Washington DC, Maryland, & Virginia Green Cleaning
Many homes across the country contain dozens of bottles of unnecessary cleaning products. People invest in multiple products for separate cleaning jobs such as: furniture polish, bathroom floor cleaner, bathroom fixture cleaner, kitchen floor cleaner, kitchen fixture cleaners, oven cleaner, bleach for white clothes, 2-3 different laundry detergents for stain removal and colored laundry, glass cleaner and countless other items. All of these products are costly, dangerous to your home, family and the environment. A household needs only 2-3 homemade organic products with which to keep the entire house sparking clean! Why organic products? Because they are non-toxic to your pets, family members and the environment. Organic cleaning products that you make yourself cost only pennies, whereas the average cleaning product is $3 or more. When we purchase cleaning items at the grocery store, there are so many chemical ingredients listed, it could give you a headache just trying to pronounce them individually. Just look a little closer and notice the word is listed. As you notice this, notice that this with all the other toxins together is totally beyond harmful. Do we want this garbage in our homes, around our kids, pets, and on our skin? There is always another way to clean.
North Americans use a billion pounds of Baking Soda each year, according to Bryan Tomlinson, director of public affairs for Church and Dwight; the world’s major manufacturer of sodium bicarbonate located in Princeton, N.J. Usage is up 3 percent per year. That’s twice as fast as the population growth. The world is finally waking up and smelling the coffee. Many companies are over using chemicals to sell and produce cleaning products.
Let’s get started in the kitchen. Instead of using different cleaning products for the stove, kitchen sink, cabinets, floor and refrigerator, there are only 4 simple items that you really need, and you can buy these items in any grocery store. They are white vinegar, baking soda, lemon juice and salt.
1. When cleaning your kitchen or bathroom floors just remember this solution it works great and leaves the floor squeaky clean without any harmful odors in the air. Just grab a pail and mix 1/2 cup white vinegar with 1-gallon hot water. This is safe for hardwood, linoleum, tile, and any other washable surface. This is totally non- toxic to kids and pets as well.
2. If you want to clean that grimy oven, here’s a great substitute for oven cleaner. Just mix 1 tablespoon of baking soda, 1 tablespoon salt, and add 1/2 cup hot water. Make a gritty paste, apply to the oven, heat slightly, cool and then wipe away with a damp cloth. You’ll notice the difference.
3. When you’ve noticed that the refrigerator seals are not working properly try this solution. The plastic seals of refrigerators can be wiped free of dirt and grime with a cloth dabbed in white vinegar.
4. If you’re planning to clean off your kitchen cabinets, try using 1/4 cup of lemon juice mixed with 1 quart of hot water. Lemon juice helps to remove grease from wood and metal and leaves the area smelling lemony fresh.
5. If you’re looking to wash your dishes by hand, but don’t want those harmful toxins on your skin, I’ve got a more gentle approach. In a small spray bottle, fill 3/4 with water and 1/4 with lemon juice. Lemon juice is the main ingredient in dishwashing detergent because it is an excellent grease fighter. If you want soap suds, try a few pieces of ivory soap in the bottle and shake until the suds are created. Remember it’s 99.44% pure! You don’t need any of the other ingredients that make up commercial dishwashing detergents–mostly fragrances. Fragrances mean that alcohol is added. Now we are off to do the laundry, there are three basic products to use: washing soda, white vinegar and salt.
6. Here’s a laundry solution for washing white clothes. Use 1/4 cup washing soda (sodium carbonate) in place of bleach. Along with the washing soda, add 1/4 cup of white vinegar. Bleach is one of the most toxic substances for the environment. Washing soda costs only a few pennies per wash load, and it is far less expensive than bleach.
7. The solution to washing dark clothes is to use 1/4 cup of white vinegar and 1/4 cup of salt. Salt helps to restore faded colors, and also to remove dirt and grime. While the laundry is washing, we can concentrate on the soft flooring of the home.
The carpet in your home filters out a lot of the toxins in the air that you breathe. Most of the allergens and toxins that are in the home are brought in from outdoors. This is a major problem for allergy sufferers. The carpets in your home should be cleaned regularly and steam cleaned thoroughly by a certified carpet cleaning technician.
8. When cleaning your carpets, there are three solutions to choose; salt, baking soda or cornstarch. Just as salt helps to restore the color of dark colored laundry, it also helps to bring out the color in carpeting, while at the same time, removing dirt. Sprinkle 1/4 to 1/2 cup of salt (depending on the size of your rug or carpet), let it sit for 15-30 minutes, and then vacuum. You can also alternate between salt and cornstarch. The instructions are basically the same. To remove odors from carpets, add 1/4 cup of baking soda to the salt (or cornstarch) and mix the two together thoroughly, sprinkle on the carpet and let it sit for at least 30 minutes, and then vacuum completely. You will notice the difference immediately. If you want to add a little fresh scent to your carpet, you can sprinkle Cinnamon, or All Spice on the carpet, let it sit for 15 minutes and then vacuum the area thoroughly. Bathrooms no longer have to be a chore to clean. The same organic cleaning items used in the kitchen are suitable for the bathroom; white vinegar, baking soda, and lemon juice. However, you can also use rubbing alcohol as a backup solution and you’ve got a great glass cleaner.
9. Here’s a solution to substitute for any bargain brand bathroom glass cleaner. Start with 1-2 tablespoons of white vinegar mixed with 1 quart of water in a spray bottle. To remove oily fingerprints and hairspray from the mirror, dab on a little rubbing alcohol and wipe with a cloth.
10. When cleaning your bathroom/bathtub glass sliding doors, just use 1/4 cup white vinegar mixed with 3/4 cup of hot water. Those hard water stains will wipe away like magic! When polishing wood furniture, hardwood floors, or even wooden blinds, the job does not need to be a costly one. All you have to do is use citrus oil. It will give all your wood surfaces a beautiful glow as well as a wonderful citrus fresh scent. You can purchase a gallon of citrus oil from any home improvement store, or your local Wal-Mart. It costs about $5 a gallon, but will last you at least 6 months.
11. When polishing your wood furniture, just pour a small amount of citrus oil (undiluted) onto a lint-free cloth, and polish to perfection. If you’re cleaning and polishing your hardwood floors, dilute one cup of citrus oil in one-gallon hot water. Use a sponge mop and mop the floor. Do not use the braided mop, for it will leave braided mop fibers behind. For heavy duty jobs, do not dilute use full strength. If you’re cleaning your wooden mini-blinds, dilute 1/4 cup of citrus oil with water in an empty spray bottle. Lay the blind out on the floor or outside on a towel. Spray the blinds lightly, and wipe gently with a sheet of fabric softener. Using the fabric softener sheet will grab the dust off of the blinds. For crayon marks, spilled candle wax, and residue left from tape and any other adhesive, dab with mineral oil and wipe gently with a cloth.
Mineral oil is the main ingredient of many commercial products that advertise the removal of greasy wax stains and marks.
To further ensure that you are helping yourself as well as the environment to remain chemical free there are a few simple things that you can do:
*Use Cloth Rags- Never use paper towels or the new Disposable Wipes. These products are bleached, and contain countless amounts of harmful chemicals. Many of these chemicals attribute to the many numbers of people suffering from allergies. Recycle old clothing, sheets and towels into cleaning cloths. Wash once a week and you’ll never have to waste money on paper products again.
*Recycle Paper and Plastic Bags- Never buy plastic garbage bags. Use the bags that you get from the grocery store to dispose of cat litter and household garbage. Invest in cloth bags to use for groceries, and take only 1-2 plastic or paper bags from the grocery store to use as trash bags. Paper bags are the most environmentally friendly, however most cities have ordinances against using paper bags for weekly trash pick-ups.
You could also use unused paper bags as textbook covers, which saves you money on textbook covers for the kids. The kids could decorate them as they choose as well as help the environment. All in all, minimize your use of plastic.*Purchase a Water Filter System- Buying bottled water has become a commodity. The water that we purchase is nothing more than tap water that is filtered (POSSIBLY). When you purchase water, it usually comes to you in a plastic or glass bottle.
This is not Recycling! Didn’t we want to recycle in the first place?
The best way to know for sure that your water is chemical free is to filter it yourself and take it with you. Also, store it a container that is not plastic. This way it will last a long time.
Remember, a little planning and creativity can go a long way. Our planet and our homes deserve to exist as chemical free as possible!