Not all cleaning products are created equal – and I’m not just talking about how well they clean. Many cleaning products contain harmful chemicals proven to be carcinogens, neurotoxins, or allergens. These chemicals can cause cancer, affect the nervous system, irritate the skin, mouth, nose and eyes, or worse yet, contribute to blood disorders or liver and kidney damage. For years antibacterial soap was touted as the new miracle cure for getting rid of germs and now we know these soaps are actually helping germs become resistant, and harder to kill. Knowing all this, what’s a person to do when spring cleaning time rolls around? Do what I did and toss the store bought cleaners! Instead opt for greener ways to keep your home wonderfully clean.
To start green cleaning I put together a nontoxic cleaning kit containing the following ingredients (I’ve also included what they are best for or why I use them).
Borax (standard, environmentally-friendly, cleaning powder)
Large jug of white vinegar and a bottle of lemon juice (choose one or the other, dilute with water and put in spray bottles, this is good for stains, mildew, and grease, or as a window and mirror cleaner).
Large box of baking soda (great abrasive for counters, bathroom, and stuck on stuff, mix with a little water to form a paste and then scrub with damp cloth).
Tee tree oil (an anti-fungal, antibacterial, antiviral, anti-infection wonder oil, added to vinegar, water and a little borax in a spray bottle)
Dried herbs – Rosemary, Lavender, and Sage (put a few tablespoons of these herbs in a jar with white vinegar, let sit for a month, strain, then put equal parts mixture and water into a spray bottle, tah-dah – a cleaner that is antibacterial and antimicrobial).
A couple of large glass jars & cheesecloth (for mixing and straining the above items).
A couple recycled spray bottles (to make cleaning easier).
Now I must confess, I didn’t just start ecofriendly cleaning because of all the harmful chemicals, I also did it because it turned out to be cheaper! Why pay almost $3.00 for a bottle of bathroom cleaner when you can accomplish the same thing with baking soda, vinegar, and a little bit of elbow grease – for an equivalent total of $0.23 (the elbow grease was free). So what are you waiting for? Oh yeah….spring!