A lot of indoor air pollution – which causes headaches, fatigue and irritation to our eyes, nose and throat – may be due to our sensitivity to everyday cleaning products. That’s not to say every cleaning product will have negative effects. But making your own cleaning products from items you probably already have in your pantry can be safer, not to mention reduce packaging costs and waste.
Here are six of our favorites:
1. Cleaning your windows and mirrors: Mix two cups of water, half a cup of vinegar, a quarter cup of rubbing alcohol (70%) and a drop or two of orange essential oil or a tablespoon of fresh lemon juice.
2. Oven cleaning with baking soda: A simple paste of baking soda and water is a great way to clean your oven, avoiding chemical oven cleaners or wasting energy with self-cleaning.
3. Cleaning your dishwasher: Fill a bowl or jar with two cups of vinegar, place it on the top rack and run a hot cycle without any other dishes, or detergent of course, in the dishwater.
4. Cleaning your shower head: Vinegar saves the say here too – fill a plastic bag with white vinegar and tie it around the shower head so it’s immersed in it for around 12 hours.
5. Cleaning mold from shower silicone caulking: Twist wet strips of paper towel and position them all along the bathtub where it meets the tiles (or where the floor and wall tiles meet in a standup shower) then spray the paper towel liberally with bleach. Leave it overnight. (Remember to turn on your bathroom fan to reduce the strong bleach smell – and although this isn’t a “natural” solution it really does work!)
6. Removing soap scum: While you’re in the bathroom, use two parts of baking soda to one part salt and one part borax to create a scouring powder that cleans shower and tub soap scum.
Other great natural cleaners include:
· Lemon juice – effective in killing most household bacteria
· Olive oil – to polish your wood furniture
· Corn starch – great for cleaning windows, polishing furniture and shampooing rugs
What are your natural home cleaning secrets? Share what you know in the Shop Talk blog community forum – we always want to hear from you!
Did you know: Cleaning your cutting board
Cutting boards have a well-deserved reputation for harboring nasty bacteria but sanitizing them is easy – simply sprinkle coarse salt over the surface, then cut a lemon in half, run it over the board, let it stand for ten minutes and rinse. (Source)