The US Environmental Agency reports that the air in the average home is anywhere from 2 to 5 times more polluted than the air outside. One of the main culprits: chemical-based household cleaners. Hiding underneath our kitchen sinks and in our laundry rooms are toxic ingredients like phosphoric acid, phosphates and sodium hydroxide. In some cases, these little pollutants can also be blamed for allergies, headaches and skin irritations. It is no surprise that the market for green cleaning products and services continues to grow.
Green cleaning costs
Brand after brand of green cleaning products continue to hit the supermarket shelves. Many of these options are non-toxic and biodegradable. Many are also made from renewable sources, instead of petroleum. However, the cost for these items is equal to or even greater than the conventional cleaning product options. There is still a way to clean green, cut the amount of toxins in your household and save money. Instead of buying pre-made cleaners, try making homemade ones.
Use two ingredients to clean green
- Vinegar. Inexpensive and all-purpose, vinegar can be used to clean floors, furniture, windows, mirrors, curtains and carpeting.
- Baking soda. Almost as versatile as vinegar, baking soda is super-easy on the wallet and super-effective in cleaning the kitchen, bathroom, children’s toys and even the air. It is a non-toxic, naturally occurring material that is safe to keep in the house and to use anywhere you please.
So many ways to clean green
The following list provides 5 easy ways to get a good green clean using just vinegar, baking soda and water.
- Pour equal parts of baking soda (first) and vinegar (second) down the drain to clean the garbage disposal, household sinks or toilets. After 20 minutes, flush with hot water.
- Replace your all-purpose cleaner with a mixture of water and vinegar. Measure 1 part vinegar to every 2 parts water, and voila – you can clean the counters and feel good about eating off of them.
- Make a household stain remover by combining equal parts of vinegar and water. Just spray the stained area, soak for around 20 minutes, use a stiff brush to clean and rinse with water.
- Use baking soda as a deodorizer. Leave it open in the refrigerator, bathroom or kitchen. Or sprinkle over carpeting, let it stand for 15 minutes and vacuum to eliminate odor.
- Clean your kids’ toys with baking soda. Dissolve ¼ cup of baking soda in 1 quart of water, then submerge each toy in the solution and rinse for a quick, healthy clean.