Go Green with Easy Homemade Cleaning Products
The cost of commercial cleaning products is high in terms of money, health concerns, and environmental impact. Go green and save money with homemade cleaning products.
The Cost of a Clean Home
Are your cabinets or shelves lined with aggressive cleaning products that make housekeeping a little easier?
Unfortunately, the cost of commercial cleaners is high, not only in terms of money but also in health concerns and environmental impact.
If you suffer from allergies, asthma, bronchitis, or sinus infections, minimizing your exposure to chemical cleaners can relieve some of your symptoms.
A Clean, Green Home
In today's marketplace, you can find many cleaning products that are safe, gentle, and still very effective.
From laundry detergent and kitchen degreasers to all-purpose cleaners, there is something for just about every cleaning need.
Commercial non-toxic products must meet strict standards for safety and effectiveness, but they are also pricier than chemical-laden cleaners.
Fortunately, you can go green and save money when you make your own household cleaning products. Here are some recipes and suggestions.
Natural alternatives can replace many of the commercial products that you use to clean your home. These safe, earth-friendly substitutes have dozens of home uses, and they are a lot less expensive, too.
You may be aware of the benefits of baking soda and white vinegar for cleaning projects, but there are other many other natural alternatives to chemical cleaners.
For example, unscented soap in liquid, bar, or powder form can clean almost anything. And borax is an excellent cleanser, deodorizer, and disinfectant.
Rubbing alcohol is good disinfectant. And lemons, some of the strongest acidic foods, inhibit some types of household bacteria. Cornstarch is ideal for cleaning your carpets and rugs.
Make Your Own Homemade Cleaning Products
It is easy to make homemade cleaning products that are safe and inexpensive. Here are recipes for three common household cleaners: an all-purpose cleaner, a natural disinfectant, and a carpet cleaner.
1. Natural All-Purpose Cleaner
An all-purpose cleaner is perfect for general cleaning around the house, including your kitchen and bathroom. Mix one-half cup of white vinegar and two teaspoons of borax into a half gallon of tap water. Pour the solution in a well-labeled container and store it for general use.
2. Natural Disinfectant
A natural disinfectant is also handy to have on hand. Mix four tablespoons of white vinegar and two teaspoons of borax into three cups of hot water, and pour the solution into a spray bottle.
While this is not an antibacterial formula, it serves most cleaning purposes in your bathroom and kitchen.
3. Natural Carpet Cleaner
For carpet stains, mix equal parts of water and white vinegar. Spray the solution onto the stain, allow it to sit for a few minutes, then clean the fiber with a soapy sponge or brush.
Tougher stains benefit from an additional one-quarter cup salt and borax. For grease stains, sprinkle cornstarch on the stain, allow it to sit for one-half hour, and vacuum away the debris.
Are Homemade Cleaning Products Safe?
The natural substitutes in homemade cleaning products are much safer than the commercial, chemical-laden cleaners. They are also less expensive than commercial products.
Health experts say they are safe for the home environment, but they can cause harm if they are ingested. Label all of your homemade products and hide them away from little hands.
Is Borax Safe?
Many recipes (like the ones above) use borax as an ingredient in homemade cleaning products. You may wonder about its safety.
The Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS), an important component of occupational safety and health, rates borax as a level 1 health hazard similar to baking soda and salt.
Borax does not enter the body through the skin, accumulate in the body, or cause cancer, nor does it harm the environment. Some animal studies indicate that borax may cause potential reproductive problems, but only when it is ingested.
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- Eartheasy writers. (n.d.) "Non-Toxic Home Cleaning." Eartheasy: Solutions for Sustainable Living. Retrieved April 29, 2013.
- ScienceLab.com writers. (October 9, 2005 / Updated June 9, 2012). "Material Safety Data Sheet: Sodium Borate (Borax, Fused) MSDS." ScienceLab.com. Retrieved April 29, 2013.
- Wikipedia contributors. (April 27, 2013). Material Safety Data Sheet. Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved April 29, 2013.
- Zerbe, Leah. (n.d.) "Save $$:Green Cleaning Recipes That Really Work." Rodale/Prevention Healthy Living Group. Retrieved April 29, 2013.
The information presented in this article is not intended as health or medical advice, nor is it a substitute for professional diagnosis or treatment by a qualified medical professional.
© 2013 Annette R. Smith