by SUSAN BOYOUNG BAILEY SCHABACKER
Forgo the costly cocktail of chemicals you use to clean your home. Instead, opt for green cleaning products that aren’t harmful or toxic when breathed in or absorbed through your skin where they can enter your bloodstream. Save your health, save your money, and make your own.
Explore the benefits of switching from cleaning with chemicals to green cleaning for a naturally fresh, sustainable household. Benefit your loved ones’ (pets included!) health and wellness by making your own DIY healthy household cleaning products and clean your cares away without worrying about exposure to chemicals.
CHEMICALS TO AVOID
Forgo the use of harsh chemicals. Repeated exposure to chemicals may lead to cancer, neurological and reproductive ailments and disorders. Be on the lookout for carcinogens, neurotoxins, mutagens, teratogens, or endocrine disrupters. What to avoid? Alcohol, aluminum, DEA/TEA, propylene glycol, sodium lauryl sulfate, talc, parabens, and more.
READY TO REPLACE? RECYCLE!
Remember, when replacing your cleaning products, don’t just toss everything in the trash. If toxic, they shouldn’t go in the drain or landfill. They could also end up filtering back into the water supply, so be careful. Check to see if your community offers hazardous waste recycling.
Chemicals can be toxic when inhaled, ingested, or absorbed into the bloodstream. In addition to causing allergic reactions, frequent use of chemicals in cleaning products can cause health problems with the eyes and skin, as well as respiratory irritation. Breathe easy and feel good about what you’re spraying everywhere in the air.
Here are some other lung-loving tips your nasal passages will also appreciate:
- Although you can mask odors and make your rooms artificially smell good by burning fragranced candles and synthetic oils, they are known to release hazardous chemicals. Opt instead for a diffuser to vaporize pure essential oils.
- Houseplants can help reduce odors and increase breathability. Some can actually remove airborne toxins. Philodendron, Palms, Dracaena, and Ficus plants work well.
- Save the stench and eliminate odors while cooking. Simmer vinegar (1 cup water + 1 tablespoon vinegar) on the stove. Clean dishes, utensils, cutting boards, and countertops with vinegar and soapy water.
- Pure potpourri! Make bowls of dried flowers and herbs scented with essential oils to place throughout the house. While you’re at it, why not make sachets and tuck them into your drawers?
- Scent-sational simmer! Boil spices like cinnamon, cloves, and other spices (why not make Chai tea, while you’re at it?) to keep your home smelling good.
- Save lemon slices from your water and grind them in the garbage disposal. Allow the light aroma of lemon zest to perk up your senses.
FOR THE FAMILY
Because of their size, small children and pets are particularly susceptible to poisonous chemical exposure. Instead, choose safe, non-toxic, biodegradable green cleaning ingredients in pure products that benefit the environment and your health by keeping your environment clean and bacteria-free, but without any side effects.
THE KEY CONTENDERS
- Borax – deodorizes, disinfects, brightens and whitens
- White vinegar – loosens dirt, disinfects, removes mildew, odors and stains, prevents or removes wax build-up
- Lemon juice – one of the strongest food acids, cuts through grease and disinfects
- Baking-soda (sodium bicarbonate) – trusted for over a century, nitty-gritty scrubber, and eliminates odors
- Cornstarch – cleans rugs and carpets and even cleans windows
- Alcohol (isopropyl/rubbing alcohol) – disinfects, kills germs and bacteria, streak-free cleaner
- Castile soap – versatile all-purpose cleanser
- Olive oil – picks up dirt and polishes wood
- Essential oils – antimicrobial, kill bacteria, fungus, and viruses, and add pleasant aroma
- Spray bottles (empty) – use these to mix your concoctions together, shake a few times and spray away!
Stay safe and be creative making your own DIY household cleaning products. If purchasing store-bought cleaning products, make sure to read the labels carefully, and your family and pets will thrive and thank you!