Green cleaning your home

There are so many things we can do personally to live a greener lifestyle and help protect the environment. Most of these things are common sense, like recycling and driving less. But there is one way that many people are contributing to the pollution of our planet, and most aren’t even aware of it: household cleaners. Those cleaners that you use on our windows, toilets, and stoves are full of toxic chemicals that can adversely affect the health of your family, as well as the health of our planet. Green cleaning is a relatively new idea, but it is easy and inexpensive to use environmentally friendly cleansers.


General cleaning


Baking soda and white vinegar are two of the best ingredients to have in your house for green cleaning. Mixing several tablespoons of baking soda in a quart of warm water makes a great all-purpose cleaner. Put it in a spray bottle for easy use in the bathroom and kitchen; it’s safe and effective on all surfaces. For stubborn stains, wet the surface and apply the baking soda directly, letting it sit for a while before rinsing.
If you have hard water, then white vinegar mixed with water makes a good cleaner for those spotted chrome fixtures. Allow it to sit for a few minutes, then scrub and rinse.


Killing germs


The chemical Borax (sodium borate) has long been used as a natural disinfectant. Mix ½ cup Borax with 1 gallon of hot water and a few drops of essential oil for fragrance. Store it in a spray bottle, and use it to kill germs in the bathroom and kitchen.


Borax can also make a great floor cleanser. Fill your sink with warm water, and add a little Borax and some vegetable oil based liquid soap. (Avoid petroleum-based soaps.) Use this with your mop in place of your regular floor cleanser.


Cleaning windows and mirrors


White vinegar and lemon juice both make effective glass cleaners. Make a solution with one part water, one part vinegar or lemon juice, and use it in a spray bottle. Buff the windows with newspaper for a lint-free shine. If streaking is a problem, you can make a solution with ¼ cup white vinegar and 1 tablespoon cornstarch. Fill the rest of the spray bottle with warm water and use in place of Windex or other glass cleaners.


Getting rid of unwanted odors


When we want to get rid of unpleasant household odors, most of us spray a chemical air freshener or deodorizer into the air, which simply adds more chemicals to the home’s environment. Instead, try adding cloves or cinnamon sticks to a pan of water and simmering it on the stove.


For bathroom odors, you can make your own deodorizer out of your toilet paper roll. Simply dab a few drops of your favorite essential oil into the cardboard on your toilet paper roll. Every time someone spins the roll, the fragrance will be released into the room and get rid of those icky smells.


Green cleaning your home is a good way to have a positive impact on the environment. It can also improve your family’s health by removing toxic chemicals from your house. You’ll have the assurance that you’re doing something good for your family, and for the planet.