Chemicals in everyday household products adversely affect the quality of the air in your home. Besides being toxic to breathe, these pollutants find their way into everything we touch, wear, or eat. There are nontoxic ways to keep our homes sanitary and fresh. Read on for suggestions on cleaning your home with natural alternatives.
- Vinegar. A natural disinfectant, vinegar owes its cleansing power to its acidity. Diluted vinegar is excellent for cleaning greasy surfaces, fighting mildew, cleaning windows and mirrors, and removing mold. Washing fruit and vegetables with a combination of 3 parts water to 1 part vinegar is effective in eliminating bacteria.
- Baking Soda. Baking soda is a natural deodorizer. Sprinkle baking soda on your carpets and rugs, let sit for 30 minutes, and then vacuum to freshen the flooring. Clean a dirty oven by spreading a blend of baking soda and water on the surfaces. Let the mixture sit for a few hours and wipe off with a wet cloth.
- Castile Soap. Castile soap is made from plants with no added chemicals or animal products. Organic and biodegradable, castile soap is used for shampoo, body wash, and dish detergent. Mix castile soap with baking soda to make a scrub for the bathroom.
- Lemons. When life hands you lemons, make lemonade, but save a few to use in and out of the kitchen. Rub the cut side of a lemon half on a cutting board to sterilize it. Rinse the board with hot water, and it’s ready for use. As a natural bleaching agent, lemon juice can be spritzed on clothing to remove stains and left to dry in the sun. Freshen up toilets by pouring ½ cup lemon juice into the bowl. After 10 minutes, swish the bowl with a toilet brush and flush.
- Coarse Salt. Coarse salt’s natural abrasiveness is perfect for removing burned or dried-on food from pots and pans. Sprinkle salt in cast iron skillets and wipe with paper towels to remove food residue. Pour a mixture of salt and hot water down the drain to fight greasy buildup. A combination of salt and dish soap removes coffee and tea stains from cups. Pour salt over wine spills on clothes and tablecloths to pull the wine away from the fibers. Soak the stain in cold water for 30 minutes before washing.
When you think about fighting bacteria and germs, spraying your house with bleach might seem tempting. These eco-friendly substitutes not only limit your exposure to chemicals but also are quite inexpensive to use when cleaning your home.