Going Green in Home Cleaning
The bathroom is probably one of the hardest rooms to keep fresh and clean especially during holidays when we visit it often. A quick spritz of air freshener may feel like the best way to get rid of funky odors. Unfortunately, that appealing smell may not be as friendly as it may seem.
Have you ever stopped to wonder what’s in the myriad synthetic air fresheners that make your home, office or bathroom smell like apple spice or a gingerbread house? It certainly isn’t flowers. The actual fact is that there are a lot of nasty chemicals contained in these air fresheners that you wouldn’t want to be inhaling.
Air fresheners and plug-ins usually contain phthalates, a potentially dangerous chemical that may be responsible for indoor pollution and a number of health problems. The instance you use an air freshener, the phthalates are released into the air as tiny particles that can be inhaled into the lungs and rapidly transferred into the bloodstream. Once these chemicals get into the bloodstream, they can disrupt hormone levels and cause other health problems like hormonal and reproductive issues, birth defects or even pose a health risk to babies and young children.
Another common dangerous chemical is the formaldehyde, which according to CDC can cause cancer of the nose and throat with prolonged exposure. Studies also suggest that the use of these air fresheners can increase the chances of developing asthma and can contribute to an increase in pulmonary diseases, skin conditions, headaches/migraines, and infertility.
It is easy to make your bathroom or house smell and look great without any harsh chemical, using products that you most probably have in your home. Going green means that you no longer have to worry about breathing toxic chemicals that linger in the air and sit on surfaces triggering health problems. These are easy-to-use natural alternatives which can safely be used in place of commercial household products to deliver the same results. The homemade substitutions include:
- Baking Soda – When it comes to tougher cleaning jobs like clogged drains, combining baking soda with distilled vinegar does the trick. It creates a foaming reaction within the drain and pipes which cleans and deodorizes them entirely.
- Washing soda – This is effective for cutting through grease, removing stains, softening water, descaling coffee pots, espresso machines, and boilers.
- Hydrogen peroxide – This is a safe alternative to bleach that can be used to eliminate mold, mildew, and stains. It also kills dangerous bacteria like salmonella and is perfect for any job that requires bleaching.
- Salt – Mix salt, lemon juice, and baking soda to remove stains from plastic containers or absorb odors.
- Distilled white vinegar – This is an excellent all-purpose cleaner, degreaser, and sanitizer that also inhibits the growth of mold and mildew. Mix the vinegar with equal amounts of water in a spray bottle and use it to clean virtually every surface in your home including mirrors, glass, windows, wooden floors, faucets and showerheads.
- Borax – Borax can be used to disinfect, deodorize, soften water and remove stains.
- Lemon – Lemons are wonderful cleansers and deodorizers. They can also be used to give a fresh citrus scent or cutting through grease.
- Essential Oils – Many essential oils have disinfecting, deodorizing and natural cleansing properties. Mix them with eco-friendly cleaners for a pleasant aroma.
- Vodka – Vodka aids in eliminating odors or bringing a streak-free shine on glass surfaces and windows. It can be mixed with distilled water and essential oils for fresh, clean scents in your bathrooms.
- Soap – Use an unscented, natural soap to clean any surface in your home. It can be found in liquid form, flakes, powders or bars.
Protect your loved ones and the environment by choosing non-toxic, biodegradable substitutes for your different cleaning needs.