Green cleaning supplies are better for you
One of the easiest ways to improve the environment of your home is to kick the chemical cleaners to the curb and use green cleaning supplies instead. They are easy to make and much cheaper than store bought cleaners, and most importantly they do not require two paragraphs of health risk warnings for their dubious ingredients. If you have ever wanted to give green cleaning supplies a try here is a down and dirty introduction to some easy cleaning recipes (pun intended!).
A few simple ingredients
Vinegar: A natural disinfectant and deodorizer. The pungent smell dissipates after it dries. The L.E.A.N. (Lifestyle, Exercise, Attitude, Nutrition) Blog wrote this post all about cleaning with vinegar.
Dish soap: Any old dish soap will do, but one of the more earth friendly varieties will have fewer potentially toxic ingredients. Dr. Bronner’s magic soap is one of the better green cleaning supplies that isn’t pumped full of synthetic dyes and smells. Adding a little soap to your cleaning mixes help boost their grease cutting abilities.
Baking soda: An excellent deodorizer, baking soda is also a great abrasive. It is capable of damaging some surfaces, so always test it in a small inconspicuous spot before using it on say marble.
Borax: This is a powerful disinfectant and cleaner that can be used on everything from walls to floors. Click here to read an entire post on Borax.
Lemons: The acidity of lemons can actually kill some bacteria, and it smells good.
Essential green cleaning supplies tools: I also like to have a pair of rubber gloves, an old toothbrush, and a scouring sponge (or one of those exfoliating bath mittens).
Here are three of my favorite recipes:
Dish soap (any liquid soap)
Optional: a few drops of your favorite essential oil
Mix together equal parts dish soap and baking soda until you have a paste.Thin with a little water if needed.Use this amazing paste to erase soap scum in the shower and tub, to clean sinks and other non-porous surfaces, toilet bowls, toys with mildew, outdoor furniture, etc. Simply rinse off and voila! Keep any leftovers in a lidded container and just add a little water if it dries out.
All purpose spray cleaner
Citrus peels (optional)
If you don’t like the smell of straight up vinegar, you can make a better smelling cleaner with the help of citrus. Peel a couple oranges (or the citrus of choice) and put the peels in a container full of white vinegar. Let it sit for a week or so and decanter the liquid into a spray bottle. This is really one of the best all purpose green cleaning supplies and you can use it on anything from windows to counter tops.
BONUS: add a couple cups of this vinegar solution along with a few drops of dish soap to a bucket of hot water for an earth and lung-friendly floor cleaner.
Forget that nasty spray can. You can make your own wood conditioner with food! Who knew that what is basically a fresh salad dressing could work as a moisturizer for furniture (or even your own skin, I’ve tried it and it works). Simply mix two parts olive oil to one part lemon juice and decanter into a spray bottle, then spray on your wood furniture and lightly buff out with a clean cloth.
As with any new cleaner, always test it out in an inconspicuous area first to ensure it does not damage your furniture or surfaces. The possibilities are endless with creating your own green cleaning supplies, but these three staple recipes can be used to clean your entire house. Recycle those old sprays and containers cluttered under your sink and replace them with homemade cleaners. I like to buy my baking soda and vinegar in bulk since it never goes bad and fits neatly under the kitchen sink. What are your favorite green cleaning supplies or tips? Share it on the Dr. Sears Wellness Institute Facebook page.
Jill Benbow is the Founder and Director of www.L3Fitness.com, a virtual fitness and wellness community focused on helping women become their best self. L3 Fitness offers expert advice on realistic and achievable life changes that fit into busy schedules and tight budgets (all while having fun in the process). Jill is a Certified Personal Trainer, Wellness Coach, author, and busy mom with a Bachelors degree in Psychology from the University of Colorado at Boulder. An avid outdoors woman, Jill spends as much time outdoors as possible with her family.