Switching to green cleaning products is an important part of making your home greener. Regular cleaning products are full of toxic chemicals and yet we use them every day to clean our homes, getting rid of the dirt but leaving behind a residue of chemicals in the air that our family breathes and which contributes to allergies. Buying green cleaning products can be expensive and not all products live up to their environmental claims.
To save money and clean your home safely and effectively, it is simple to make your own cleaning mixtures, with basic, non-harmful ingredients that you probably already have in the store cupboard.
Vinegar is a remarkable natural cleaning agent. It is cheap and very effective for killing germs and bacteria, lifting grease and dirt, and sanitizing surfaces. Baking soda is a great natural scouring agent and gets rid of odors and tough dirt.
Here are a few simple cleaning methods using these two natural ingredients, which are safe around kids and leave no toxic residue in your home. Green living doesn’t get easier than this!
5 Natural Cleaning Tips
1. Multipurpose Surface cleaner: in a clean spray bottle mix half vinegar and half water. Keep this spray bottle to hand for wiping down all surfaces, from counter-tops to stainless steel stoves, windows, kids’ toys and plastic fittings. The only surface that vinegar should not be used on is marble.
2. Removing tough burnt on residue from pans and oven dishes. Mix 2 tablespoons of baking soda with 1 tablespoon dishwashing liquid to make a paste. Coat the residue with this paste and leave it for several hours. The burnt bits will loosen and be much easier to scrub out.
3. Toilet cleaner: Mix a quarter cup of baking soda with one cup of vinegar. Pour the mixture into the toilet basin and leave for a few minutes. Scrub and then flush.
4. Quick floor cleaner: mix 3 drops of dish-washing liquid with half a cup of vinegar and half a cup of water. Spray on the floor sparingly and then mop up.
5. Stubborn bath tub grime: wipe over with a cloth dipped in undiluted vinegar then scour with baking soda.
There are many more cleaning uses for vinegar and baking soda in the home, but try using these few recipes to start with and reduce your reliance on the strong chemical cleaners. You’ll save money and make your home healthier and safer for your kids. Even toddlers can help you with the cleaning this way, without you worrying about accidental spills and tasting of cleaning products.
Kit Heathcock is a writer and mother of three. She aims to bring up her children as healthily as possible and is striving for green living, but admits to lapsing from her ideals when it comes to chocolate, computer games and disposable diapers.