By: Katy McBride April 19, 2016 Follow @Green_Clean_Ava
It is Earth Week and I wanted to address this issue of why should a person (like my 65 year old Mom) change from using over the counter cleaners to “green cleaners”? Are the chemicals in these cleaning products like 409, Spic and Span, Windex and many other common cleaning products really that harmful in your Home? The argument might be, they have been in our Homes for generations, Why Change Now? It just seems like a lot of work to “Go Green”.
Well, actually, it’s really not all that hard.
Have you ever noticed how when you clean with these over the counter products that the smells are very strong? I have and I’m sure you have as well. Do you ever get light headed cleaning with these products and have to turn on the bathroom fan or open a window to air out the smell? That was my issue with over the counter cleaners. I have allergies and am very sensitive to smells so this would always happen to me when I cleaned. You actually don’t really even notice that much of a difference until you actually start cleaning with these “All Natural” Environmentally friendly products.
The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has one of the most compelling reasons to switch. They say that many of the Household Cleaners today contain Volatile Organic Compounds or VOC’s such as formaldehyde and harsh acids. Since these compounds are often 2-5x greater than their outdoor counterparts, people can experience “eye, nose and throat irritation; headaches; loss of coordination; nausea and even damage to the liver, kidneys & central nervous system”.
Many of these Volatile Organic Compounds have caused cancer in animals and some are suspected, as well as known to cause cancer in humans. Most of our modern chemical cleaners are “quite simply, overkill” says the nonprofit group, Children’s Health Environment Coalition (CHEC). Most of the time we can use milder and more natural chemicals to do the same jobs as these over the counter cleaners.
If you want to learn more about the Chemical Industry and how unregulated it is, then check out the Netflix move “The Human Experiment” and it will explain how many of these Chemical Companies have gone unregulated in the past because of Corporate
Greed. Companies such as Johnson & Johnson, Dow Chemicals, and more. So, if you have allergies or just want to live a Healthier Life inside of your Home, here are 5 Ingredients that you could use to make your own Cleaning Products.
Here are my Top 5.
#1. Vinegar-(I hate the smell, but it is very effective) This is a anti-fungal that also kills germs and bacteria.It is great in Bathrooms and on carpets when you have to get out a Pet Urine stain. Combine half vinegar with half water and spray. Then once it’s drying, add the next ingredient on my list an allow it to dry. Then vacuum up.
#2. Baking soda-This product eliminates odors and works as a gentle scouring powder on just about any surface. I’ve used it in the bathroom as well as in the kitchen. Sometimes it leaves behind a white residue but that will come up if you use enough water to remove the salt. Use this after the vinegar and water solution to eliminate the odor.
#3. Liquid castile soap-(Dr. Bronner’s Sal Suds Biodegradable Cleaner) is my favorite! This is an all-purpose cleaner, grease-cutter & disinfectant. “Castile” means that the soap is
vegetable-based not animal-fat based. For example, the Dr. Bronner’s is made of coconut fatty acids.
#4. Pure Essential Oils– These are all natural organic oils that come from plants. The oils are taken from the pressed plants and flowers. This adds a wonderful scent to your cleaning as well as some of these oils have anti-bacterial, anti-fungal or insect-repelling properties. For example Tea Tree oil is a Antibacterial agent as well as anti-fungal. It is great to use in Bathrooms & Kitchens. I combine a few drops of Tea Tree Oil to my Dr. Bronner’s Sal Suds solution and then add water. This is my favorite All Natural General Cleaner. Other essential oils that have these properties are Lavender, Peppermint, Eucalyptus, Lemongrass, Rosemary and Basil.
#5. Hydrogen Peroxide (3% concentration)-This is a great nontoxic bleach and stain remover. Have you ever used it with Baking Soda to whiten your teeth? You can also use it to clean with! It is a wonderful disinfectant for the Home.
There are many other Natural Cleaners that I did not mention such as Lemon juice, Club Soda, Olive Oil, Corn Meal, Borax, and others. If you do decide to “Go Green” with your Cleaning Products this year, your Body & Family will Thank You!
If you have any questions you can Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or give me a call. I hope this article has been Helpful and Happy Earth Week 2016!
The Washington Post. The Human Experiment movie review. Merry, Stephanie. April 16, 2015. https://www.washingtonpost.com/goingoutguide/movies/the-human-
Green America. Ten Simple Ways to Clean Green. Fernandez Rysavy, Tracy. April 2015.