Thursday, March 7, 2013

Alternative cleaning products for your house

Some days ago I wrote about a new blog where you can find reliable info on how to get rid of synthetic products in your home. You know, the chemicals that are not a good idea if you have allergies or sensitivities. (Aquí tienes una versión en español)

Easy and cheap substitutes
for cleaning products:
lemon, vinegar, and baking soda (cc)
The writer of the blog has become an expert on what to avoid, so I thought I could find out bit more where and how to start if you've no specific allergy or sensitivity that you know of, but would like healthier  cleaning products for your home.

Q: Where would you start? I'm thinking busy working parent with three small children and no time for anything.

A: I would suggest getting some white vinegar and baking soda, cheap and easy to get a hold of, and trying them out on different surfaces. Try them together or apart. Baking soda helps to scrub surfaces, and works especially well with a sponge that has a scrubbing side. Try them in the washroom, toilet, counters, bathtub and floors.

Q: What about things that are hard to clean, like toilet stains and grout with mold?

A: Let vinegar or half a cup of lemon juice sit in the toilet for 30 minutes or more before scrubbing. Half a package of baking soda left to soak for a while can work too. Scrub well. If that doesn't work try borax. Hydrogen peroxide (found at the pharmacy, the 3% or less solution) and baking soda form a great paste that has some bleaching qualities and can get rid of stains on laminate, and tile grout, including mould.

Q: Which products are most toxic?

A: In my experience, those containing bleach or ammonia (which are easily replaced with hydrogen peroxide), and airborne sprays that contain strong fragrances. Fragrances are made up of a host of highly toxic chemicals. Regular fabric softener and dryer sheets are highly toxic as well, and not necessary!

Easy cleaning with vinegar (cc)
Q: Which products are easier to replace?

A: Conventional window cleaners are so toxic and so unnecessary. A solution of 1 part vinegar and 1 part water in a spray bottle works equally well. Wipe with newspaper. Or, water and a microfiber cloth works just as well.

An all purpose spray is also easy to replace with a combination of the products I've mentioned before.

Hand soap can easily be replaced with a natural bar like glycerin.

Q: Some people prefer their cleaning products to have a nice smell. What would you recommend? 

A: You could add lemon or essential oils or buy a ready-made natural, non-toxic spray solution scented with essential oils. 

Q: Do you still buy some products?

A: I still buy dish washing soap and laundry soap. I choose natural biodegradable ones. You could make them yourself however.

You heard it: white vinegar, baking soda, lemon, borax, glycerin soap and you're good to go. For more tips, information or other details, visit her website.

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