These are my two favorite recipes for green cleaners that I use regularly at home. They are the first two recipes that I learned how to make when I became a C-3 leader* in Chicago and I have taught friends and classes of people how to make them.
Why would you want to make you own home cleaners?
Because cleaning products make up the bulk of our indoor air pollution. Even when they are dry or have dried, carpet deodorizers, window cleaners, tub and toilet scrubbers and disinfectants, and more, can interact with your nervous system, aggravate or activate asthma, irritate skin, eyes, nose, throat, lungs. Vapors and gases emitted from these products constantly release carcinogens into the air and may cause pulmonary edema, and inhibit reflexes. It doesn’t matter if these products cause only temporary headaches or dizziness, or short-lived skin irritation, or if you experience a fleeting slight narrowing of blood vessels or an momentary increase in blood pressure; UNLESS you know that cancer is has gone from 1 in 8000 to 1 in 2 people and Cancer is caused by irritation. Cancer is caused by irritation of an organ or a whole body system. Different cleaners irritate different organs and systems in the body.
Agh. We’ve made the connection. Enough said.
½ teaspoon baking soda (or 2 teaspoon of 2o Mule Team Borax)
½ teaspoon liquid soap/cleaner (**this is the one I use the most)
2 cups hot water
Mix ingredient to together in a spray bottle and you can clean floors, countertops, kitchens and bathrooms and you will have no headaches, nasal or throat inflammations and your home will begin to smell cleaner and fresher. Add two drops of Tea Tree Oil for extra disinfecting. (I get my Tea Tree Oil at The Aveda Store on Michigan Ave. Tea Tree Oil is a natural disinfectant and there are other bacteria-busting essential oils that you can customize your cleaners with.)
Basic Window Cleaner:
½ teaspoon liquid soap/cleaner **
¼ cup white distilled vinegar
2 cups of water
Mix all ingredients in a spray bottle and go. I like this on stainless too.
I had a room-mate who did not like the smell of the white vinegar (although the smell wouldn’t hurt him like a VOC laden product) so I switched to apple vinegar. That one was good, and once it dried, he couldn’t smell anything at all–and that is the point.
Here are some links to more in-depth articles if you so desire to read on. You can always come back here once you start breathing easier.
This is from Care2.com, Healthy & Green Living: http://tinyurl.com/yodpym It has more recipes for oven cleaners and carpet cleaners and more. I love Care2.com
A wonderful article about VOC’s and Asthma: http://tinyurl.com/mlfr49 NaturalHomeMagazine.com
Did you know that some of the very grass roots looking websites are funded and operated by big corporations that make new healthier and environmentally friendly products? Go to green-clean websites and keep clicking. Companies like Johnson & Johnson know that you are interested enough to want to make your own green products which means that they know that you will be abandoning their old products.
Most makers of products that currently have VOCs and carcinogens are now making healthier and less environmentally toxic products. They are gearing up for their “regular consumers” demanding to have VOC’s and bad elements taken out of their old products. They just aren’t ready to stop making their old products because most people are not quite up to speed on why we all need to buy healthy and be more careful as to what we pour down the drain. I’m ok with that, right now; so long as I know and you know and we spread the good word.
Two more helpful cleaners:
Hydrogen Peroxide: Typically found in the medicine cabinet, this disinfectant can also be used as an effective bleach alternative in the laundry room. Because it’s also a powerful oxidizing agent, it works especially well on food, soil, plant, blood and other organic stains. Just make sure to spot test in a discreet area because, like bleach, hydrogen peroxide may lighten fabrics. For each average-size load of whites, add 8 ounces of 3 percent hydrogen peroxide after you have filled the washer with hot water.
Salt: Perfect for cleaning grungy ovens, this natural abrasive is also great for soaking up fresh carpet stains such as red wine, coffee or ink. Pour salt on the wet stain. Let dry, then vacuum.
* c-3 Chicago Conservation Corps I’m a graduate and you can be too!
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