If you are like me, I get a little OCD about home cleanliness. I can’t stand clutter and I can’t stand dirt (well at least not the kind that ends up in my home). Worst of all, I can’t stand chemicals.
Chemicals are everywhere and in everything, our cleaning products, our personal hygiene products, home pesticides, in the conventional food supply and in the air we breathe. At times, it feels like a daunting task to eliminate them from my life!
However, we may not be able to escape chemicals completely, but we can reduce exposure by taking pro-active “baby steps” by choosing natural ingredients and making our own cleaning products. White Vinegar and Baking Soda are great for all kinds of cleaning jobs around the house. They can be used in the kitchen, the bathroom, on glass and many other surfaces, on floors, just about anywhere there may be a mess. Both are economical and easily found at any grocery store.
For an All Purpose Cleaner:
I use a simple solution of white vinegar and lemon peel or orange peel in a recycled spray bottle in the kitchen and for quick clean up jobs in the bathroom. The lemon/orange peel leave behind a fresh scent and also aids in cleaning up any greasy residue especially in the kitchen.
Note: Your house will not end up smelly like an Easter egg. Once the vinegar dries it has no odor and the lemon scent is left behind leaving a fresh scent.
For a Toilet Bowl/Stainless Steel Sink Cleaner:
I use baking soda in the toilet bowl, my stainless steel kitchen sink and the bathtub. Just shake the baking soda into the toilet bowl swirl around and let sit for a few minutes before using the toilet brush. When cleaning my stainless steel sinks I shake in some baking soda and add a little bit of water to make a paste then scrub. I use the same process I use for cleaning my stainless steel sinks when cleaning my bathtub. Just make a paste and let it sit for a few minutes before scrubbing.
For the Laundry:
I have read that you can also use white vinegar and baking soda in your laundry. While I have to say, that I have not tried this yet I am definitely considering it.
White vinegar can be used in the rinse cycle as a fabric softener (great for anyone having skin allergies)
Baking Soda can be added as a laundry detergent booster and increases whitening power.
As you see, replacing certain commercial cleaners with white vinegar and baking soda can greatly reduce:
- the chemicals introduced in to your home;
- the money spent on commercial products;
- recycled spray bottles reduce the amount of plastic being placed in the landfill;
- toxic chemicals from being introduced to our environment, our earth;
Four really great reasons to give these two hardworking ingredients a chance!
Note: In New York environmental groups are petitioning that chemical companies disclose the ingredients of their products to the consumer, my opinion … if New York enforces the disclosure other states will soon follow. Great News for all of us!
There are two other products I’d like to mention here, (1) Seventh Generation Natural Dish Liquid, (2) Seventh Generation Natural 4X Laundry Detergent. Both products do contain sodium lauryl sulfate (which is in any foaming/soapy products) and there is much controversy as to the validity of this agent’s cancer causing abilities (that will be the topic of another post). I do spend the extra few bucks for the “natural” labeling of Seventh Generations products and the recyclable and compostable packaging. Weeeelllll, at least until I concoct an all natural alternative!
Do you use homemade cleansers? Have you found an alternative to dish soap and laundry detergent?
See you in the comments!