Wouldn’t it be better if your home could be kept clean without using all the harmful chemicals found in many of today’s commercial cleaning products? The good news is there are several green and natural alternatives that are safer in terms of indoor air quality, the health of your household, and the environment. By following some of the tips below and using natural, non-toxic products that are kinder to the environment—many of which are already found in the kitchen—your home can be kept just as clean as when using chemically-laden products.
Vinegar: One of the most powerful and versatile natural household cleaners is white vinegar. It will require a little more elbow grease to use than many of the caustic cleaners on the market, but it is so inexpensive and safe it more than makes up for the extra work.
Wood Floors: While a vacuum and dust mop will clean these most of the time, now and then something a little stronger will be needed to bring back that glow. Mix ¼ cup white vinegar with 30 ounces of water, put the solution in a spray bottle and spray on a cotton rag or towel until lightly damp. Use the damp towel to mop the wood floors.
Windows: Combine two tablespoons of white vinegar with a gallon of water and again put into a spray bottle. Spray the windows and use an old newspaper to wipe to avoid leaving streaks.
Kitchen Furniture: Bar stools used as dining seats at a kitchen counter are susceptible to attracting grime. Using equal parts vinegar and water to wipe down wooden bar stools will clean away the grime. Neat vinegar will remove any mold patches, and also brings out the shine on metal bar stools. Olive oil or linseed oil can be used to polish wooden frames.
Baking Soda: This common kitchen ingredient can be used to clean items in a variety of rooms around the house.
Counters, Porcelain, and Tiles: Sprinkle some baking soda on the surface, and then scrub using a sponge or damp cloth. For stains on the counter, knead baking soda and water until it forms a paste and let set for a time before removing. For tougher jobs, use kosher salt and scrub with a damp cloth or sponge. Use lemon juice on mold, mildew or grease streaks.
Ovens: Create a paste of baking soda and water and use it to coat the inside of the oven. Let it stand overnight and then scour the next day. Remove spots with a moist cloth.
Drains: Clogged drains can be cleared up by pouring half a cup of baking soda down the drain followed by two cups of very hot water. For a stubborn clog, pour half a cup of vinegar into the drain and then cover it tightly. The fizzing action of the vinegar will break up gunk. Flush with a gallon of very hot water.
Recent reports by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency indicate toxic household cleaners are making inside air more dangerous to breathe than outside air. Using natural cleaning products in your home is a greener, healthier option.
By: Helen Pearson for Not Just The Kitchen