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How To Be A Greener Cleaner!

by Fran Carter
(San Francisco, California, USA)

Everyone wants a clean and fresh smelling home, but if you’ve been using commercial cleaners and air fresheners, you might have a home full of toxins! In fact, the EPA says that the levels of pollutants in the home can be up to 100 times higher than the outside air.

This pollution can come from gasses given off by anything from your carpeting to your kitchen cabinets to your cleaning products.

Walk into any grocery store and you will see a myriad of cleaners – there’s so many it might even be hard to choose. Most of them are loaded with harmful chemicals, but there are many now that bear the words “natural” on the label.

However, one should not be fooled by that one little word – many of these cleaners are anything but natural and there are no standards or regulation for using this word on product labels.

If you really want to go green with your cleaning, there are plenty of natural things you can use. Tea tree oil is a great natural cleaner formold and mildew, baking soda makes a wonderful abrasive cleaner and white vinegar is a great all around cleaner that will shine your windows and mirrors like nobodies business.

In addition to the health benefits of no toxic cleaning, using these substances is also much less costly than most store bought cleaners.

For scrubbing surfaces like bathtubs, sinks and even counters use a mixture of baking soda and liquid detergent combined to make a paste. Put the paste on a sponge and scrub away. You can also mix baking soda with a little water if you prefer.

For cleaning glass surfaces, there is nothing like vinegar. Mix 3 tablespoons with 2 cups of water and just a dab of liquid detergent. Put it in a spray bottle and shake it up, then just spray on and wipe off as you would any cleaner.

When it comes to moldy areas, bathroom tile and even cutting boards, you can use straight vinegar sprayed on the area and let to sit for as long as you want (even overnight). The vinegar will work to clean and sanitize as well as deodorize.

If you have a mold problem, combine 2 teaspoons tea tree oil with 1 cup of water and spray directly on the area without wiping off – it works wonders!

You can even use natural ingredients as an effective furniture polish and olive oil works wonders for this task. Mix ½ teaspoon with ¼ cup lemon juice – dab onto a rag and wipe over the wood. This mixture can be stored in a tightly closed glass jar for quite some time.

When it comes to deodorizers for the home, those store bought sprays are harmful both environmentally and health wise. Your much better off to open the windows and let the fresh air in.

If that’s not enough then you can always put out bowls of dried flowers or herbs, use an open box of baking soda to absorb odors or place some cedar blocks strategically around the house.

There’s no reason why you can’t clean everything in your home using natural ingredients, so throw out all those chemical cleaner bottles and arm yourself with some baking soda, vinegar and tea tree oil not only will your house be less toxic but you’ll save on your next grocery bill too!

Updated: October 17, 2013 — 9:05 am

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