How to Clean Green How to Clean Green
Modern cleaning products are super-charged; they clean faster and are stronger and more concentrated than ever before. But cleaning products are bringing more toxic chemicals into homes and the environment unnecessarily. For those wanting green cleaning products, many are widely available in grocery stores. And, with just a few everyday ingredients, you can make your own non-toxic cleaners at home. First, here are a few reasons why your cleaning products should go green.
Why Clean Green?
• Avoid Unhealthy Air: Traditional cleaning products can often make the air toxic. If your house, apartment or workplace does not have good ventilation, the toxins can remain in the air. This is particularly dangerous for people with allergies or asthma.
• Stop Supergerms: Antibacterial soaps are everywhere, especially during cold and flu season. However, they clean no better than regular soap, and they could cause harmful bacteria to become resistant while killing helpful organisms.
• Cut Down on Waste: Plenty of cleaning products—from dustcloths to toilet brushes—are becoming single-use, meaning yet another product that was made in a factory just for you to throw away.
In stores, you can purchase virtually every cleaning product in an environmentally-friendly version, even paper towels. Generally, these products cost just a little more, but the price just might be worth it. Also, check out product websites for coupons to help cut the costs of going green.
DIY Green Cleaning Products
You can also make green cleaning products yourself. The building blocks of nearly all homemade cleaning products are the kind of things your grandmother may have cleaned with: Borax powder, vinegar, baking soda, lemon juice, and Murphy’s Oil.
Borax is a naturally occurring mineral composed of sodium, boron, oxygen and water that is great for cleaning. You can use it as a laundry booster or presoak, and you can even scrub your tub and toilet with it. Stranger yet, you can use it to preserve flowers.
Vinegar can be used on many solid surfaces. Wipe down counters with a vinegar solution, get rid of hard water build-up, clean drains, wipe floors-—vinegar even dissuades ants from your countertops. Best yet, you can cook with it.
Baking soda cleans, deodorizes refrigerators and carpets, and provides an abrasive for cooked-on pans. It can also be made into a paste to get rid of countertop stains.
Lemon juice can be used in place of vinegar, and can also add a fresh clean scent to your cleaning products while also adding a bit of natural anti-bacterial strength.
Murphy’s Oil Soap
Murphy’s Oil Soap is natural biodegradable cleaning product that's free of bleach, ammonia, or other harsh detergents. It’s great on wood floors, furniture, no-wax floors, tile, paint and laminate.
The following are a few cleaning recipes to help you get started.
•1 cup rubbing alcohol
•1 cup water
•1 tablespoon vinegar
Combine ingredients in a spray bottle, and wipe clean with a lint-free cloth or newspaper. Alcohol can be omitted; it hastens evaporation to prevent streaking.
Measure equal parts of baking soda and vinegar (around 1/2 cup to 1 cup). Dump the baking soda down the drain, followed by the vinegar. Let sit for five minutes, then flush with hot water.
All Purpose Cleaner
•2 tablespoons Borax
•¼ cup lemon juice
•2 cups water
Dissolve Borax in the lemon juice and water. Put into a spray bottle and use like you would a conventional all-purpose spray.
Carpet Spot Remover
•Borax, cornstarch, or baking soda
Blot the spot immediately, and cover with baking soda, cornstarch or borax. When dry, blot with club soda and vacuum.
•Don’t mix homemade cleaning products with conventional cleaners.
•Keep these and all cleaning products away from children.
•Keep large batches of cleaning products in tightly sealed containers or reusable spray bottles.