How to Green Your Clean

Harsh chemical cleaners can be potentially hazardous to your health and the environment. Give your cleaning routine an eco-friendly
cleaningmakeover with these 5 green cleaning tips. Your home will be safer super sanitized, and fresh, fresh, fresh!

First things first, you will need to stock up on a few eco-friendly products. You can either buy pre-made products that are made by green companies, or you can simply make them yourself – don’t worry, you do not have to be a chemist to whip these up.

These simple ingredients are very effective, inexpensive, and, above all, non-hazardous. Both vinegar and borax powder are commonly used in cleaning because they contain natural disinfecting properties. Baking soda can safely mix with other products, and its mildly abrasive nature makes it very effective for scrubbing surfaces and removing tough stains. Essential oils are used for their amazing aromatic and therapeutic qualities, while certain potent oils, like tea tree oil, are effective at killing germs and controlling mold and mildew.

1. KITCHEN: Use vinegar to create a natural all-purpose cleaner for the kitchen. Vinegar itself is edible; it contains no toxic chemicals that would be harmful if ingested, so it is a perfect cleaning product to use around food.

D.I.Y all-purpose cleaner – using an empty spray bottle, combine a solution of half pickling vinegar, half warm water and 1 Tbsp. of dish washing liquid. This solution can be used to clean the counter top, stove top, refrigerator, and microwave. Vinegar is excellent for use in your dishwasher too. Add a cup of vinegar to your dishwasher machine to remove any stagnant odors; it will leave the interior shiny and squeaky clean. You can also add vinegar to your water when washing dishes by hand, the disinfecting power is sure to kill any bacteria and germs on your dinnerware. Vinegar has a distinct odor, but donít worry; the smell will dissipate once it dries. Some precautions do need to be taken; vinegar should not be used on marble surfaces. As with any product, test a small area to make sure it is safe to proceed with using the product.

2. BATHROOM: Bathroom  cleaners are among some of the harshest chemical cleaners. You can make your own bathroom scrubbing solution to clean toilets, counter tops, fixtures and tub/shower, without the offensive fumes.

D.I.Y tub and shower scrubbing solution – combine 1/2 cup of vinegar, 3/4 cup of baking soda and 1 Tbsp. of lemon juice, mix together to form a thick paste (add more or less baking soda until desired consistency is achieved). Using a sponge, apply the solution on sinks, tub/shower and fixtures in small circular motions. Let it sit for 20-30 minutes, scrub with sponge and rinse with warm water. To clean bathroom counter tops, use the all-purpose solution created for the kitchen. Knock out toilet stains and odors with 1 cup of undiluted vinegar. Before pouring the vinegar in the toilet, it is best to flush the toilet and allow the water to go down, After water descends, pour the vinegar around inner rim of toilet then scrub the bowl with toilet brush.

3. WINDOWS AND MIRRORS: The all-purpose solution works here too. Simply spray and wipe for squeaky clean windows. Save paper towels, and instead use old newspaper to wipe the windows; they wonít leave behind any lent.

4. WOOD AND TILE FLOORS: Nothing spreads chemicals in the air faster than mopping the whole house with a toxic chemical cleaner. You can easily make your own mopping solution that will clean and disinfect your floors safely.

D.I.Y floor cleaner  In your mop bucket mix 1 cup of pickled vinegar, 1 gallon of water, 1 Tbsp. of mild dish soap and the desired amount of your favorite scented oil. Your house will smell so fresh, and the best part is, your home will be thoroughly sanitized and chemical free.

5. CARPETS: Many carpet fresheners have a fruity or floral scent bearing the disguise of toxic fumes that can potentially be harmful to your health. It is very simple to make your own very fresh smelling carpet deodorizer, and it will be safe for the family and pets too.

D.I.Y carpet deodorizer – Combine 1 cup of baking soda with 1 cup of borax in a plastic bag, add the desired amount of your favorite essential oil, and then mix together. Sprinkle the powder solution on carpets, let stand for 20 minutes, then vacuum. Your house and carpet will smell delightful.

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