An important thing to remember when seeking out greener options for your cleaning products is whether the solutionâ€”natural or chemicalâ€”is safe for the surface you want to clean. Make sure you check manufacturersâ€™ recommendations for how to clean surfaces (cabinets, countertops, flooring, etc.) before using any new product; in some cases, using a cleanser that is not approved for that surface can nullify a warranty. Always check the manufacturerâ€™s specs when deciding on what kind of cleaning product to use, and then do a spot check by testing the solution/product on a hidden area of the surface. Often times a natural product will be gentle, but itâ€™s always best to check.
Did you know that a more environmentally-friendly cleaning product is just about as far away as your own pantry? Whether you reduce the number of chemical-laden cleaning products in your home, or save a few dollars on the household budget, there are simple, effective cleaning products already living in your home!Vinegar & Lemon Juice
You can use vinegar in virtually every room of the house in one way or another. Use vinegar to create your own window cleaner: combine one-half cup non-sudsy ammonia, two cups white distilled vinegar, two tablespoons of cornstarch, and one gallon of water in a spray bottle to use on glass anywhere in the house. Instead of buying toilet bowl cleaner, add three cups of white distilled vinegar to the bowl and let sit for 30 minutes; scrub the bowl, and flush to rinse. Create your own bathroom air freshener by combining one teaspoon baking soda, one tablespoon white distilled vinegar, and one cup of water; put ingredients into a spray bottle, shake, and spray into the air to neutralize bathroom odors. Adding a few drops of pure essential oil like lavender or lemon will give a hint of fresh scent.Lemons are a true house cleaning multi-tasker. Slice a large lemon in half, dip it into baking soda to coat, and scrub away: use on countertops and sinks, or even dishes, to remove stains and odors. Reserve citrus peels from lemons (or even oranges or limes) and add a few small pieces into the garbage disposal; the blades of the disposal will release the oils in the citrus peels to freshen the sink and drain.Combining vinegar and/or lemon juice with our next ingredient, baking soda, will result in many effective household cleaning solutions.Baking Soda
Baking soda is an effective, non-abrasive cleansing scrub. Sprinkle on rugs and carpets and let the fibers absorb the baking soda for 15-30 minutes, and then vacuum; this technique will absorb odors, and is especially great for those sensitive to the chemicals in store-bought rug deodorizers.Sprinkle baking soda anywhere you need to absorb odorsâ€”mud rooms, laundry rooms, smelly shoes, kitchen sponges, and garbage cansâ€”or use as a scrub to clean toilets and sinks. Have you run out of laundry soap? Use baking soda in a pinch. Baking soda is also great for cleaning your coffee and tea pots by removing stains and odors.Environmentally-Friendly Store Brands
Here are some store brands you may want to experiment with:
â€¢ Seventh Generation
â€¢ Simple Green