How to Make Eco-Friendly Cleaning Products at Home

Jun 21, 2012 by

Thursday, sovaldi 14 June 2012  |  Lysa Allman-Baldwin

Lemons photo by Andrew ComingsWhether due to the desire to become more eco-friendly, to create a healthier home environment sans the use of chemicals (particularly for those with allergy, respiratory and other health issues), to save money in these economically challenging times, or a combination thereof, many of today’s consumers are exploring ways to make eco-friendly cleaning products at home.

The good news is that it is very easy and inexpensive to switch from chemical-laden store-bought cleaning products to healthy home concoctions by using just a few basic ingredients: distilled white vinegar, baking soda, lemons and water.

Vinegar: Not Just for Salads
Who knew that the same ingredient that lends a special tang to salads can also clean almost anything in and around your home?

Priced under $4 a gallon (and a little goes a long way), distilled white vinegar is the primary ingredient in most homemade cleaning solutions. A natural disinfectant and deodorizer, its initial strong scent dissipates quickly, yielding clean and germ-free surfaces without a chemical residue.

Used alone, distilled white vinegar cleans vinyl and plastic, cuts through oven grease, dissolves mineral build up in coffee pots, eliminates sticky tape residue from scissors and, when added to the dishwasher rinse cycle, prevents hard-water spots on glassware. Removing stains and killing germs, mold, mildew and other bacteria are additional solo benefits.

When mixed with water, distilled white vinegar can breakup baked-on foods when boiled in the microwave, clean refrigerator shelves and brighten windows without streaks.

There are numerous lawn and garden uses for distilled white vinegar as well— preserving cut flowers and resuscitating droopy ones, removing crunchy house-planter rim deposits, neutralizing lime, and sanitizing outdoor tables and furniture, to name a few.

Baking Soda: Rise and Shine
Although most often used in baking and to deodorize the refrigerator or freezer, baking soda has many other household uses.

For less than a buck a box, you can take advantage of its abrasive cleansing properties to wipe and polish metals and plastics, and remove wax, grease and dirt. Replacing your fabric softener with 1/2 cup of baking soda during the rinse cycle is a great way to freshen laundry. Sprinkling litter boxes, garbage cans and carpet (before vacuuming) with baking soda eliminates pet, food and other odors.

By mixing it with vinegar to form a paste, you can scour the toilet and brighten showerheads and other bathroom fixtures.

Lemons: Pucker Up and Clean Up
You can’t beat the tart flavor, refreshing fragrance and walloping cleaning power of lemons.

Because lemons are naturally acidic, they possess great antiseptic and antibacterial properties. For example, rubbing the pulp over a cutting board will disinfect the surface. Dipped in salt, lemons work wonders cleaning and shining dull brass, and copper pots and fixtures. And, if you want to de-gunk and deodorize your kitchen sink and drain, grind cut lemons in the garbage disposal.

To remove stuck-on barbecue meat from the grill, sprinkle a lemon with salt and rub it back and forth along the grate. Wait a few minutes, then scrub it with a grill brush. Voila!

A terrific alternative to using commercial furniture polish is to combine one cup of olive or vegetable oil with a half-cup of lemon juice and apply with a soft cloth.

Making eco-friendly cleaning products at home is easy and economical. Helping save the planet in the process—priceless!



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