There is a popular misconception that green cleaners are expensive, ineffective, or hard to get. However, the truth is, a lot of our best cleaners can be made right in our own homes for a fraction of what many cleaners cost. These cleaners use many things that are commonly found in most homes. The best part about these cleaners in addition to being cheap and eco-friendly is that they are non-toxic, so homes with pets and children can benefit from them greatly.
Baking soda works very well for day-to-day cleaning. Its abrasive properties, deodorizing action and basic pH make it a great substitute for most commercial scouring powders. It is best used by sprinkling it on a sponge to clean bathtubs and sinks. For tougher grime, a paste is made and applied to the area and left for 10 to 20 minutes before rinsing off. It is also great for slow drains if poured directly in and left overnight.
For furniture cleaning, oil based cleaners are typically used. Making your own furniture polish avoids the dangers of a common ingredient in commercial cleaners, silicone oil, which makes refinishing woods difficult and is toxic. Using a mixture of lemon juice and olive oil dissolves dirt and smudge marks while polishing and shining woods.
Glass cleaners can also be made at home as well. One kind uses isopropyl alcohol, water and white vinegar mixed in a spray bottle for daily smudge removal and also works well on tiles. A tougher cleaner is made from non-sudsing ammonia, isopropyl alcohol, and water. When laundry detergent is used in this formula instead of the alcohol, it also makes a great general purpose cleaner.
For a general spray cleaner recipe, one part water to one part vinegar is typically used to remove soap scum and hard water buildup. For even better results, the solution can be micro waved until barely hot, applied, and left for about 15 minutes, then wiped off for tougher jobs.
Undiluted white vinegar is powerful to clean with as well. It can be used with a pumice stone to clean toilet bowls to get rid of mineral buildup. It is also great to use on shower heads to get rid of hard water buildup. Another use for the vinegar is that it can be used in place of fabric softener. It softens fabric and cuts back on the detergent residue, which is great for those with sensitivities.
Tea tree oil is great for getting rid of mold that grows in showers. It is a little bit pricier, but a little goes a long way with this wonderful natural antifungal. When two tablespoons of the oil is combined with two cups of water in a spray bottle, it is great for corners and other problem areas. It also provides a clean, medicinal smell.
These are just a few of the many things we have in our homes that keep us clean. There are countless recipes to the cleaners that can be found online or even in magazines. Countless benefits await you when you switch to safe homemade cleaners.