How to Clean Green with DIY SolutionsPosted 06/23/2014
While spring may be over, the cleaning never stops. Between cleaning up after summer parties and your everyday counter wipe-down, the one thing you want to be able to rely on is your cleaning product to do its job, right? While flashy-labeled, heavy-duty sprays, foams and powders make your house gleam and sparkle like-new, the toxic ingredients and odorous chemicals lingering in the air afterward could be doing more harm than good, especially with children or pets running around.
But before you panic, here’s the good news: there are a multitude of all-natural alternatives to using store-bought cleaners that work just as efficiently (and smell even better). Not only do these DIY elixirs lessen the risk of indoor air pollution and the threat of poisonous chemicals around your loved ones, but it also saves you money and reduces your impact on the environment.
You can make your own all-natural cleaners with just a few ingredients that you probably already have in your cupboards – just another way to enhance your LivingSmart® lifestyle. Here are a few ideas for maintaining eco friendly homes:
For the Kitchen: 3-in-1 Cleaner
This simple, 3-in-1 cleanser saves on storage space as well as looming toxic fumes around the home. It can be used as an all-purpose cleaner, window or mirror cleaner as well as an air freshener and deodorizer. White vinegar is an effective household cleaner as it kills 99% of bacteria on surfaces, plus it’s non-toxic! The essential oils also work as antibacterial and disinfects while adding a pleasant aroma to the room, so there’s no need to turn on the fans and hold your breath while you scrub.
- 1 cup white vinegar
- 2 cups water
- 30 drops essential oil (lemon oil, tea tree oil, lavender oil)
For the Bathroom: Heavy-Duty Toilet Scrub
Those deep-cleaning toilet cleansers may get your porcelain bowl back to its original shiny whiteness, but the heady-duty bleach and disinfecting ingredients used cause a toxin cloud that can last for hours. This green cleaner will have your toilet sparkling, germ-free and smelling fresh as a daisy in no time!
- 1/2 cup baking soda
- 10 drops of essential oil
- 1/4 cup white vinegar
For the Living Room: Homemade Carpet Stain Remover
Whether it’s a glass of wine or a mud stain from Fido, spots on the carpet are not only maddening, but hard to get out if they’re not caught right away. While the store-bought carpet cleaners can be a convenient option, they let off harmful toxins and residue right where you and your loved ones walk and play, and sometimes fail to remove the entire stain. Try this simple solution next time you see a spot, or want to get rid of an old one!
- Sprinkle baking soda on stain, wait 10 minutes
- Vacuum area to remove most of baking soda
- Mix 1 tablespoon dish soap with 1 tablespoon vinegar and 2 cups warm water
- Dab solution on carpet until stain disappears
For the Laundry Room: Homemade Liquid Fabric Softener
It’s amazing how snuggly and wonderful clothes become with just a few drops of fabric softener. The sad thing is, it has its downsides. While the simple softener may seem just that, simple, there are eight toxins found in the average store-brought product. But don’t fret, here’s a recipe for all-natural fabric softener, so you can still have that snuggly feeling without the added toxins, and you can choose the scent!
- 20-30 drops of essential oil
- One gallon jug of white vinegar
- Add drops to gallon jug, shake and store for later.
- For use: Add 1/3 cup per load
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