Eco Friendly Home Cleaners
Looking for eco friendly home cleaners?
Why use eco friendly cleaning products for homes
Household cleaning is an every day process, and irrespective of whether it is the kitchen counter or the toilet floor, it is important to get the job done in the most effective manner.
Many of the conventional cleansing agents available in the market today contain chemicals which have toxic side effects. Chemical-based household cleaning agents are extremely hazardous to human life as well as to the environment. Because they contain very powerful chemicals that are meant to destroy germs and other microbes, they can also cause serious health problems to humans and disrupt the natural balance in the environment.
Statistics indicate that close to 17,000 types of chemicals are currently available in the market in the form of various household cleaning agents. Of the 17,000, only 30 percent are being tested for side effects on human health as well as the environment. The number of active chemicals present in various cleaning products is sometimes as high as 275, and the EPA refers to some of these household cleaning chemicals as “pesticides” because these are also designed to kill pests.
When these chemicals are washed down drains and sewers, they contaminate the water. If this contaminated water is released into a river or sea, it will end up polluting the water body and harming the natural life forms living in it.
Take the story of Triclosan for example. For decades, it has been used in soaps and other cleaning agents for antibacterial and antifungal reasons. However, today, the safety of Triclosan is being reviewed by the American Food and Drug Administration (FDA), because studies are showing that Triclosan combine with chlorine in tap water to form a carcinogen known as chloroform. Other highly toxic chemicals like dioxins may also be formed. Environmental studies also show that Triclosan can persist in treated water, and when they end up in rivers and seas, they inhibit photosynthesis in naturally occurring algae.
In turn, the use of eco friendly home cleaners allows us to reduce the burden of toxicity on our environment.
Eco friendly home cleaners are usually naturally occurring substances that are non-toxic, and are bio-degradable. Some of them can even be eaten (eg. lemon, salt). As such, the impact of their presence on the environment, as well as on our bodies, is minimal.
Make your own eco friendly home cleaners
Increasingly, you can find more and more eco friendly home cleaners being sold in the market today. But do you know that you can make your own green cleaning agents as well?
Listed here are some eco friendly home cleaners that are readily available at home. These cleaning agents can be as effective as conventional ones (that contain toxic chemicals), even though they are more environmentally friendly.
- Baking soda continues to be the most popular natural and eco friendly home cleaning agent. Mix baking soda with two tablespoons of freshly squeezed lemon to remove sticky greasy stains on kitchen counters, toilets and floor tiles, or to clean window screens, carpets with stains, ink stains on clothes and fish tanks. As baking soda has the ability to soften water, break down proteins and is slightly alkaline in nature, it can also be used as a deodorizer and be used to neutralize scents that are acidic in nature.
Baking soda can also be used to unclog drains. Pour some baking soda into the drain, followed by vinegar (white vinegar or apple cider vinegar). Wait for about 15 minutes before you flush the mixture with boiling water. The bubbling that you might see in the drain is the chemical reaction of the mixture with the clog in the drain.
To clean your silver, add some salt and baking soda to boiled water, then place your silver, together with a piece of aluminum foil, into the mixture. After a few minutes, the silver can be removed from the water, and any tarnish on it can be wiped away using a clean cloth.
- White vinegar is another extremely popular eco friendly home cleaner, because of its acidic nature. It can readily remove stains from glass surfaces, dirty windows, and mirrors. A few drops of diluted vinegar can be sprinkled on glass or mirrors and wiped away using old newspaper. In its more concentrated form, white vinegar can also be mixed with lemon juice to unclog drains.
- The acidic property of lemon is able to break down greasy stains deposited on various metal products, making it another popular and well known eco friendly home cleaning agent. A fresh lemon cut into two, sprinkled onto salt or baking powder, can be used as an environment-friendly green cleaning agent for copper, brass, and other metal items to give them a brand-new sparkling shine.
- Salt works well as a natural stain remover, such as perspiration, coffee stains on clothes. Salt is also an effective fabric softener.
- Olive oil mixed with lemon juice works wonders as a natural wood furniture polishing agent. The ratio of mixing olive oil and lemon juice is 2:1.
- Naturaly borax or boric acid works well as a natural disinfectant. Mix half a portion of borax with one gallon of water to kill bacteria when cleaning floors.
- Cornstarch is a eco friendly home cleaner that can be used to remove greasy stains, such as when cleaning windows, carpets, mats, and also when polishing furniture. Cornstarch can also be used to rinse cotton clothes to give them a starched look.
- Eucalyptus oil offers an environmentally friendly replacement for synthetic household cleaners. Simply combine water with eucalyptus oil and you will have an eco friendly home cleaner which can be sprayed on nearly any surface, to wipe away the dust and dirt in your home. The same mixture can be used as a disinfectant for the toilet. The oil, by itself, can remove sticker residues from glass, offers a great smell when a teaspoon is mixed into your laundry washer, and helps to remove stains such as paint, grease, and ink from your clothes. Eucalyptus oil can also work as a stainless steel cleaner.
- Soapnuts, unbeknownst to many, are fruit pulp from the Sapindus tree that can be used as natural soup. They mix with water to give “soupy water” that can clean away stains on your clothes, yet they are so gentle they do not harm plant life. In fact, they help to deters bugs and keep spiders at bay.
Also, read more about what others have to share about natural cleaners.
Try out some of these eco friendly home cleaners today, and do your part for the environment as you keep your home clean and healthy.
Additional eco-friendly house cleaning tips
Here’s some additional eco friendly home cleaning tips:
- Consider using a luffa sponge. Unlike most exfoliating sponges, luffas are not made of plastic. Luffa is actually a plant whose fruit can be used in place of a conventional sponge for exfoliating your body, cleaning in the kitchen. You might be amazed to know that the fruit of the Luffa plant can also be eaten, used to make mats, or even slipper insoles. Luffa seeds can be planted yearly and with your own luffa garden, you will always be able to clean your house and body, saving the earth one less piece of plastic at a time.
- If you need to deal with the problem of pests as you go about keeping your house clean, you can consider making use of Eucalyptus oil. This is because Eucalyptus oil acts as a natural pest deterrent. Just add a few drop of the organic essential oil to your home made cleaning liquid, give it a good mix, and you are ready to start cleaning.
- If you need a natural fabric freshener, try mixing an organic essential oil of your choice (eg. lavender oil) with water. This mixture could be sprinkled on clothes just before ironing, to add a pleasant fragrant to the clothes and make them smell fresher.
If you do not have the time to make your own eco-friendly home cleaners and are searching for good ones to purchase off the shelves, then you must read up on eco-friendly house cleaning tips.
From the article, you will find out that not all supposedly “green” cleaning products are environmentally friendly, nor safe to use.
If you know of other natural and effective eco friendly home made cleaners, do share it with us. Also, read more about what you can do to go green.
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