Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Top 5 Basics for Non-Toxic Cleaning In Your Home

Cleaning our homes is important.  Learning to clean our homes in a non-toxic way is just as equally important.  We do not need to spray our homes down with a bunch of chemicals we can't even pronounce nor do we need to spend a ton of money on the latest and greatest new trendy cleaners.  We just need to head to our pantries and mix up a batch of all natural ingredients that can work just as well if not better than the chemical counterparts you find on the store shelves.  Here are my top 5 favorite all natural cleaning ingredients and some of the things they can be used for.

  • Baking Soda:  The uses for baking soda seem almost endless.  This can be used as a basic cleaner for just about anything.  With just a tablespoon of baking soda and a few drops of water you can create a paste that can be one of the most effective cleansers around.  Baking soda also neutralizes acid-based odors in water.  It can be used as a gentle non abrasive cleanser for kitchen counter tops, sinks, ovens, bathtubs and even fiberglass.  It is a very effective air freshener especially for the refrigerator.  It is also an amazing carpet deodorizer.  It can even eliminate perspiration and other odors from your laundry if you add up to a cup of baking soda  per load of  laundry.  It is truly a gem of an all natural cleanser and a must have for non-toxic house cleaning. 
  •  Washing Soda:  A close relative to baking soda, washing soda is a little more potent.  You should wear gloves when using washing soda because it is caustic.  It releases no harmful fumes and is far safer than its chemical solvent counterparts.  Washing soda cuts grease, washes petroleum oil, can remove wax or lip stick and can neutralize odors in much the same way as baking soda can.  It should not be used on fiberglass, aluminium or waxed floors.
  • Vinegar:  Vinegar is very acidic and can be used in numerous house cleaning applications.  Using a 5% based formula of vinegar and water you can clean counter tops, windows, cutting boards, wood surfaces and much more.  The acid can remove gummy build up, tarnish and remove dirt build up from wood surfaces.  Vinegar and baking soda combined make a great garbage disposal and kitchen sink cleanser.  Just mix equal parts of baking soda and vinegar together and pour into garbage disposal or sink drain.  Let is sit in the garbage disposal or drain until it is done fizzing and run warm water through the drain or garbage disposal for a nice and clean stinky free kitchen sink.
  • Corn Starch:  This little gem can be used to clean windows, polish furniture and shampoo your rugs and carpets.  For grease spots on carpet, sprinkle cornstarch on the affected area and wait 15-30 minutes before vacuuming.  
  • Essential Oils:   Essential oils can be used as great disinfectants and mold killers.  There are many essential oils that are great for these purposes including lavender, clove,tea tree oil and grape seed extract that are very antiseptic.  Use one teaspoon of essential oil to 2 cups of water in a spray bottle and spray whatever area you need to disinfect and wipe down with a damp cloth.

Cleaning your home the non-toxic way not only can save you some money but you can rest well knowing you haven't subjected yourself to a million chemicals that you can't pronounce and that might not be safe for you and your family.  As with any type of cleaning material make sure you label your mixtures and bottles carefully and make sure to keep out of reach of children.  I hope this list has been helpful and has given you some ideas on how to clean your home in a more non-toxic way.  If you have any great natural cleaning tips or recipes please feel free to share in the comments section.        

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