Did you know that many household cleaning products, while even used “as directed” could be hazardous to your health as well as the environment?
Many household products are toxic and can be hazardous to your health, they can also pose a threat to the environment if they end up getting into our drains and waterways.
On product labels, have you ever read words like flammable, corrosive, reactive or toxic? If so, in the future, why not consider safer and more eco-friendly alternatives.
Looking for less toxic alternatives isn’t always easy, either. Even when a product is listed as “safe” or “green,” it can be masking as environmentally friendly. This is called greenwashing and can be very confusing to consumers who are trying to make more eco-conscious cleaning product choices.
The best mode of operation is to look for statements that read: non-toxic, non-petroleum based or free of ammonia, phosphates, dye and perfume, and that read “biodegradable.”
Stay away from products using words such as: DANGER and POISON. Products labeled CAUTION or WARNING contain the least toxic, but can still cause harm.
Green Cleaning Recipes
How to Make a Non-Toxic Cleaning Kit
- Baking Soda
- Washing Soda
- White Distilled Vinegar
- Natural Liquid Soap or Detergent
- Tea Tree Oil
- 6 Clean Spray Bottles
- 2 Glass Jars
Creamy Soft Scrubber
Pour ½ c. of baking soda into a bowl, and add enough liquid detergent to make a texture-like frosting. Scoop the mixture onto a sponge, and wash the surface. This is the perfect recipe for cleaning the bathtub because it rinses easily and doesn’t leave grit. Note: Add 1 tsp. of vegetable glycerin to the mixture and store in a sealed glass jar to keep the product moist. Otherwise, just make as much as you need at a time.
- ¼-1/2 tsp. liquid detergent
- 3 T. vinegar
- 2 c. water
- Spray bottle
Put all the ingredients into a spray bottle, shake it up a bit, and use as you would a commercial brand. The soap in this recipe is important. It cuts the wax residue from the commercial brands you might have used in the past.
- 1 c. or more baking soda
- A squirt or two of liquid detergent
Sprinkle water generously over the bottom of the oven, then cover the grime with enough baking soda that the surface is totally white. Sprinkle some more water over the top. Let the mixture set overnight. You can easily wipe up the grease the next morning because the grime will have loosened. When you have cleaned up the worst of the mess, dab a bit of liquid detergent or soap on a sponge, and wash the remaining residue from the oven.
All-Purpose Spray Cleaner
- ½ tsp. washing soda
- A dab of liquid soap
- 2 c. hot tap water
- Combine the ingredients in a spray bottle and shake until the washing soda has dissolved. Apply and wipe off with a sponge or rag.
- ½ tsp. oil, such as olive (or jojoba, a liquid wax)
- ¼ c. vinegar or fresh lemon juice
- Mix the ingredients in a glass jar. Dab a soft rag into the solution and wipe onto wood surfaces. Cover the glass jar and store indefinitely.
Keep a clean spray bottle filled with straight 5% vinegar in your kitchen near your cutting board and in your bathroom. Use them for cleaning. The smell of vinegar dissipates within a few hours. Straight vinegar is also great for cleaning the toilet rim. Just spray it on and wipe off.
Tea Tree Treasure
Nothing natural works for mold and mildew as well as this spray. Tea tree oil is expensive, but a little goes a very long way. Note that the smell of tea tree oil is very strong, but it will dissipate in a few days.
- 2 tsp. tea tree oil
- 2 c. water
Combine in a spray bottle, shake to blend, and spray on problem areas. Do not rinse.
Makes two cups.
Straight vinegar reportedly kills 82% of mold. Pour some white distilled vinegar straight into a spray bottle. Spray on the moldy area, and let set without rinsing if you can put up with the smell. Smell will dissipate in a few hours.
For more information on “clean” and safe cleaning products, “Search” SustainableVentura.TV for “Less Toxic Products” and listen to our SustainableVentura.TV podcasts on less toxic products, CLICK HERE.
-Maryann Ridini Spencer