The Earth is in trouble and we all know it: we’ve read and heard enough about it, but how many of us are willing to make the change that needs to be made, to help Mother Earth to regain her dignity and stumble back from the brink of physical destruction.
If you want to help clean up the Earth, start by cleaning your house right. With the increasing awareness of the consequences of environmentally harmful household cleaning products; a whole market has recently sprung up that advocates the use of, and provides, eco-friendly house cleaning materials.
Most of these materials can be found lying around the house, thus making this switch easy on your wallet as well. These will not only help in protecting the environment, they will also prevent your kids and pets from inhaling or ingesting injurious chemicals.
Natural Home-Cleaning Products
1. VINEGAR works wonders as a cleaning alternative. It might smell a little pungent at first, but the smell does not linger. Given its acidic nature, vinegar doubles as an excellent anti-bacterial disinfectant, and it is easy to use and economical.
Vinegar can be used in copious amounts to clean kitchen counters, microwaves, cloudy glassware, etc.
It can be used to remove limescale deposits from tea kettles and coffee makers.
To clean metal surfaces: spray vinegar over them and then rinse with water.
Useful Tip: In combination with baking soda; vinegar can also be used to deodorise drains, dishwashers and garbage disposals.
2. LEMON JUICE can be used liberally to wipe down countertops and utensils. Lemon, being a natural disinfectant, is a brilliant substitute for dish soaps and liquids.
It can be used in the bathrooms to keep the wash basin and toilet bowl fresh and odour-free, and it will help to keep your bathroom clean overall.
A combination of lemon and table salt can be used to keep chrome faucets shiny: The same mixture can be used to clean grills and grates as well.
You can add a few drops of lemon juice to your dish soap, for better degreasing results.
Hard water stains on glass shower doors, can be removed by running a lemon slice over them.
Useful Tip: You can deodorise your fridge by placing half a lemon on a saucer in one corner.
3. BAKING SODA (sodium bicarbonate), a non-toxic, basic ingredient that has disinfectant properties, can be used to clean metallic surfaces like sofa legs, balcony railings etc.
It can be used to deodorize drains; introduce 2 tablespoons of baking soda to the drain, and run warm water for a few seconds.
It can also be used to remove odours from carpets; sprinkle powdered baking soda over the carpet and then vacuum.
Baking soda is also a fabric softener and can be used to keep laundry soft and fragrant.
In combination with sugar, sodium bicarbonate can be used as a non-toxic pesticide.
Baking soda can also be used to remove soap residue from bathtubs and sinks.
Useful Tip: To wash pesticides off fruits and vegetables, put some baking soda on a toothbrush and run over the surface of produce.
4. RUBBING ALCOHOL is also a natural disinfectant and can be used to clean work tops and wooden surfaces.
It can be used to clean windows and remove frost from them: half a cup of rubbing alcohol in one litre of water.
It is also a good way to get rid of fruit flies: It is almost as effective as insecticide and entirely non-hazardous.
Rubbing alcohol can be used to shine up chrome fixtures as well: It evaporates; thus eliminating the need to rinse with water afterwards.
It can also be used to clean electronic devices; such as cell phones, key pads, computers etc. A solution of RA and distilled water will work wonders on dusty or dirty electronic gadgets, and will help disinfect them.
Useful Tip: Rubbing alcohol can be used to remove nail polish from wooden surfaces: It works better than acetone, and is harmless to the wood.
5. ROSE WATER is soft, and is therefore perfect for cleaning delicate ornaments, glass trinkets etc.
It is also fragrant, thus ridding the house of any unwanted smells: Rose water can perfectly substitute chemical room fresheners; it is non-toxic and long-lasting.
Put rose water in a spray bottle to clean windows, railings, grates and grills. Paintings, photo frames, glassware etc, can be cleaned in a similar manner.
Rose water has antiseptic properties, and can be used to treat irritated skin, boils, pimples, small burns etc.
Useful Tip: Add a cap of rose water to your dishwasher when it’s empty and run a complete cycle. Not only will this deodorise your dishwater, it will also remove grease and leftover food residue.
All the above-mentioned products are economically feasible, easy to use, non-toxic and effective. Make the small but significant shift to eco-friendly cleaning products and observe how much cleaner and fresher your home feels.2015-09-25