Harsh chemicals are common in household cleansers. Just look at the label and see how many have warnings or require that you wear gloves when you use them. Then think about how hard it is for the chemicals which get into your home’s air to get out of your house. It is normal for indoor air to be more polluted than the air outside.
One of the most important rules parents have to follow is to keep the cleaning chemicals away from children, as young children have been known to drink harmful chemicals in all innocence. But wouldn’t it be nice to minimize the need for that?
It can be surprising how easy it is to clean without harmful chemicals. A mixture of vinegar and water, for example, makes an excellent window cleaner. It works on other surfaces as well. Some people do not like the smell, but once it dries, the smell is quick to vanish.
White vinegar even works well on carpet stains in many cases. Mix equal parts water and white vinegar and spray onto the stain. Allow it to sit for a minute then clean with a soapy sponge.
If you have trouble with a stopped up drain, I like combining baking soda with vinegar. Pour the baking soda, then the vinegar into the stopped up drain. Close the drain for a while to let the reaction work. Rinse with boiling water. I’ve had this one successfully improve some pretty slow drains.
Baking soda works as a pretty good abrasive for those tougher stains. It’s great for scrubbing the tub, bathroom vanity, sinks and so forth. It may take a bit more elbow grease than the cleansers you can buy at the store, but it’s much safer for your family and the environment.
Many people love air fresheners. I’m not a fan of them personally, as most just add a new scent to the room, as well as more chemicals. My favorite way to freshen a room is to simply open the windows when the weather is right. If that’s not a possibility, a few drops of a nice smelling essential oil in a small dish can make a room smell good.
A mixture of olive oil and lemon juice is great for cleaning and polishing your wood furniture. It can also be much better for the wood. You want about 1 cup of olive oil to 1/2 cup of lemon juice. You will want to keep the excess in the fridge or the lemon juice will go bad. Some people prefer to mix in vinegar and a bit of lemon oil rather than the lemon juice.
I’ve been working on making the transition to homemade cleansers slowly, simply because I cannot stand to just throw out the stuff we already have. But I am quite delighted with how the homemade versions work. It makes me chuckle when I see a cleanser in the store brag about using baking soda or something else that has been used in cleaning for a long, long time. They’re finally admitting these things work.