner on the list?). In the meantime, here are some tried and true non-toxic recipes that are truly a good deal:
Soft scrub – Add enough dishwashing liquid (dye-free, fragrance-free if possible) to ½ cup baking soda. Stir until it forms a paste. Perfect for tubs, tiles and toilets.
Fabric softener – Pour ¼ cup white vinegar into the final rinse cycle. Caution: Do not use vinegar if you use bleach.
Glass cleaner – Add ¼ teaspoon of natural dishwashing liquid and 3 tablespoons white vinegar to 2 cups water in a spray bottle. Just shake, spray and dry. Recycle old newspapers to dry for a streak-free shine. Caution: Wear gloves when using newspaper so you do not stain your hands.
All-purpose spray cleaner – Combine ½ teaspoon washing soda, a dab of liquid soap and 2 cups hot water in a spray bottle, then shake.
Furniture polish – Mix ½ teaspoon oil, such as olive or jojoba, with ¼ cup white vinegar or lemon juice in a glass jar. Dab solution with a cloth and wipe wood surfaces.
Air fresheners – Visit HERE.
Disinfectant – Add 1 teaspoon of essential oil, such as clove or tea tree, to 2 cups of water in a spray bottle; or add 20 drops of grapefruit seed extract to 1 quart water.
Oven Cleaner: Sprinkle baking soda over the bottom of the oven. Spray with water. Let sit for 8 hours. Next, scrub and rinse clean.
Drain cleaner – To open clogs, pour ½ cup baking soda down drain, then pour ½ cup white vinegar and cover the drain. Caution: Do not use this method after trying a commercial drain opener.
Silver Polish – Use a natural toothpaste; preferably one without baking soda so it will not scratch your silver. Just rub, rinse and dry!
Do you want to learn how to be green at home? Try these non-toxic recipes for everyday household cleaning products.