Making your cleaning products at home is not just a new fad that has come with the green movement. It is actually how people cleaned their homes before commercially made products were created. While commercial products are convenient, many come with their share of concerns for the environment and your health. The Sierra Club reports that concerns include ingredients that are carcinogens and reproductive disrupters and the increased risk of asthma. This is why many organizations, such as the Sierra Club, promote making your own green cleaning products because they are safer for you and the environment.
Many of the standard green cleaning homemade products involve mixing the same ingredients. These include washing soda, borax, lemon, baking soda, liquid Castile (a vegetable oil) soap, essential oils, hydrogen peroxide and white vinegar. Keep these items on hand, and you’ll usually be able to mix up a new cleaning product in a few minutes.
Mix equal parts white vinegar and water into a spray bottle to use to clean most any surface. This works well on counters, windows and floors. However, the Sierra Club does warn against using vinegar on marble surfaces.
There are many recipes for homemade laundry detergent. The easiest to make and store are the powdered versions. For this, mix two parts grated Ivory, Fels Naptha or homemade soap, one part borax and one part washing soda (a powder found in the laundry aisle). Put this in a blender to make a fine power. As for how much to put into a load of laundry, you’ll have to experiment. This can vary from a few teaspoons to a cup, depending on your water hardness. Also, put about 1/2 cup hydrogen peroxide into the wash to brighten whites and remove stains. This eliminates the need for bleach.
Use baking soda instead of chemical sprays to remove smells from your home. Just sprinkle some on the carpets or even tile and laminate wood floors. Let it sit for 30 to 60 minutes, and then vacuum. This will absorb regular pet and other odors that build up from daily activities. If you want to add fragrance to your home while cleaning, add a drop or two of your favorite essential oil to any of your homemade cleaning products.
Using Green Cleaners
To keep with the environmentally friendly cleaning goal, use rags or other clothes to wipe counters and windows. This way you are not contributing to the demand for trees and other resources needed to make paper towels. Another green option is to wipe windows with newspaper from your recycle bin.
- floor cleaning #3 image by stassad from Fotolia.com