You don’t have to wait for springtime to tackle spring cleaning. Features like a fireplace or the lack of an air purification system can cause dust to build up quickly. Sadly, chemicals in household cleaners can cause severe allergic reactions. Labels that say keep out of the reach of children, should really say keep out of the reach of humans! An occasional exposure might not cause any adverse effects but regular exposure adds up to something that’s potentially toxic.
The two primary reasons people keep using harmful chemicals to treat their homes is because they don’t understand the scientific language, and no one has ever told them that any kind of danger exists. From air fresheners to furniture polishes to household disinfectants, some of these products have ingredients linked to altered brain activity such as headaches or memory loss, endocrine issues like immune system, menstrual, or other hormone-based disorders, and in extreme cases they can even cause cancer or increase the growth of existing cancers.
Get Squeaky Clean with Citrus
The best cleaning products aren’t found under the sink, but in the fridge, pantry, and your fruit bowl. The best part is that you’re using products to clean that won’t hurt either the human or animal members of your family. If it’s safe to eat, then it’s most likely safe to use as a cleaning product. Here are some examples of alternative cleaning solutions for each room of the house.
- Bathrooms – Keep porcelain tile and grout clean with a paste made from baking soda and water. Vinegar helps remove stains and mildew from showers and toilets. Put some in a spray bottle, spray on porcelain surfaces, and then scrub off with as stiff brush and water. You can use these same methods on tile and linoleum floors.
- Kitchens – Counters and stoves sometimes need a more abrasive cleaner. Use kosher salt and a wet sponge to scrub down counters, then disinfect with a mixture of 2 cups of water, 25 drops of tea tree oil, and 3 tablespoons of liquid soap in a spray bottle. Your counters will not only be clean enough to eat off of, but they’re going to smell good, too.
- Glass – You can achieve a streak-free shine by switching out your glass cleaner for a spray bottle with regular tap water and a tablespoon of white vinegar. Use newspaper or coffee filters instead of paper towels for clean, clear windows and mirrors. You can use lemon juice instead of vinegar for equally pleasing results.
- Carpets – A vacuum cleaner that has an air purifier is the best choice for pulling dust, pet hair, and other debris from carpets. But you can take rugs outside and beat the dust out of them. Club soda removes carpet stains – just soak the stain, which brings it to the surface, then blot dry with a towel. If you don’t’ have any club soda on hand, try mixing equal amounts of liquid soap and water in a blender. Once it’s well-mixed (It is going to be really foamy!) pour it in a spray bottle and spray directly onto the stained area of carpet. Then rinse with white vinegar. And finally, switch out your powdered deodorizer with baking soda or cornstarch. Just sprinkle on like normal, and vacuum after about half an hour.
- Hardwood floors – Unlike carpet, tile, or linoleum, hardwood floors need a special touch as some products will strip the finish from their surface. Just spray on a mixture of 2 parts water and 1 part vinegar, and then mop with regular water.
Green Clean Your Skin and Pets
Some people take green cleaning a step further and use organic products to clean themselves and their pets as well. Recipes for hypoallergenic shampoo and conditioner, pet deodorizer, and skin care products help reduce allergens while keeping our bodies clean and healthy. Studies show that people who use these products could even eliminate some of their allergy symptoms altogether.
Online sites dedicated to using natural treatments to combat chronic skin problems are another great resource. If you’re suffering from acne, hives, psoriasis, or some other skin condition, perhaps it’s time to look for more earth-friendly ways to not only keep your body clean, but also keep your entire house clean.
Online marketer and freelance writer Rick Mercado enjoys working from home because it gives him extra time to spend with his beautiful wife, whether they’re enjoying a quiet lunch or taking a few hours to tackle a household project together. He found the website www.mysensitiveskincare.com quite useful when researching for this article. When he isn’t working from home his favorite alternate workspace is a coffee shop near his home, and when he gets the chance to break away from work altogether he heads for adventure on Canada’s rugged eastern shore through activities like hiking and kayaking.