Green Cleaning Solutions for Better Living
The Problem with Chemical Cleaning Products
Consumers who buy commercial cleaning products rely on them to accomplish one thing: to clean! This is the very reason the market is saturated with all sorts of soaps, bleaching agents, scourers, and polishers. It is all to accomplish the task of keeping things clean and free from dirt. These things might do an efficient job of cleaning your home but it bears thinking about what they do for your health. So many of the chemical cleaning products sold in the market and used in homes contribute to air pollution and can be poisonous if ingested, touched, or even inhaled. This is unknown to most homeowners but it also happens that some commercial cleaners sold in stores are the most toxic products that people can store in their homes. Back in 2000, a report came out that nearly 10% of all toxic exposures in the US originated from cleaning products as reported to US poison control centers. These chemical cleaning solutions contain everything from formaldehyde, phthalates, 2-botuxyethanol, and benzalkonium chloride. That commercial oven cleaner you use is classified as one of the most toxic cleaning products you can bring into your home and it is all due to the fact that it has lye. It may be effective in cleaning up mess from your oven but it can also cause burns on your skin and eyes and can be deadly if swallowed. Is your health and the environment really worth sacrificing for a spotless oven?
There is no denying that these commercial chemical cleaning products do the job they were meant to do and that is to keep your house clean. But it is also good to keep in mind the many health and environmental risks they pose and ask the question: is there something better?
Green Cleaning Solutions
People have been steadily becoming more and more eco-conscious and this is good. One area where this green consciousness has spread into is the home and the use of green cleaning solutions. These green cleaning solutions work to accomplish what commercial chemical cleaning agents set out to do only they do so without the negative effects. Most people who have made the move to green cleaning solutions agree that there are so many benefits to the move and some of them are:
- Savings – Making your own green cleaning solutions at home means fewer trips to the store to purchase green cleaning solutions. Simply by opting to use items that you already have in your kitchen, you can clean your own house and it will cost you less when compared to the cost of chemical cleaning purchases. Of course, you may always buy green cleaning products from stores but you save more simply by mixing your own.
- Better health – A lot of commercial chemical cleaning products such as laundry detergent, bathroom cleaners, and glass cleaners contain harmful chemicals that, when inhaled, can be extremely bad for the health. The sad part is the adverse effects of these products are not even felt until several years down the line. Not only will you benefit from making the move to green cleaning solutions but the rest of your family and pets will benefit as well.
- Better for the environment – The toxins found in chemical cleaning solutions impact the environment directly and indirectly. For instance, when you use commercial dish washing liquids and pastes, they get washed down the drain and straight into the water where it can induce negative effects to the local aquatic life.
- Using green cleaning solutions is simpler – Using green cleaning solutions makes the task of cleaning so much easier and simpler because you do not need a separate product for each task since once product can be used to accomplish different tasks. For instance, you may use vinegar to clean your floors, your windows, and even your bathroom floors.
- They are just as effective – Most people make the mistake of associating acrid chemical smells with “cleanliness.” However, green cleaning solutions do not have such a smell which can be misleading because they are just as efficient and effective as chemical cleaning solutions.
With these benefits, you can see the positive impact that adopting green cleaning solutions will bring to the home.
Household Products that Double as Green Cleaning Solutions
You will be surprised at how even the most simple kitchen staple becomes the most effective cleaning product when used properly. Some simple, everyday home items are listed below and they can be used in multiple ways to clean the home.
Lemons – Lemons contain citric acids that remove rust stains and dirt. Mix lemon juice with salt and you have an excellent scouring paste that you can use to clean grout and tiles. You can use lemon to clean the following:
- Cutting boards
- Dirty dishes
- Garbage disposal unit
Baking soda – Another home-item that you can use to clean your house is baking soda. This is one of those age old cleaning items that seem to have been forgotten in the influx of commercial cleaning items in the stores. What is nice about baking soda is you can clean almost anything with it. You can even use it in place of toothpaste. Below are some examples things to clean with the use of baking soda:
- Garage doors
- Stove burners and grates
- Upholstered fabrics
- Stained tea cups
- Scuffed walls
- Carpet spills
Essential oils – One staple when it comes to green cleaning solutions are essential oils. Granted, these oils may not immediately pop into your head when you think about green cleaning solutions since you may associate them more with aromatherapy but they really do have lots of uses for cleaning and deodorizing the home. They might be expensive at first but they are extremely potent and a single drop of peppermint oil can be as effective as 20 cups of peppermint tea. Take a look at the examples below of where you can use them:
- Cleaning combs and brushes
- Scuffed floors
- Gum-encrusted shoes, clothes etc.
- Shower doors
Vinegar – Vinegar is one of the more well-known green cleaning solutions used in homes and for good reason: it is that versatile and that potent. Vinegar, when used by itself can clean a lot of things around the home but when mixed with other green cleaning solutions, it becomes even better. Check out some ways vinegar can be used to clean around the home.
- It can be used to get rid of bad odors
- Fixtures in bathrooms and kitchens
- Stains and spills on carpets
- Silverware and cutlery
- Laundry rinse cycle
- Cleaning grime off stove-tops
And that is just the beginning. There are so many creative ways to make use of green cleaning solutions at home and cut back on the dependence on chemical commercial cleaning products. It will take a bit of getting used to but it is one move that holds a lot of benefits for you, your family, and the environment.
Making the Change
While it is better to just get rid of commercial chemical cleaning products all in one go, you may want to do it one by one so that it is easier to get used to the idea of using kitchen items you already have. Do it little by little and take as long as you need to get yourself used to the idea; just remember that you are doing this for your own good and setting an example for others as well.