This is a guest post by Paisley Hansen.
Here’s an inspirational quote that says much about the “green” approach to cleaning a home:
“Humans in the developed world spend more than 90 percent of their lives indoors, where they breathe in and come into contact with trillions of life forms invisible to the naked eye: microorganisms.”— Jessica Green
Most microorganisms that we live with are fairly harmless, even if they are a bit gross to contemplate. But dealing with those relative few that cause illness doesn’t mean blasting them with harsh chemicals. After all, the household must also live with the residue of those same chemicals. And most of those harsh, store-bought products need to be kept away from pets and kids.
Following are several ways you can clean your home with supplies that are all natural:
Vinegar and Water
It seems that a solution of one half vinegar to one half water solves almost everything. For one, it can make cloudy glassware sparkle again. Wash the glass as usual; put it in a bowl full of vinegar and water solution; rinse again; and allow to air dry. This alternative to store-bought glass cleaners is much less expensive and doesn’t leave a residue.
Vinegar and water can also put paid to some of the hard water in the heads of spigots, showers and aerators. Just pour some on a white cloth or an old toothbrush, scrub a bit then rinse.
It’s also an excellent solution for washing windows, removing rust from corroded nuts and bolts and helping creases to set in pants. To use as a laundry rinse, use a gallon of warm water and a cup of white vinegar, then rinse with clear water.
Vinegar, Baking Soda and Hot Water
A vinegar, baking soda and boiling water solution can be part of weekly drain maintenance. Place about a half a cup of vinegar in the drain, and add a half cup of baking soda. When it finishes fizzing, pour in a pot of boiling water.
This combination clears fairly tough clogs from drains and keeps them sweet smelling. It’s much safer than the caustic drain openers bought in the store; those can kill bacteria in septic systems and hurt pipes if they’re used incorrectly.
Lemon Juice and Table Salt
Because food is prepared on a cutting board, it’s best to not use bleach or other toxic chemicals. Lemon juice and table salt are a great natural solution for cleaning cutting boards and butcher blocks. Cut a lemon in half, pour a bit of salt onto the surface, and rub the lemon through the surface until it forms a sort of gritty paste, then rinse. It leaves the cutting board clean and disinfected.
Using club soda to clean and polish porcelain fixtures is easy. Just pour the club soda over them. Unlike store-bought cleansers, this requires neither soap nor rinsing. The finish won’t be damaged at all, and your fixtures will be left bright and shining.
Pectin and Water
A paste of pectin (made with a teaspoon of pectin and a bit of water) is just the thing to get rid of blood and other stains caused by proteins. The paste should be worked into the stain with a soft bristled toothbrush and covered with a white towel. A heavy object, like a brick, should be put over it and left to work overnight. Then, the area can be squirted with clear water and blotted up. This beats store-bought combination solvents that tend to damage certain fabrics.
Essential oils such as oregano, lemongrass, rosemary and lavender are effective natural cleaners that can be combined into a variety of recipes.
About the Author: Paisley Hansen is a freelance writer and expert in health, fitness, beauty and fashion. When she isn’t writing she can usually be found reading a good book or hitting the gym.