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» Clean Your Home with Natural Cleansers

How Did I Do It? > Home & Garden > Clean Your Home with Natural Cleansers
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Many commercial home cleaning products contain harmful chemicals. Why not try using mroe natural alternatives?
Many commercial home cleaning products contain harmful chemicals. Why not try using mroe natural alternatives?
We all use them; commercial cleaning products intended to get dirt, grime, stains, mould and other stuff off our floors, counter tops, bathroom fixtures, etc.

But, have you ever read the warning labels on some of these cleansers?

"Use only in a well-ventilated area"

"Can cause severe burn if skin contact occurs"

"May be harmful or fatal if swallowed"

Warnings like these are so common they often go unread. But if your cleansers have these kinds of chemicals and health threatening effects, just imagine what they do to our environment!

From mining to manufacturing, use in your home and finally, disposal down the drain or into the garbage, these products are so eco-unfriendly that you should consider a few more natural alternatives.

Natural cleansers include mixes that use common, inexpensive household items such as baking soda, white distilled vinegar, lemon juice and oil soaps. You can mix them yourself, so while helping maintain our Earth’s environment and making your home a healthier place to live you’ll also be saving money!

Today, you can also find many natural cleansers on the market, so be sure to read the labels on these products when shopping to see which ones are natural or contain less harmful chemicals.

Believe it or not, your house is filled with items that are chemical free and will work effectively in different parts of the home.

The Wonders of Vinegar and Lemon Juice

Natural ingredients such as lemon juice and vinegar can clean as effectively as commercial cleansers, but without all the chemicals.
Natural ingredients such as lemon juice and vinegar can clean as effectively as commercial cleansers, but without all the chemicals.
Mixed 50-50 with distilled water, this is a great product for countertops, tubs, sinks and floors. To keep it easy, pour your blend into a spray bottle; you can purchase these at drugstores, hardware shops, etc.

Label each container accordingly. The only caution is that some grout may be sensitive, so you’ll want to test it or make sure to rinse and wipe clean after washing. In the shower, the beauty of this blend is that it cuts through the soap residue very quickly. If you find you dislike the aroma while cleaning, feel free to add a little lemon juice to offset it.

Once dry, the vinegar scent disappears. Beyond these applications about ‚½ cup of this mixture added to your wash cycle during the rinse cycle eliminates some of the soap not washed away normally. Lemon juice mixed with water works similarly. You’ll find this a great boon for family members with allergies to other perfumed commercial products. Speaking of lemon, mix this with a little baking soda and use it to scrub / polish metals. Keep a toothbrush for those hard to reach crevices.

Catsup and Baking Soda as Cleansers?

An alternative to the lemon for copper and brass is simple tomato juice or catsup mixed similarly into paste form and scrubbed on the surface of the metal. A third application for lemon juice and baking soda is cleaning your dishwasher and eliminating nasty aromas from the garbage disposal. For this purpose, however, you want more liquid than paste, and remember to run through the dishwasher when it’s empty for best results. Some people also like to add white vinegar to this mixture.

Oh, and for those refrigerator aromas? Just grab a box of baking soda and leave it open in the fridge. Replace this once a month. Before you do, sprinkle a little on stubborn oven spots and let them soak with water and vinegar. A little later, scrub clean!

Tips on Using Natural Cleansers at Home

  • All-Purpose Natural Cleanser – For typical cleaning jobs, a few tablespoons of baking soda mixed in a quart of warm water works great. You can also try mixing vinegar and salt with warm water.
  • Natural Glass Cleaner – These days, some brands of commercial glass cleaner are less toxic than most other types of commercial cleansers, but you can save money and make your own, even more natural glass cleaner by either using club soda or a mixture of vinegar and warm water. Using newspaper to wipe your windows clean is another great way to reduce the need to wash rags, since you can simply recycle the newspaper when you’re done!
  • Natural Furniture Polish – Many commercial furniture polish products contain petroleum distillates, which are flammable and the manufacturing process is very eco-unfriendly. Instead, try using a mixture of olive oil and lemon juice; always experiment with your solution on a small, out of site part of your furniture before applying it to the entire surface! Murphy’s Oil Soap is also a good commercial product to try.
  • Natural Floor Cleaner – Just use a mix of equal parts vinegar and warm water for light floor cleaning. Again, with wood floors, a vegetable-based liquid soap, like Murphy’s Oil Soap, works well for deep cleaning floors. Be sure to read the instructions for the flooring material you have before using any type of cleanser; laminate flooring products can require special cleansers.
  • Natural Scouring Cleansers – Most commercial scouring cleansers contain chlorine bleach, which, when mixed with ammonia, release hazardous gases. As an alternative, you can use salt or baking soda, mixed with hot water and a bit of borax for a disinfecting cleanser to use on scouring jobs.
  • Natural Drain Cleaner – Avoid the need for chemical drain cleaners by pouring half a cup of baking soda, then a half cup of vinegar. Let the baking soda and vinegar sit in the drain for about twenty minutes and then pour a half gallon of boiling water down the drain. If you have a clogged drain, use a drain snake or plunger instead of harmful drain cleaning products!
  • Toilet Bowl Cleaner – As with drain cleaners, commercial toilet cleansers can burn your skin and eyes and are harmful to the environment. As an alternative, try pouring half a cup of vinegar, mixed with baking soda in your toilet bowl and scrubbing the bowl with a brush. You can also use half a cup of borax mixed with a third of a cup of lemon juice to make your natural toilet bowl cleanser.
  • Natural Air Freshener – One way to eliminate cooking odors is to put a little vinegar in a bowl and set it out on your counter top. Lemon juice is a good way to freshen your sink after washing dished and you can also try boiling natural spices such as cloves and cinnamon to eliminate cooking odors. Or … try opening the windows if it isn’t too cold outside!

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