Environmentally Friendly Cleaning Products
Society is becoming more aware of the harmful effects of using non-organic products, and various studies have shown how chemicals found in household cleaners are detrimental to the environment. Phosphates found in dishwashing detergent are used to soften water and prevent hard water stains – but phosphates also triggers algae blooms in ponds and lakes, suffocating aquatic life along with any animals that rely on lakes for sustenance. Fortunately, there are environmentally friendly alternatives to many of today’s chemical cleaners – and they’re more affordable.
Baking soda should become your go-to cleaner. Making a paste out of baking soda and water will clean almost any grungy surface, including (but not limited to): kitchen counters, stovetops, ovens, microwaves, refrigerators, furniture, kitchen floors, bathtubs, sinks, coffee pots, and pots and pans.
While a terrific surface cleaner, baking soda alone will not kill germs. Combining vinegar and baking soda creates a powerful frothing combination that will buff away scum and harmful germs (perfect for cleaning toilets). The combination also does a great job clearing drains: pour the combination down the sink and plug the drain, allowing the mixture to work away buildup. Then flush with hot water.
There are over a hundred different uses for vinegar, and a few Internet searches will produce a myriad of possibilities. One of the simplest and most handy uses is hard water stain removal. Place a cloth soaked in vinegar over any faucet, and it will break up any lime or calcium build up that your sink may have. Mix vinegar with warm water and use to clean floor surfaces, including wood floors.
Affordable and safe for the environment, borax is a powerful force to be reckoned with. Just a small teaspoon of borax is enough to be fatal; therefore, it should be monitored with caution and stored safely from young children. Its properties are alkaline, meaning it should be handled with rubber gloves. However, do not let the necessary handling precautions deter you from using it daily: Borax is a great tool for cleaning up grease, whether it is stuck to your oven or on your clothing. Sprinkle a little on a damp rag, and borax also makes a fantastic window cleaner.
Despite the negative press, ammonia is a great and environmentally friendly cleaning agent. Greenpeace has a recipe that dulls the intense odor as well as intensifies the cleaning power: mix half a cup of ammonia, a quarter cup of vinegar, and a quarter cup of baking soda together in warm water. Use this mixture to clean walls, linoleum, bathroom surfaces, or any other surface. Do not use on wooden objects or wooden floors. Care should be exercised when handling ammonia, as the substance is highly toxic and even small doses can be fatal.
Murphy’s Oil Soap
Made entirely from vegetable oils, Murphy’s Oil Soap is a great addition to your green cleaning products cabinet. A simple mixture of Murphy’s with warm water can be used to clean wooden floors, tables, cars, ceramic tiles, and vinyl surfaces. Use a little bit of pure Murphy’s on a sponge to clean leather.
A cleaning kit composed of these ingredients will keep your home clean and fresh, and it will do so without damaging the environment.
Read more house cleaning advice by Jason Kay at his blog at MaidServiceReviews.com.