By Stephen Hibberd
We’re well into the spring and it is now the perfect time for the good old spring cleaning. This year, however, you might want to change your approach to green.
Instead of using the commercial toxic products commonly sold in stores, why not go for a more natural approach? Constant exposure to toxic cleaning products can take a serious toll on your health and wellbeing.
Be careful when you decide what items to use. Here’s a quick guide to 5 natural cleaning products that are cheap, efficient, and 100% non-toxic.
I’m sure you’ve heard of this method before and there’s a reason for that – it works, it’s cheap and efficient. There are loads of natural cleaners but vinegar definitely tops the charts.
Here are just a few examples of what vinegar can be used to clean with:
Shower head & curtain
Furniture and decks
Soften fabrics and kill bacteria
It’s important to keep in mind that vinegar should NOT be used to clean things such as:
Carpet odours – although it’s efficient against odours, it would only mask odours and not remove them
Stone – vinegar is known to damage stone surfaces, it’s best to check your supplier’s guidelines in order to find the best cleaning product
Wax floors – the shine will gradually fade if you use vinegar
Hardwood floors – the finish will suffer if you use vinegar
Vinegar works so well because its acetic acid kills bacteria and destroys mold and grease. You may be surprised to know how powerful this cleaning formula is–for that reason, when cleaning with vinegar, it should be diluted with water to a ratio of about 50-50.
TIP: To keep windows sparkling, use newspaper as a ‘rag’–the ink will actually add more shine. Try it!
Baking soda, or sodium bicarbonate to give it its official name, is not just a product used for baking and raising cakes– it is also a great green cleaning product. You can use baking soda for pretty much anything, from bathrooms and kitchens to even coffee mugs.
Just like vinegar, baking soda should be avoided when cleaning certain surfaces such as glass because it will easily get scratched with this abrasive cleaner.
Baking soda is very effecting in removing stains like coffee or blood. It’s also a great way to remove odours: put an open box in the fridge to keep it smelling fresh, and place a small dish of baking soda with a few drops of essential oils in the bathroom to remove odors. You can also sprinkle a bit on your carpet before Hoovering to remove nasty smells–it works like a dry shampoo!
This is my favourite method, mainly because of the fresh smell it leaves! Lemon juice doesn’t have the same cleaning power as vinegar or baking soda but it’s still a great alternative to toxic cleaning products.
There are quite a few things you can clean with lemon, such as:
Although lemon juice is a brilliant natural disinfectant, you should still consider using other cleaning products on places that have been in contact with things such as raw meat. This will prevent you and your family from getting sick. Lemon juice removes stains on plastics efficiently and leaves a fresh smell.
Cooking oils are perfect for wooden surfaces as it can ‘revive’ old wood that has been exposed to the sun. I would advise using vegetable oils only for polishing wooden surfaces and leather shoes. Just add a bit to a rag or cloth and rub it in–then watch it shine!
Borax is a natural white mineral and is mainly used in glass and ceramic production as an antiseptic. It can also be used for cleaning purposes.
Just like vinegar, Borax is very efficient in killing bacteria and inhibiting mold. You can use borax for cleaning things like:
I wouldn’t use borax for was surfaces as the shine might fade. Stone surfaces should also be avoided as borax is known to cause corrosion.
Vinegar, baking soda, lemon, cooking oils and borax are popular and efficient natural cleaning products that won’t break the bank. You can try these methods yourself and see what you think. Let us know how your ‘green’ spring cleaning tips are in the comments section below.
Main image: mydecorative.com
Stephen Hibberd is an experienced writer with a business background and a contributor to the website Ideal Cleaning. He is passionate about creating useful content on living a healthy lifestyle.
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