Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Small Steps -- Household Cleaners

A small step that can make a big change in your home and health has to do with household cleaners. 

The household cleaners you choose to use in your home greatly impact the indoor air quality.  Artificial scents can greatly impact your health...we notice headaches and sinus problems almost immediately when around artificial scents.

Choosing natural cleaners (or making your own) can greatly improve your health and it has even made room in our budget for investing in other things!

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Here are some simple substitutes for the cleaners in your home:

1. Instead of an All-Purpose cleaner use a mixture of white vinegar and water (I use a mixture of 1:1 vinegar and water).  You can add some essential oils for increased cleaning and to add a fun scent.  (I'm using up the Tea Tree Oil that I have, but then will change to a citrus scent!).

2. Instead of a glass cleaner, just use water...wipe with a damp rag and then dry...no streaks and basically free!

3. Instead of toilet bowl cleaner, just use your vinegar/water AP cleaner and spray and brush or use a bit of bleach...I've found that I need to use bleach about once each week.

4. Instead of using a soft scrub type product to clean the bathtub/sink/etc, use baking soda and a damp rag/sponge.  Scrub and rinse!  This works great for sinks and bathtubs...anything that rinses easily!

5. Instead of scented laundry soap, us a free and clear version...or better yet, make your own or use a pre-made natural "diaper safe" detergent.  I've used and loved Biokleen but I'm currently making my own with Zote, Washing Soda and Borax.

6.Dish Soap is where I struggle...we don't have a dishwasher so all our dishes need to be hand washed.  I need something that is going to work WELL and that is inexpensive.  I've found that some of the more natural options don't have quite the power I'd like to cut through grease.  Currently I'm using the Free and Clear version of the Up & Up brand (Target).  It works well and is inexpensive.  I've also used Seventh Generation and Biokleen in the past, and they worked pretty well. 

7. I have a large bag full of rags (old towels that I've cut up), that we use for pretty much everything.  I much prefer rags that need to be washed than having to constantly buy new cleaning wipes.  It's only an extra load of laundry each week and no folding!

There are many natural or "more natural" cleaning supply brands that you can buy at your local store (Mrs. Meyers, Seventh Generation, Green Works, etc), but they tend to be more expensive than they "non-natural" counterparts and are definitely more expensive than my DIY versions...

What is your favorite natural cleaning solution?

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