With more news coming out about the dangerous toxins used in household products , its easy to feel overwhelmed or a little over it. Contrary to what many of us believe green cleaning is not expensive.It’s a lot more easier and a lot more safer. It doesn’t cost more, or take more time than the usual , doesn’t make us compromise of what we think as clean .However it just tends to change our definition of CLEAN.
Green Cleaning is something that is free of toxins apart from keeping our countertops shiny, appliances and cupboards free of fingerprints , the windows clean and clear. By and large it means that some cleaning products which have toxins are not cleaning products at all. In a green cleaning mindset , cleaning means that the air quality should be as clean or cleaner when you started .The shelves are dusted , the fabrics and the windows are clean the furniture /floors if wood are finished with sealants and varnishes which don’t pollute. In short the room is free of dirt and is healthy and fresh. Green Cleaning mindset also finds ways of cleaning that helps reduce energy , water and other resource consumption. Rather than buying a separate cleaner for every job , there will just a few and some even basic stuff that can be made at home using vinegar and vegetable based soap.
Some essential inexpensive green cleaning ingredients for your home
1. White distilled vinegar: loosens dirt anddeodorizes, It also removes mineral deposits, stains and tarnish and eliminates static cling whne added to the rinse cycle. An alternative to vinegar is lemon juice which is great for polishing metal or cutting grease.
Always look for white distilled vinegar as the darker ones stain. Also its not a good option to use on sensitive surfaces like marble.
2. Baking Soda: Its just abrasive enough to make a great scrub without damaging most surfaces. It also eats odor and great for sprinkling on carpets and vaccuming , thus deodorizing the home. Also great in refrigerators , kitchen cabinets, drains.
Add it to the wash cycle to soften fabric. Mix it with acidic vinegar, forms a fizz and speed up your cleaning process . This is great for cleaning toilets and blocked drains. Remember to look for baking soda that is “ pure” or 100 % sodium bicarbonate.
3. Castile Soap: It’s a soap made from vegetable oil instead of animal fat. Dilute it and you can use it as an all purpose cleaner, laundry or dish soap,spot remover and body washer. Remember to look for something that is non petroleum based and does not contain detergents.
3. Borax and Washing Soda: These are alkaline in nature and similar to baking soda except that they are stronger and have to be kept away from children. Add either of them to your wash for extra cleaning an brightening or use to scrub extra stubborn stains on countertops or bath tubs.
Borax is a great disinfectant for cloth diapers and a highly effective mold killer and a toilet bowl cleaner.
Washing soda can be mixed with baking soda and can be used to clean non self cleaning ovens.
Some Anti Bacterial Arsenal that can come handy
Soap and Water: This is a great cleanser , believe it or not, can be used for just about anything like cleaning cabinets, countertops to carpets and fabric stains. Use warm water and its just as effective as any anti bacterial all purpose cleaner. Vinegar: Researchers suggest that White distilled vinegar is known to kill 99% bacteria and 80% of germs. I keep a spray bottle of vinegar and it comes in handy when there is a problem and some quick cleaning to do. Tea Trea Oil: This is antibacterial in nature that has been used for centuries. Its potent and a great Anti - mold spray . Use just one teaspoon with 2 cups of water and spray it on the mold. Look for something that says 100% pure essential oil rather than a perfume or aromatherapy oil. Normally pure essential oils are stored in dark bottles rather than light. Lavendar Oil: If you don’t prefer the smell of Tea tree oil , lavender is the next best option. You can use it to scent your cleansing products as the smell has a calming soothing effect . Add it to your vaporizer and it can fight colds and calm you. Add it to your all purpose cleaner and it becomes an antibacterial all purpose cleaner. Some more tips on eco-friendly home keeping.
Use old soft clothes like T shirts or in case of abrasive cleaner, you can use loofah , a gourd which is commonly found. Restrict the usage of paper.
Use cotton bags while shopping instead of using plastic bags . A lot of stores give away good quality and fancy tote bags at various promotions these days.
Limit/optimize your consumption of energy , water . A lot of energy companies these days give you an estimate of the amount of consumption of energy in your home. Some also give a breakdown per appliance per year , looking at which you can cut back on things you think are going overboard. Ask your company if they do that for you.