If you are like me, I like to have a clean house however I dislike using chemicals to clean, especially when there are natural options. Some chemicals in cleaning products are known to cause acute, or immediate, hazards such as skin or respiratory irritation, watery eyes, or chemical burns, while others are associated with chronic, or long-term, effects such as cancer.
When the bubbly toxic cleaners are washed down the drain the environment suffers as well, polluting the waterways, killing the fish and wildlife. It is a negative situation either way, for your health the environment and the animals.
When buying cleaning products always look at the label. If you see any of these signs Danger, Warning, Poison or Caution do not buy the product! Beware of unregulated greenwashing claims on labels! Such as “natural” and “eco-friendly” shouldn’t be equated with safety unless they’re backed up with specific ingredient information, such as “solvent-free,” “no petroleum-based ingredients,” “no phosphates,” “Non-toxic” has no official definition, so unless a third-party has verified this claim, it is not considered meaningful. And don’t believe “organic” ingredients in cleaning and other chemical products are any safer than other substances.
If you are pregnant or have young children in the house it is especially important to switch to natural cleaning products. It could have an affect on your unborn baby or the health of your children, not to mention yourself.
There are natural products that are safe to ingest that you can clean with, that are cheap and easy to use. You will find most of them in your pantry at home.
The ingredients you will need to clean your home are:
-Water: Water is the best natural cleaner. It’s what we clean our bodies with as well as many other things.
-Baking Soda: Neutralises acid-based odors in water, and adsorbs odors from the air. Sprinkled on a damp sponge or cloth, baking soda can be used as a gentle non-abrasive cleanser for kitchen table tops, sinks, bathtubs, ovens, and fiberglass. It will eliminate perspiration odors and even neutralize the smell of many chemicals if you add up to a cup per load to the laundry.
-Washing Soda: You should still use gloves when using washing soda as it is caustic. Washing soda removes grease, oil, wax and is great for removing makeup from the bathroom sinks. It also neutralises odours like baking soda.
– White Vinegar: Is extremely alkaline! It dissolves buildup from just about anywhere.
-Lemon Juice: Lemon Juice is much like White Vinegar, removes buildup, it is great for bleaching and removing stains from surfaces.
-Essential Oils: Essential oils are a natural disinfectant. Lavender, clove, and tea tree oil is also a great fungicide that are antiseptic, same as grapefruit seed extract. To use essential oils, use 1 teaspoon of essential oil to 2 cups of water and spray using a spray bottle.
-Cornstarch: Can be used to clean windows, polish furniture and clean carpets. It works as a very fine abrasive.
-Isopropyl Alcohol: Is an excellent disinfectant for all surfaces.
–Cloths, Scrubbing Brushes and Steel Wool, Micro fibre cloths: With good quality environmentally friendly cloths and brushes you can clean just about anything. Health food shops usually stock a range of natural cleaning materials.
Home made cleaners
All Purpose Cleaner
Mix 1/2 cup vinegar and 1/4 cup baking soda 2 litres of water. Store and keep in a spray bottle. Use for removal of water deposit stains on shower, bathroom chrome fixtures, windows, bathroom mirrors…
Baking soda or vinegar with lemon juice in small dishes absorbs odors around the house.
Chopping Board Cleaner
Rub a slice of lemon across a chopping block to disinfect the surface. For tougher stains, squeeze some of the lemon juice on to the spot and let sit for 10 minutes, then wipe.
For a light drain clean mix half a cup of salt in 4 litres of water, heat and pour down the drain. For a stronger cleaner pour half a cup of baking soda down the drain then half a cup of White vinegar for a chemical reaction to break down the fatty acids. After 15 minutes then pour boiling water down the drain to clear the residue.
Use lemon juice and vinegar with a sponge and scrub.
Mix 2 teaspoons of white vinegar with 1 litre of warm water into a spray bottle. Clean with crumpled newspaper as a cloth.
There is a great book you can buy from most book stores called SPOTLESS written by Shannon Lush and Jennifer Fleming ABC Books, 2005.