Bleach rocks. It really does…I mean, what other magical chemical out there can clean so well, it even takes color out of objects? …and Windex? Don’t even get me started…it’s blue, it makes windows invisible, and has that tangy scent of clean that anyone can sniff out a mile away. Walk into a house with freshly cleaned windows, and you know the cleaning fairy’s been up to no good. Ammonia’s pretty awesome too…until you mix it with bleach inadvertently. Then you’re left with a toxic fume that is super dangerous and damaging to your health…and that can’t be good. Then, there’s all those other chemicals that clean your home, yet linger in the air like a caustic, toxic cocktail of good intentions…
Cleaning is a necessary evil. It prevents germs from running rampant, helps combat allergies and keeps you from ending up on a TV show about hoarding and living in filth. It’s a healthy thing to do…but what about all those chemicals…are they healthy? Is it possible that your efforts to rid yourself of germs, dirt and grime are actually poisoning you in the process? All I know is, if it can take color out of your carpets, make a highly toxic fume when mixed, or if there’s a poison control number on the back of the bottle…it’s probably not the healthiest thing to be around. In small doses, yeah, I ‘m sure the lab rats those products were tested on didn’t have any adverse reactions. However, I bet there are a couple five-legged mice missing toes and patches of fur out there somewhere that would disagree.
Let’s talk green for a second. Don’t worry, I won’t tell you that your cool new leather Jordan’s are evil in that they are made of poor, defenseless cows or that your bacon-loving self is damned to a corner of Hades created just for meat-eating brutes like you. Nope…just that you should seriously consider switching to more natural cleaning products in order to cut down your exposure to toxic ingredients and save a little moolah in the process. That ain’t too bad, is it? Let’s look at some home-brewed recipes that can help us out…
- Tub & Tile: Baking soda/Kosher salt and water (sprinkle with baking soda, rub with a damp cloth, or make a paste of the water and soda/salt and use as a natural surfactant); spray stains with vinegar or lemon juice, let sit a few minutes, then scrub away
- Disinfectant: 2 c water, 3 T liquid soap, 20-30 drops tea tree oil in a spray bottle
- Window Cleaner: 2 T vinegar & 1 gal water in a spray bottle, newspaper (streak-free amazingness!), or undiluted lemon juice or club soda
- Carpet/Rug Stain Remover: immediately lift off solids, pour on club soda and blot with an old rag; dump cornmeal on the spill, let sit up to 15 minutes, then vacuum away; 1.4 c liquid soap blended with 1/3 c water (spray on stain, rinse off with vinegar); for deodorizing, sprinkle baking soda or cornstarch (about 1 c for a medium-sized room) onto carpets, let sit 30 minutes, then vacuum
- Wood Floor Cleaner: 1/4 c white vinegar mixed with 30 ounces warm water (spray on floors then mop away)
- Oven Cleaner: coat inside of oven with a baking soda and water paste, let sit overnight, then scour off the next day
- Drain Cleaner: pour ½ c baking soda down drain, follow with 2 c boiling water; for stronger clogs, pour in ½ c baking soda then ½ c vinegar and cover tightly until fizzing subsides, then rinse clean with 1 gal boiling water
- Silverware: line a sink or bucket with aluminum foil, place silverware in, pour in boiling water to cover, then sprinkle with a cup of baking soda and a dash of salt; polish with toothpaste or 3 to 1 parts baking soda and water paste and a soft cloth; try polishing copper pots with ketchup
These are just some of the ways you can make the switch to green-cleaning glory. I found these ideas over at TheDailyGreen.com, but you can also perform a simple internet search and find millions more green cleaning recipes that best suit your needs. So…what are you waiting for? Get out there and start saving the planet, one window at a time!