Everything from common dish soap used in the kitchen to laundry detergent or floor polish and bathroom milder removers, cause pollution. Not just when we use these products full of toxins in our homes (polluting the air with their toxic chemicals), but also when they are manufactured and transported to the stores.
Cleaning products pollute our water supply when they’re washed down the drain. They end up in our lakes, rives and oceans having a negative effect on our health as well as the health of nearby wildlife.
According to data published by the Western Regional Pollution Prevention Network, six of every 100 janitorial workers injured on the job each year are hurt by the cleaning chemicals they use.
Some of the products we already have in our fridge can be easily and efficiently used as natural cleaners. For ex:
- Baking soda can be used to scrub surfaces in much the same way as commercial abrasive cleansers. Baking soda is also great deodorizer: place a box in the refrigerator and freezer to absorb odors and/or before you vacuum, sprinkle it on your carpet.
- Lemon Juice. The acid in lemon juice neutralizes hard water deposits, dissolves buildup and dirt on wood, and tarnish on silver.
- Grapefruit seed extract and essential oils such as lavender, clove, and tea tree oil have antiseptic properties and operate as natural fungicides.
Sometimes choosing eco-friendly cleaning products are a more expensive option, so here is a better tip for the environment and your pocket: make them yourself. I make my own, and by having five dogs in the house, I want to make sure I get rid of bacteria and odors! These are some recipes that I tried and approved:
All-Purpose Cleaner: Mix 1/2 cup vinegar and 1/4 cup baking soda (or 2 teaspoons borax) into 1/2 gallon (2 liters) water. Store and keep. Use for removal of water deposit stains on shower stall panels, bathroom chrome fixtures, windows, bathroom mirrors, etc. Another alternative is microfiber cloths which lift off dirt, grease and dust without the need for cleaning chemicals, because they are formulated to penetrate and trap dirt. I also mix around 5 drops of lavender (or tea tree) essential oil by the time I’m cleaning in each liter of these mix to leave a nice smell…
Mold Killer: Combine 2 teaspoons of tea tree oil in 2 cups of water in a spray bottle. Shake to blend. Spray on mold and don’t rinse.
No-streak glass cleaner for sparkling mirrors and windows: combine 1/4 cup undiluted white vinegar, 1 tbsp cornstarch, and 1 quart warm water. Divide into spray bottles. For a lint-free shine, wipe dry with a sheet of crumpled newspaper or a coffee filter.
Tub and tile cleaner recipe: 1 2/3 cups baking soda, 1/2 cup liquid soap, 2 tablespoons vinegar, 1/2 cup water, a few drops of Tea tree essential oil. Mix soda and soap. Add water, vinegar and oil. Store in a squirt-top bottle and shake before using. Rinse thoroughly to avoid leaving a residue.
Have a GREEN cleaning time!