If you have decided to detox your home and get rid of the chemicals under your sink, remember to use an approved method from your municipality to prevent harmful chemicals from polluting the environment. Most cities and towns have specific locations to manage chemical disposal, and while getting them out of your house is a good idea, be responsible with your choice of methods.
The next step is figuring out how to clean your home without all those convenient (but toxic) chemicals. We've put together a step-by-step list of directions to revamp your entire cleaning regimen to one that will have your house clean and disinfected without the toxicity and health hazard associated with manufactured cleaners. It's not hard and you'll be surprised to learn that you can even save a lot of money over store bought cleaning supplies.
1. Choose Green Containers
Recycled glass containers are the perfect choice for your new cleaning supplies. Spray bottle tips can be added if necessary for windows or mirrors. If you are concerned about using glass containers (or if there are children in your home) consider choosing recycled aluminum bottles. Try to avoid plastic bottles. The less PVC in your home, the better.
2. Reusable Cloths
Artificial cloths such as paper towel and other disposable cleaning supplies add up to a lot of expense over the year and a great deal of waste. Why should you throw out a cloth every time it is dirty? Invest in some quality cotton cleaning cloths that can be thrown into the washing machine. You'll trim your budget again and you will be making a more sustainable choice.
3. Make Your Own Cleaners
Don't be shocked, because your Grandmother used to do it all the time! Using typical household ingredients such as vinegar, baking soda and lemon juice are powerful cleaning agents that can be used for just about anything including windows, removing stains and degreasing.
• Lemon juice (citric acid) is one of the strongest food-acids in the world. Use this to kill virtually any household bacteria in kitchens and bathrooms. Add a little to the mop water to disinfect shower floors and tiles.
• White vinegar kills mildew and removes grease and build up. It is also great for soaking silverware to polish and for cleaning glass and mirrors.
• Cornstarch is a great additive to shampoo carpets and rugs to deodorize and lift dirt.
4. Air Fresheners
Some of the most pervasive contributors to poor indoor air quality and toxins are the very things we use to make our homes smell good. Perfumed air fresheners (whether liquid or solid) irritate the respiratory tract and create issues for individuals with allergies.
Did you know that about 75 percent of American homes use some form of air freshener? The market for sales of these products is almost $2 billion per year according to the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). Some chemicals used in these products have been researched and the phthalates used in them are linked to reproductive abnormalities in children and birth defects among pregnant women.
Is it worth the risk? Opt instead to create your own natural air refreshers such as using vinegar and basic soapy water to disinfect strong smells (i.e., on a counter or cutting board). Invest in some good quality house plants which not only improve the oxygenation of your home, but also remove odors. Dried herbs and flowers in bowls or a vase can also lightly scent a space naturally and for your better health.
Stefanie Gomez is associated with Essentia, manufacturers of the world's only natural memory-foam mattresses. She understands the importance about green/healthy living hence she generally blogs about Eco-friendly lifestyle, health/wellness, healthy and sustainable living options.