Did you know that the average household typically uses and stores more than 60 hazardous products, including household cleaners, automotive products, paints, solvents and pesticides? These sometimes seemingly harmless products can threaten the health of entire households, especially our smaller members like children and pets.
Common commercial cleaners are not only expensive, but also contain many toxic chemicals, that can endanger you and your family. Their ingredients can cause various health issues – from “insignificant” skin irritations and rashes to allergies, poisoning and respiratory problems.
This is the reason that so many people are keen to use green and natural substances for everyday household cleaning chores.
Of course, you can always go for the commercially available eco-friendly formulas, but there are 7 “super-products” that can deal with all kinds of cleaning problems you can get in your home. They are inexpensive, efficient and easy to find, because in many cases they are right there in your utility cupboards.
Salt is the most common mineral on our planet. It can be found literally everywhere and it’s a substance available in every household.
Cooking salt, known as sodium chloride is crystalline or powder substance that easily dissolves any type of grease. So, instead of using chemical cleaning product to clean your oven, you can just spray the surfaces with warm water and sprinkle salt on the oily spots.
Leave it like this for a few minutes and gently rub out the stains. If you are not happy with the result, just repeat this treatment. Even the most stubborn, old grease spots can be cleaned safely and green this way. No toxic chemicals, no danger for your health.
Another great use of cooking salt is to remove grease stains from your clothes, carpets, or any other kind of textile.
This works best when the stain is fresh. When you drop an oily salad dressing on your favourite trousers (this happens to everybody at least once in their life), instead of applying commercial stain remover, put a thick layer of salt on the affected area and leave it until it sucks out the grease. After a while remove the salt and wash the garment as usual.
A lot of things are said and written about the cleaning power of this miraculous substance.
The cleaning properties of sodium bicarbonate, were known to ancient Egyptians. They used the natural substance natron (which basically mixture, consisting mainly of sodium bicarbonate and sodium carbonate decahydrate) as a soap like cleaning agent.
Baking soda is abrasive product which makes it suitable to remove all kinds of build up dirt. It is easy to clean your bathroom tiles, for instance using soda instead of chemical product.
You can use soda to remove scruff marks from walls, furniture and rugs. Even the toughest ones can be removed if you use a damp sponge and baking soda and gently rub the spot.
Soda is also a great deodoriser, it can be used as a toothpaste, to unclog the drains and many more. There are plenty of other recipes for home made cleaners with soda all around the web.
People have been making vinegar for more than 10 000 years. There is data, that Babylonians used it as a preservative and they were the first to spice it up with herbs.
It is widely used as a natural conservant, condiment and a domestic cleaning product.
You can use it when doing your laundry to restore the bright colours of any kind of textile, to whiten white clothes, to preserve linen and linen-containing fabrics.
Vinegar is great substance to clean your glassware, to clean your stainless steel appliances and to remove grease and foul odours from plastic and ordinary dishes, cooking pots and to polish your laminate floor.
Lemon is not the only healthy addition to your daily menu, it can be used also as a very efficient cleaner. Lemons have anti-bacterial properties so the juice not only cleans but sanitises as well.
You can use the peels, as well as the whole fruit or only the juice. It works great as fish, garlic and other strong smells remover. Just take a piece of lemon and rub onto the dishes and your hands before washing them.
A few cut wedges of lemon in your garbage bin and you never have to worry about the unpleasant odour. Light stains on porcelain are also easy to remove with lemon juice.
For thousands of years, people have used the natural oils in cooking, cosmetics and medicine.
Natural oils like linseed and olive oil, coconut butter, or even ordinary cooking oil can be used as natural conditioners for leather and leather items – car seats, sofa, jackets and shoes.
Put a small amount of the natural oil clean dry cloth and gently rub onto the leather surface. Leave it like this for a while and wipe the residue with clean cloth. You can add few drops of lemon juice if you want to brighten the colours of leather furniture or jacket.
Use a wool cloth if you want to make the leather look shiny and polished. You can use linseed oil or coconut butter to easily remove chewing gum from your leather car seats.
Well, this needs no explanation. Castile soap is olive based natural soap origins from the same named region in Spain. It is hypo-allergenic natural cleaner.
You can melt some soap in warm water and use this solution to wash your dishes, clean your hard floor and remove light stains from your carpets and furniture.
Also, you can use a castile soap to hand wash delicate garments and lingerie because there is virtually no risk of skin irritations or damage for the fabric.
This is probably the most environmentally-friendly way of cleaning.
Soapnuts are actually fruits, growing on bushes and small trees from the genius Sapindus, which is naturally found in warm to tropical regions.
Soapnuts contain natural saponins in their pods. There are plenty of ways to use the soapberries pods – you can just put 4-5 pods in cotton bag, or in an old sock in the washing machine and replace your laundry detergent. You can make your own cleaning solution by boiling the soapnut shells and use it to clean everything around the house – floors, countertops and dishes.
You can use the same solution as a shampoo or shower gel, because it doesn’t cause any allergies – actually soapnuts have been used as a folk remedy for number of skin conditions in Ayurvedic medicine .
It’s true, soapnuts are not something that you can find in every home but they are quite inexpensive and there are many online shops, that sell them.
In conclusion it’s clear that you do not need to use harsh chemicals that harm the environment to keep your home clean and sanitised. As you can see there are a lot of cleaning products that you can use to replace the supermarket products you usually buy.
We have been using most of these cleaning products for thousands of years with excellent results, before the era of marketing and advertisement. So before using expensive, hazardous, toxic cleaner give the natural way a chance.
On a last note:
In addition to the items we have mentioned that is one more thing to consider if you want to blitz your home without resorting to heavy chemistry. The best all round cleaner is STEAM!
So think about investing in a steam cleaner. The extremely heated water eliminates all types of microbes, bacteria, dust mites and you don’t need any detergents.
Today’s guest post was contributed by Irene D. She is a passionate writer and blogger writing extensively on eco-friendly lifestyle, home improvement tips and design and DIY ideas. Currently, Irene writes on behalf of carpet and rug cleaning providers based in Barking, London, UK.
So what do you think?
Personally, im pretty passionate about using natural products to clean my home and I’ve been using salt, vinegar, lemons and bicarb for years. What about you? Have you tried it? If so what is your favourite no toxic cleaning material?
We would love to hear your results and hear about any great tips or stories you have to share with others who want to go green, or greener. After all, what works for you might help someone else.
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