Have you had enough of the toxic-smelling cleaners that promise to scrub your bath and kitchen surfaces clean? The ones with the long chemical names claim to wipe out bacteria, but did you know that anti-bacterial cleansers you buy in your local supermarket can actually make “regular” bacteria more resistant? It’s true. Dr. Stuart Levy, of the Alliance for Prudent Use of Antibiotics, says that antibacterial soaps are reserved for sick person, not healthy households, and that their overuse may be spreading bacteria.
As if that wasn’t reason enough to think twice before using these products, it has been found that the chemical fumes that emanate from everyday household cleansers may actually be harmful to pets, children and the elderly.
What to do? Well, why not mix your own cleansers-using natural ingredients that you’ve got around your home. They’re easy to make…and easy on your budget.
If you want an effective, easy-to-make alternative to expensive household cleansers, give the following a try:
For General Cleansing Jobs
This natural cleanser is easy to make and will clean your bathroom, kitchen…and then some!
Wall and floor cleanser –
1) Fill a bucket with warm water. About a gallon of water will do.
2) Add 1/3 cup of Borax.
3) Pour in 1 teaspoon of liquid dishwashing detergent.
4) Add 1 tablespoon ammonia.
For Scouring Jobs
For a “recipe” that uses more natural ingredients in place of a commercial cleanser for toilets, sinks and tubs, try the following:
Scouring cleanser –
1) Pour 1/ 4 cup Borax into a container.
2) Add 1/4 cup baking soda.
3) Add 1 1/2 cups of warm-to-hot water.
4) Stir completely.
White Vinegar – This inexpensive cleanser has also been used for decades to shine windows, mirrors and metal surfaces. It also removes hard water deposits.
Unlike bleach, vinegar is not harmful to your lungs when you breathe it in. It may smell like salad dressing, but it’s perfectly safe. The smell dissipates fairly quickly, leaving behind lots of clean, shiny surfaces.
All-Purpose Vinegar Cleanser
Here’s a very effective vinegar cleanser that can be used virtually anywhere you’d use a commercial cleanser:
All-purpose vinegar cleanser –
1) In a spray bottle, pour 1 part white vinegar to 3 parts cold water.
2) Shake the bottle’s contents vigorously.
Natural Stain Remover
Another way in which white vinegar can be used is straight from the bottle, to remove stains. You prefer apple cider vinegar? It’s best to leave that for the salads; apple cider vinegar stains. White vinegar also simply works better to remove difficult stains (like berry stains) from clothing.
Leave Dirt Outside!
Cleaning effectively (and safely) is not just about getting rid of grime once it settles in the air and on the floor of your home. If you take preventive measures, you’ll have less to clean-and a cleaner environment.
Additional Cleaning Tips – For a real “natural” approach to cleaning, take off your shoes when you enter your house! You’ll be pleasantly surprised at how that simple step cuts down on the amount of dirt that enters your house…and makes it into your kitchen and bath.
You might also consider getting door mats for both the outside and the inside of your house, if you have dogs.
Natural Air Fresheners
For reducing acid-based odors, such as those associated with pets, you should use baking soda. Sprinkle a little bit on a moist sponge and wipe.
For alkaline-based smells, you can use vinegar or lemon.
You might try stocking up on both of these items; most natural deodorizers have either baking soda or vinegar added to their products. Try one, and if it doesn’t work, switch to the other!
What do you do when you have to get rid of an odor that won’t be banished? Take a trip to your local health food store and pick up some zeolite crystals. These crystals are minerals which absorb toxic gases like formaldehyde and ammonia and other seemingly indestructible odors. Place them very near the odor. When the odors have been absorbed, take the crystals and place them outside in the sun. The captured air pollutants will be released almost immediately.