9 Cleaning Guides to Keep Your Home Green
By: Guest Contributor, Roger Gallager
Cleaning your house doesn’t need to look like a chemical warfare. You don’t need to use the same cleaning agents that are not only harmful to your health, but are also not environment friendly. It’s a safer idea to go back to basics when it comes to fixing most common cleaning problems. Keeping your house clean usually comes with toxic fumes and hazardous components, but the good news is that you can change it.
Common household cleaning products are usually made from harmful chemicals designed specially to kill most types of bacteria. Along with this, it exposes you and your loved ones to danger and illness. According to Phillip Dickey of Washington Toxics Coalition, the most dangerous cleaning products are oven cleaners; drain cleaners, and acidic toilet bowl cleaners. These chemicals can cause severe burns in the skin, eyes, or esophagus and throat if ingested. Ingredients with higher amount of toxic include ammonia and bleach, which can produce fumes that are highly irritating to the eyes, nose and lungs and shouldn’t be used by people with lungs or heart problems. Knowing these, switching to homemade cleaning alternatives should be a no-brainer.
The list is long for these natural cleaning ingredients that you can use. An article from DMCI Leasing provides some of the most common and most effective cleaning alternatives and some tips on how to use them. And here, is an easy guide for your household cleaning projects.
Baking Soda Rules Them All
Baking Soda can be used in almost every household chore; from the kitchen to your garage. Baking soda is effective with removing stubborn stains from surfaces. Create a paste (3 parts baking soda, 1 part water) then apply and let stand before scrubbing or wiping it clean. It also helps keep odors away simply by sprinkling it to garbage bins, carpets, and even to your dog’s fur!
What to Trust with Rust
Vinegar is another versatile alternative household cleaner. The vinegar reacts to rust making it easier to dissolve off of the metal. Simply soak the metal in vinegar for few hours before scrubbing it off. You can also try to soak it for 24 hours to lessen scrubbing efforts. Another option is to use salt and lime. Simply sprinkle salt before juicing a lime over the top. Let it set for 2-3 hours before scrubbing.
Wood Furniture Cleaning
Oils work like magic. Use essential oils depending on your needs. Lemon for deodorizing, eucalyptus and tea tree for sanitizing and peppermint for purifying are some examples. Olive oil can also be used by combining it with vinegar in 2:1 ratio. Use a cloth to wipe wooden furniture rubbing off scratches, or use warm olive oil to prevent other wooden materials such as rattan from cracking. Add 1/2 cup of beeswax and 1-½ cups of olive oil to keep your wooden furniture from drying out. If you don’t want to worry about mixing, use coconut oil as an alternative.
Having Pain with Laundry Stain?
Different types of stain need different types of cleaner. White vinegar, baking soda, salt, and lemons, are the most usual eco-friendly cleaners that you can use. One example, for cleaning blood or wine stains, put salt on top of the stain while your cloth acts like a cover of a bowl, then pour hot water directly onto it.
Foul odors are not unusual with storage compartments especially with refrigerators. If you don’t always have the time to clean it, try leaving charcoals or citrus rind regularly and see how it works. Alternatively, you can use onions every now and then.
Termites and Pests
Getting rid of termites and pests is important in preserving your home. There are over 300 varieties of termites but the subterranean termites are the ones that cause 95% of the damage. You can eliminate this by crushing an Aloe plant and soaking it in water. You can then use it to spray directly onto pests or wooden materials. Orange oil is also very effective to get rid of these pests. For prevention, mix borates (commonly known as borax) with water and spray it onto doors, walls, and other wooden materials.
Cleaning glass panels can be done easily using homemade ingredients. Use ¼ cup of vinegar, 2 cups of water, and 1 tablespoon of cornstarch. Combine them all in a spray bottle and shake very well as cornstarch might settle in the bottom. Cornstarch and water can be eliminated if you prefer to do so. You can use a squeegee or an old newspaper to wipe it off. Make sure your newspaper is at least two weeks old to avoid ink transfer.
Ease with Cleaning Grease
Instead of using your dishwashing soap, you can again depend on vinegar and baking soda. Spray vinegar on surfaces and let it sit for few minutes before wiping it clean, or sprinkle baking soda on a damp sponge and use it to wipe down greased surface.
It’s Not Just for Oral Hygiene
Toothpaste has a lot of surprising tricks to offer aside from preventing cavities. Some examples of usage for toothpaste are cleaning your bathroom mirrors, bottom of your flat iron, bathroom sink and other ceramics, making your chrome shine, and even crayon on your walls. Just make sure you don’t forget to separate your cleaning toothbrush and the one you use for your mouth!
Cleaning with natural, eco-friendly alternatives are not only easy, but are cheap. You can save your family and your house from chemical exposure and improve their health in the long run. After all, creating mixtures and combining ingredients is not that complicated. All we need is an ounce of creativity.
Roger Gallager is a Daily Caller contributor. Follow him @RogerGallager.