Clean Your House Without Dangerous Chemicals
Many homemade cleaning recipes and “green” products have been shown to be as effective as the commercial chemical products you have under your sink. And that is good news because the American Lung Association recommends against the use of cleaning products with volatile organic compounds, scents and other irritants.
“…to make your own cleaning products, you’ll need vinegar, baking soda, lemon juice, washing soda (Borax), olive oil and hydrogen peroxide. The latter is especially good to use on mold and mildew in bathrooms. Olive oil (or soy bean oil) makes good furniture polish.”
DIY Natural, Non-Toxic Cleaners
Ditch those expensive, toxic commercial cleaners and DIY it with these multitasking food items from right inside your cupboards!
Food items as powerful cleaners
Walnuts…rub it along any small scratches in your wood furniture. Rub your finger along the scratch to warm up the nut’s oil and help it soak into the wood, then buff with a cloth. If you’ve got a scratch in dark wood, coffee grounds can help.
Mayonnaise…If your wood is marred with water rings instead of scratches, grab a jar of mayonnaise. Spoon a small blob onto a slightly dampened cloth, dab it onto the stain, and let it sit for a few minutes. Then gently rub the mayo into the stain — the gentle part is key, aggressive mayo rubbing can mess up the furniture’s finish. Once you’ve removed the ring, wipe away any excess mayo, and buff with a soft cloth.
Like straight vinegar, mayonnaise can also be use to remove price tags (and other papery stickers) — cover the offending sticker with a layer of mayo, let it sit for a few minutes, and then scrape away the sticker.
Bananas…Toss the banana peels in the blender, and blend them with a little bit of water to make a paste. Use the paste to polish any slightly tarnished silver you have lying around (this won’t work as well with heavily tarnished pieces), then wash off the banana paste residue and dry well. Extra credit: You can also use the inside of a banana peel to shine the leaves of your dust-encrusted houseplants (follow up with a damp cloth so you don’t attract banana-loving bugs).
Beer… Solid (gemstone-free) gold jewelry can be cleaned with beer. Soak a soft cloth with beer, polish up the jewelry, and then buff with a clean dry cloth. Leftover beer can also be used to clean wood furniture. Wipe it on with a soft cloth — don’t go overboard with your pour, and make sure the beer is flat — and then then follow up with a dry cloth.
More Recipes for Chemical-Free Cleaning
There are many recipes available for effective, natural home-made cleaning products. Start with these:
DIY Floor Cleaning Recipe
1/4 cup white vinegar
1/4 cup baking soda
1 tablespoon liquid dish soap
2 gallons hot tap water
Mix & mop. No rinsing needed.
DIY Grout Cleaning Recipe
7 cups water
1/2 cup baking soda
1/3 cup ammonia (or lemon juice)
1/4 cup vinegar.
Spray on grout, leave for about 1 hour, then scrub vigorously with a scrub brush.
What to look for on the labels of “green” or “natural” store-bought cleaning products
If you don’t like the DIY option, then consider switching to one of the many new lines of natural household cleaning products available at your grocery store or health food store. The Environmental Protection Agency says to look on product labels for these factors:
» Minimizes exposure to concentrates
» No ozone depleting substances
» Recyclable packaging
» Recycled-content in packaging
» Reduced bioconcentration factor
» Reduced flammability
» Reduced or no added dyes, except when added for safety purposes
» Reduced or no added fragrances
» Reduced or no skin irritants
» Reduced or no volatile organic compounds
» Reduced packaging