If you need to crack a window when you’re cleaning – the product is likely toxic. Not only are the smells coming off of these products offensive but they’re harmful to breathe and ingest. A lot of people don’t realize that the cleaning products they use on surfaces like a kitchen floor can actually harm household pets. And yes, there are several companies out there that make green household products, but they also cost more and who evens knows if they’re truly green? Here are five green cleaning products you can make right at home that work just as well as those on the market. Sometimes the old ways are just best…
1. Baking Soda
Baking soda is made from soda ash, and is slightly alkaline, its pH is around 8.1; 7 is neutral. It can neutralizes acid-based odors in water and adsorbs odors from the air (which is why mom always had a box of it in the back of her fridge, remember?) Sprinkle some on a damp sponge, baking soda can be used as a gentle non-abrasive cleanser for kitchen counter tops, sinks, bathtubs and ovens. Add up to a cup per load to the laundry to get rid of odors as well. It is a useful air freshener, and a fine carpet deodorizer.
2. Washing Soda
Washing soda is a chemical neighbor of baking soda, washing soda (sodium carbonate) is much more strongly alkaline, with a pH around 11. It does not release any harmful fumes and is much safer than a commercial solvent formula. Always wear gloves when using it because it is caustic, however. Washing soda cuts grease, cleans petroleum oil, removes wax or lipstick, and neutralizes odors in the same way that baking soda does.
3. White Vinegar and Lemon Juice
White vinegar and lemon juice are acidic – they neutralize alkaline substances such as scale from hard water (this shower doors!) The two together also kill mold, germs, and bacteria. Acids dissolve gummy buildup, eat away tarnish, and remove dirt from wood surfaces.
4. Baking Soda and Vinegar
This is the miracle un-clogger. I learned this one from my mother. We were a family of four and all of us had super thick curly hair. That shower drain was more often than not a rat nest of hair. Anyway, I’ve passed this along to my current household. The only thing is you need about three hours to wait before running water. Pour 1/2 a cup of baking soda followed by 1/2 cup of apple cider or white vinegar. It’ll be like a little volcano experiment in your bath, so let the kids help! Let the drain sit for three hours then dump hot water down the drain.
5. Vinegar, Rubbing Alcohol, Cornstarch and Water
1/4 cup white or apple cider vinegar, 1/4 cup rubbing alcohol, 1 Tbsp cornstarch and 2 cups water will make a brilliant glass cleaner. For some reason cornstarch cuts the streaking out (how brilliant!) Something else that reduces streaking is actually using newspaper on the mirror or glass instead of paper towel. Crazy, right?
Be sure to label all of the concoctions you make. I’ll have a cool DIY for spray bottles coming up this week for an added touch!