Home >> Alternative Living >> Cleaning the "Green" way

Cleaning the "Green" way

Take a look around your house and find out how many cleaning materials you have that are loaded with toxins and polluting substances designed to make chores easier and homes smell nicer.

The true cost of these chemical-based products can be very high and on the long run cause many Health problems for the whole family ranging from allergies, asthma, sinusitis, bronchitis and other types of infection.

For most of the basic home-cleaning chores, you can create your own mixtures using the formulas in the list below.
The following are inexpensive, easy-to-use “green” alternatives which can safely be used all around the House:
  • Baking Soda - cleans, deodorizes, softens water, scours.
  • Soap - unscented soap in liquid form, flakes, powders or bars is biodegradable and will clean just about anything. Avoid using soaps which contain petroleum distillates.
  • Lemon - one of the strongest food-acids, effective against most household bacteria.
  • Borax - (sodium borate) cleans, deodorizes, disinfects, softens water, cleans wallpaper, painted walls and floors.
  • White Vinegar - cuts grease, removes mildew, odors, some stains and wax build-up.
  • Washing Soda - or SAL Soda is sodium carbonate deca-hydrate, a mineral. Washing soda cuts grease, removes stains, softens water, cleans wall, tiles, sinks and tubs. Use care, as washing soda can irritate mucous membranes. Do not use on aluminum.
  • Isopropyl Alcohol - is an excellent disinfectant.
  • Cornstarch - can be used to clean windows, polish furniture, shampoo carpets and rugs.
Did you know?
-Baking soda works as a non-abrasive scouring cleaner on countertops and ovens, and in bathtubs and sinks. It also rids clothes of perspiration odors when used in conjunction with laundry detergent in the washer.
  • The next time you do laundry, try adding 1/2 cup to a cup to your load.
  • Before you vacuum, sprinkle it on your carpet as a deodorizer.
 -Lemon carries a powerful punch as a cleaner with natural disinfectant qualities. Straight lemon juice, whether fresh-squeezed or in concentrate form, is able to kill most of the bacteria in your house, particularly in the Kitchen and Bathroom.
·         Rub ½ a lemon on your cutting board, let sit 15 minutes. Then rinse. It removes the bacteria and bad odor.
·        Before you wash your white Laundry, use Lemon as a bleach alternative. Add ½ cup to the laundry in the rinse cycle.
(Lemon juice is known for its whiter than white effect.)

  -Vinegar’s acidic wonder can wipe out tarnish, soap scum, mineral deposits, and more. Among natural cleaners, it’s No.1. Distilled white vinegar creates an environment that inhibits the growth of mold, mildew, and some bacteria, such as E. coli and salmonella.
·        Next time you want to clean the drains―and the pipes they’re attached to―just pour vinegar down them. After 30 minutes, flush with cold water.
·        To combat mineral deposits on Showerheads, pour vinegar into a plastic bag and knot the handles over the neck of the showerhead, securing with rubber bands. Let soak overnight. Rinse with water in the morning. Et Voila…gone!
Freshen up your indoor air naturally: Skip the store-bought air fresheners and instead try boiling cinnamon, cloves, orange peels or any other herbs you have a fondness for. I, personally hang up Fresh Lavender and Rosemary picked from my Garden in a nice cloth Bag and the scent is amazing!
When cleaning, try to use Microfiber cloth because it completely removes dust, it does not leave any streaks behind. You can clean and polish surfaces in one action, picking up more than 97 percent of the dust and other materials containing microbes, pollen and mold.
Microfiber cloths are made of polyester and polyamide (nylon) that are spun and split into micro-sized strings. They are then woven together to produce a soft, absorbent and durable cloth.
Microfiber cloths are positively charged, meaning they attract negatively charged dirt and grease, and they offer the ability to clean surfaces without chemicals.
It is important to take proper care of the reusable microfiber cloth, which can last anywhere from 100-500 washes depending on the cloth. Do not use fabric softeners or powdered detergents, which reduce the effectiveness of the cloth. Prolong the life of your microfiber by rinsing in water or washing in regular soap.
Microfiber cloths save time and most particularly money. You can save up to JD200 a year by replacing paper towels with microfiber. Almost anything can be cleaned with a microfiber without using anything but water.
Seven Uses for a Microfiber:
  1. Dust furniture surfaces with a slightly damp microfiber cloth.
  2. Wipe windows with a damp microfiber cloth for streak-free cleaning.
  3. Shine bathroom surfaces using a microfiber cloth and hot water.
  4. Use a microfiber cloth dampened with hot water to clean kitchen counters by running the cloth over the surface, overlapping horizontal strokes. Use your favorite cleaner or white vinegar instead of water if you prefer.
  5. Run a microfiber cloth dampened with hot water over the interior of your microwave for an easy cleanup.
  6. Clean walls, window frames, cupboards and doors using a slightly damp microfiber cloth.
  7. Polish the inside and outside of your vehicle using a dampened microfiber cloth.
©Laurence der Hovsepian