Spic and Span: Easy Homemade Cleaners

Make your home sparkle with easy homemade cleaners, and kick hazardous chemical cleaners to the curb.


| May/June 2013



dust pan with broom and cleaning supplies

Freshen your home for spring with natural, homemade cleaners.

Photo By Thomas Gibson

You have plenty of excellent reasons to ditch commercial cleaners. Most cleaners contain a wide range of chemicals known as volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which are released into the air inside our homes at room temperature—part of the reason why nearly all indoor air is more polluted than outdoor air. Numerous studies confirm that, after cleaning with conventional products, a room’s VOC levels increase significantly, often reaching levels higher than the acceptable values established by the GREENGUARD Environmental Institute and high enough to lead to progressive eye, nose and throat irritation, as well as increased risk of asthma.

The toxic chemicals in conventional cleaners also make them hazardous in homes with children or pets, where accidental ingestion can lead to poisoning and death. This is why many cleaners’ labels contain words like “Danger,” “Warning,” “Caution,” “Toxic” or “Poison.” Contrast this with a home cleaning arsenal made up of vinegar, baking soda, hydrogen peroxide and lemon juice: If consumed in large quantities, these ingredients may lead to an upset tummy, but they are not poisonous.

The manufacture of conventional cleaning products is also concerning. Manufacturers often release chlorine bleach, for example, into local water bodies, where it can create persistent organic pollutants such as dioxins, which linger in water and soil and take years to disappear. Dioxins are found throughout the world in the environment and they accumulate in the food chain, mainly in the fatty tissue of animals, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). More than 90 percent of human exposure is through food—mostly meat, dairy products, fish and shellfish. Dioxins are highly toxic and can cause reproductive and developmental problems, damage the immune system, interfere with hormones, and can also cause cancer, according to the WHO.

Finally, you will save money creating your own household cleaners. Vinegar, baking soda, washing soda and castile soap are cheap and they go a long way. Essential oils are a bit more expensive, but most household cleaning recipes call for only a few drops. Buy essential oils packaged in dark brown or blue glass and store them out of sunlight and they will last for at least a year.

We often hear from readers who are content to use vinegar and baking soda for all-purpose cleaning but are tempted to turn to chemical cleaners for “tough jobs.” To create a truly all-purpose nontoxic cleaning arsenal, check out the following pages for some basic at-home mixing instructions, then find specific, effective recipes for hitting your home’s toughest cleaning jobs.

Natural Cleaning Basics

When it comes to everyday cleaning—countertops, sinks, furniture, floors, toilets—you can use the same basic, powerhouse ingredients with a few easy-to-find additions and clean any area of your home. Our guide will give you the tools to create your own effective, custom cleaning blends.

bill.soukup.3
5/17/2013 2:50:17 PM

 

For those who would like ready to use, very effective green cleaners consider BioWorx.us products. They show interesting laboratory proof how their cleaners compare to other brands. They completely dissolve soap scum and scale.

 


bill.soukup.3
5/17/2013 2:49:24 PM

 

For those who would like ready to use, very effective green cleaners consider BioWorx.us products. They show interesting laboratory proof how their cleaners compare to other brands. They completely dissolve soap scum and scale.

 






elderberry, echinacea, bee hive

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