- Green Household
Introduction to Home Made Products for Cleaning
How to Use Green Cleaning Sustainable products for your home
Cleaning should not be a rocket science! After all all it is down to a very simple concept: get rid of dirt and germs from surfaces and objects.
We all want our windows cleaned, floors and surfaces shiny and well dusted therefore in order to achieve these results, we buy cleaning products that promise just that.
However many of this products contain a high quantity of hazardous chemicals and toxins which can not only harm our health but contaminate the environment so that your floor is shiny like a diamond but in reality it has been spread with invisible particles of chemicals that cause more harm than good.
This problem has been quite well exposed in the news causing controversial reaction in the public debate.
Few Home Made Cleaning Products and You are Done!
3 Major Benefits in Going Green
This article wants to focus on the benefits of going green in your daily cleaning around your household and give you some pratical tips to start a little revolution everyone would benefit from. A simple gesture like humble cleaning, could have a huge impact on our environment and on our health too.
1.Huge health benefits
The first benefit and difference between the conventional cleaning and the green one, is that we not only will get rid of the dirt and the germs in going green but also we will get rid of the toxins and carginogens contained in the conventional detergents and household products.
Going green would make a huge impact on the amount of pollution in the air: once the cleaning has been done, no toxins or dangerous particles will be left floating in the room. Imagine if everyone would be using this method of cleaning the number of people suffering from eczema, psoriasis or other ailments will be considerably reduced.
What is a toxin ?
I am sure we all understand that toxins are health hazards but maybe it is useful to remind what a toxin really means to better understand the benefits of going green.
Toxins are chemicals particles that irritates your skin, burns your eyes and causes human illness or injury. Toxins are easily absorbed by the skin and can be the cause of major health problems. There has been an increase of population suffering from eczema, asthma and generally speaking allergies. Let alone cancer patients are on up in our society and no matter what for many of those affected by this terrible diseases there are no cure. Carcinogens particles are well present in many of the household products we use daily, perhaps prevention can be started by eliminating the use of those products and find an alternative: cleaning with natural and harmless ingredients.
Using white vinegar to polish your worktop wouldn't spread all this harmful chemicals in your home but it would keep it free of them.
2. Green cleaning means saving money.
Contrary on the general assumption that green cleaning must be expensive, in reality it doesn't cost more than the conventional cleaning, sometimes it is even cheaper. For instance I used a steam cleaner that realises vapour from water. I fill it with tap water and it steams at 95 degrees, it would kill all the germs and bacteria without the need to use anything else. I made a £75 investment and I only buy replacement cloths (but they can be washed too) or other tools once in a while. The steamer does wonders on floors, tiles, sinks, toilette and windows. I made considerable saving too as I don't buy any other products. Having use it on different surfaces and to tackle different jobs I have more money in my pockets. Traditionally we use one specific product for every item we need to clean. We buy kitchen worktop products, sink products, floor detergent, toilette cleaner and so on. Going green means reducing the amount of products we buy and learn how to use a single cleaner for different items. Generally this means that you need a spray bottles and few basic ingredients that you will be using for different jobs.
3. Simplicity in making your own cleaning products.
One of the aspects that I really like of this new way of household products is the simplicity of the recipes. We need mostly ingredients that you already use for cooking and items that you have already at home. See the table below to have an idea of the basic products. I used to recycling old cotton t-shirts to use as cloths and even socks, white vinegar (even if it is preferable to use distilled white vinegar), lemon juice from real lemon and even newspapers to clean my windows (this before the steamer came along).
This new method of doing my house chores also teaches me to have a routine of methodical cleaning to avoid being left, all of the sudden, having to clean a very dirty item that was left to collect dust for months. This bad habit it would require more time to clean and the use of aggressive products because it is too dirty. Cleaning your fridge and oven on regular basis, like every 2 weeks or ideally after every use will save you precious time because the job will be quick..
One of the things that pushed me toward the green cleaning is that I don't particularly like to clean! Seriously! It is one of those things that I have to do because I love my house cleaned and tidy but I am also into one million of other things. I don't want to waste to much time doing house chores. I also hated the smell of the cleaning products and the fact that my skin was itching after using some of them. That time I came across some books and old traditional ways to clean that my granny passed to my mother. Even one novel inspired me to try to clean in a different way. Isabel Aliende "The Spirits's House", describes a servant cleaning table glasses with white vinegar and newspapers, I remember to give it, a go and remaining really impressed by the results!Since then this has become my way to clean glass surfaces. It works wonder on mirrors,: which are sparkly and shiny like anything I have tried before.
3 Simple Recipes
Do you know?
Sponges are collectors of bacteria that may be highly hazard. For instance they can containing e-coli bacteria. Ideally you should throw your sponge away every week but there is an alternative. If you microwave your sponge for 30 second this will get rid of most of the bacteria and if you leave it for 1 minute even e-coli which is particularly strong and doesn't go away very easily.
How to De-clutter Your Home
Essential Green products to clean your home
Distilled white vinegar
Bicarbonate of soda
it eliminates dirt, removes mineral deposit
Great scourer that won't damage most surface
an excellent blend of vegetable oils available in solid or liquid.
Excellent to clean glasses and mirrors with only a old newspaper sheet instead of a cloth.
Excellent to wash vegetables, great whitener for teeth
Excellent all purpose cleaner
Do not use dark vinegar as it stains
Excellent deodorizer. A little vase in the fridge will absorb unpleasant deodor.
laundry soap, washing up, spot remover and body washer
Do not use vinegar on acid sensitive surface like marbles.
Added to the wash will keep the washing machine free from scale and it is an excellent fabric softner
Some simple recipes for an effecting cleaning
Here below are some ideas on how to use the these ingredients for an effective cleaning without having to surrender to toxics and harmful chemicals and make a big difference in the way we take care to preserve our environment as well as the health of people that we look after.
Easy multi purpose cleaner
Mix 250 ml distilled vinegar, 2 teaspoons of borax, 1/2 teaspoon castile soap, 500ml hot water in a spray bottle and shake till borax dissolves. Store and use it on worktops.
How to make your own, very personal washing up
How about having a washing up that does wonder on your skin as well as cleaning your dishes like you have just bought them! This is a washing up like no other! In fact it contains castile liquid soap. This wonderful soap is entirely made by oils (be sure you buy the pure organic one). I am using the wonderful Dr Bromner Magic soap. It is a combination of 3 oils (jojoba, olive oil and hemp oil plus essential Tea Tree oil). This is also my bath soap and occasionally I use it before my shampoo as a pre-treatment for my scalp, it does wonder on my locks. You can now fully understand when I said that green cleaning is cheaper than the traditional one. One products 3 and more different uses.
However, my personal washing up constist of 2 parts of liquid soap and 1 part of water. It works better than the usual washing up, especially on glasses which are truly sparkly!
Old socks, T shirts and flannel: the importance of soft cloths
I was a fan of paper towels. I used it for everything especially for emergency dusting but thinking about how to budgeting on my everyday shopping I resumed an old advise my granny used to say: using old socks to dust and generally old clothes that are worn out or no longer used . It works! Especially if you slightly damp them so that the dust will be kept into the fabric instead of spreading around. The advantage of old socks is that can be wash with your everyday laundry. As well as socks, you can use old cotton T-shirts to wipe, dust and polish objects, tables, floors, basically everything that needs a good polish. Flannel are ideal for dusting as they retain the dust very well. It also ideal to polish metal or wood because they don't scratch.
However, I have to confess that my favourite duster is the microfibre which is made of polyester and nylon a petrol based products. However they are excellent in collecting dust and are very reusable and work on every surface or objects.
Baking soda mutliple uses. 5 suggestions
Baking soda, also known as bicarbonate, is one powerful product that can be used of many cleaning purposes and does really what it promises in getting rid of germs and bacteria. It is a natural abrasive but does not scratch surfaces therefore is ideal for every cleaning purpose. It provides a great standard of hygiene and it is an excellent odours absorber.. Baking soda is so versatile that can be used from cooking recipes to cosmetic uses as well as tackling some of the most tricky jobs in the house, like unclog drains and clean fridges and ovens. It is incredibly cheap and can be bought in any supermarket or grocer store, just make sure that you buy 100% bicarbonate sodium. Here below some of its uses.
1. Cleaning ovens.
For non self cleaning ovens there is a non toxic solution which involve to make a paste with baking soda water and salt.
Use 150 gr bicarbonate of soda
50ml of water
50 gr of salt.
Coat the oven and leave it overnight. Clean with a spatula. Use washing soda for particularly dirty ovens.
Make a paste of backing soda and water and leave it for a least 12 hours .
Bicarbonate of soda is a wonderful bad smell remover. Add a small cup in your fridge and it will absorb unpleasant smell. A cup can be left in a fridge for 3 or 4 months.
Fridges, the quick way to clean:
Remove all the inside food and clean with soapy water made by castile soap. In my opinion this is the best for fridges. I used also a paste made by water and bicarbonate but I found that it clean but it doesn't shine while the castile soap makes your shelves almost sparkling!!
This is one of those unpleasant jobs that we need to tackle from time to time. If we prevent the problem by cleaning regularly with bicarbonate of soda then we can avoid wasteing time cleaning the drain.
4.To prevent a block sink
Hot water does a wonderful job in keeping bath drain cleaned therefore a good way to keep it free of residual dirt that can clog the drain therefore I use to boiling water in a kettle and pouring in my drain as often as I can. However for a more robust cleaning or to clear up blocked sinks follow this instructions:
Sprinkle 100 g of bicarbonate of soda following by
250 of vinegar pouring down the sink.
Leave it to act for 3 to 5 minutes and then pouring down boiling hot water.
5. In the washing machine.
As well as an excellent softer while making your detergent more effective, Bicarbonate of sodium does wonder inside your washing machine keeping scale away. Add a little scoop of bicarbonate of soda to every wash and your laundry will be fresher and cleaner than usual but also would last longer.
It is worth it to try out at least a couple of these tips, it would make you feel better knowing that your are doing something good. You can spice up these recipes with some drops of essential oils and this it would probably be the only "exotic" ingredient you don't probably have in your household. This "stuff" is so easy to find and most of them are already in our kitchen cupboard there are no excuses not to have a go on this.