Many people associate the smell of bleach with clean, what they don’t realize is that bleach is actually not a cleaning agent. Bleach does have disinfecting qualities but even these aren’t as good as people believe them to be. When using bleach and bleach by-products, you are possibly putting your family in harm’s way by filling your home with harmful gases. If that’s not bad enough you’re also taking a chance of ruining some your nice, expensive appliances.
To read more on why you shouldn’t be using bleach and studies done on bleach please Click here, Here and Here. On these sites you will find an abundance of reasons to stop using bleach and begin finding healthier cleaning solutions.
To start your journey into green cleaning my first advice would be to stop associating clean with the smell of bleach and start thinking clean, when you smell vinegar. I know, some of you are thinking that you hate the smell of vinegar but let me just say that it’s not all that bad. It’s no worse than bleach and vinegar smell is very easy to over-look. Not to mention, it’s much healthier and safer for your family.
That’s why I’m here to share some of my favorite home-made, green cleaning products: That will not only get the job done, but also keep your family safe from the harmful chemicals of bleach.
-For the kitchen:
Tools you’ll need:
* All-purpose cleaner:
In the bowl mix:
1tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp dish soap
Just add a few drops of essential oils for a pleasant scent, then pour into spray bottle and “have fun”.
* Sink and stove cleaner:
In a bowl mix
1/3 cup baking soda
Enough water to make a paste
Place paste on sponge or scrub brush and use, make as needed.
In a microwave safe bowl place 2 cups water and 1tbsp vinegar.
Microwave until at least half the water has evaporated.
Then let stand for ten minutes with the door shut.
After ten minutes open microwave and wipe down with a sponge that has been sprinkled with baking soda. Lastly, wipe the microwave down with a cloth soaked in clean water.
* Freshen the garbage disposal:
Take the pulp from a used lemon and a few thin strips of peel.
Then toss into the disposal, run the water and turn disposal on.
This will help clean the disposal and keep it from getting stinky.
* Oven cleaner
Simply fill an oven safe pan half way with water and add a tablespoon of vinegar.
Heat on high for an hour, then turn off.
Let sit for 1/2 an hour then wipe down with damp sponge.
Things you’ll need:
* Toilet bowl cleaner
Mix in Toilet bowl 1/4 cup baking soda with 1 cup vinegar, let stand 15 – 25mins, scrub and flush.
* Tub and tile cleaner
In a bowl combine:
1 2/3 cup baking soda
1/2 cup dish soap
1/2 cup water
Pour in to a spray bottle and use a cloth or sponge to wipe down areas.
* Glass cleaner
In spray bottle combine:
1/4 cup vinegar
4 cups warm water
Use with cloth to clean mirrors or shower glass.
* Drain cleaner
Pour in drain
1/2 cup baking soda
1 cup vinegar
Let stand fifteen minutes then rinse drain with hot water.
– Wood polish
1tbsp Olive oil
What you’ll need:
Cut lemon in half and strain juice into container.
Then add olive oil and water, place small amount on cloth and wipe furniture down. A little will go a long way, the cloth will not need to be soaked.
*DIY laundry detergent
1 bar ivory soap
1/2 cup Arm & hammer washing soda
1/2 cup borax
1st: grate soap
2nd: place soap in sauce pan and add 6 cups water, heat until melted.
3rd: add washing soap and borax, heat until dissolved then remove from heat.
4th: pour 4 cups hot water in a 2 gallon bucket then add soap mixture, stir well.
5th: add 1 gallon & 6 cups water to bucket, stir well again.
Finally: let sit for 24hrs to gel, add 1/2 cup to wash.
* Fabric softener
Take a gallon bucket, add 1 cup baking soda, 1 cup water and 6 cups vinegar.
Let the fizz die down then add 6 more cups of water. (Optional) add 10 drops of essential oil. (Note: your clothes will not smell of vinegar so the scent is not really needed, just a plus.)
* DIY dryer sheet
Take your softener mix and dampen an old washcloth, you can do this with a spray bottle or by
dipping the rag and ringing it out.
Option 1 – Herbal
1/4 cup of your favorite herbal tea, brewed strongly.
8 oz of liquid Castile soap
Mix soap into tea and store in a capped bottle, and old shampoo bottle will work great.
Option 2 – Simple and quick
4 oz Castile soap flakes
1 quart water
Boil water then pour over soap flakes, stir until dissolved then store in capped bottle.
Option 3 – Baking soda (For 32oz bottle)
5tbsp baking soda
4 cups cold filtered water
Mix baking soda and water then pour into an old shampoo bottle or capped bottle.
Apple cider vinegar
In a 1 to 1 ratio mix water and vinegar, so 1 cup to 1 cup, or however much you want to make.
Store in any capped bottle you’d like.
(Notes: When you first switch to baking soda shampoo and the conditioner, you may feel that it’s not working and not worth using. Just continue use without commercial shampoos or conditioner and you will begin to see that it is well worth the switch.)
All these green cleaning/care solutions are not only a healthier choice for your family but it is also a much more cost efficient choice. I hope that enjoyed this post and decided to start your own war on chemicals.