When you start talking about “green” cleaning, many people inwardly groan. They think, “This is going to be expensive, plus it won’t even work.” Not true! Here are a few quick pointers if you’re ready to make the switch from (expensive!) nasty chemical cleaners. It’s much more painless than you might think.
Plain White Distilled Vinegar
I know, I hate the smell of it too. But it just works! A ½ water and ½ vinegar solution not only cleans, but kills germs and mold too. If you like, add in several drops of essential oil like tea tree or lavender to make the smell more pleasant. This same solution can be used as a disinfectant spray on handles, bathrooms, etc. when someone has been sick. To clean toilets, pour about 1 cup of straight vinegar into the toilet and let it soak for as long as possible. It will deodorize and disinfect, and over time it actually removes stains. Vinegar costs next-to-nothing, and you can use it for everything. There are literally thousands of websites available with tips on cleaning everything you can think of, with vinegar.
Need a scouring agent? Here it is. Again, incredibly cheap, and it works! Add a little dish detergent, and a splash of vinegar, and you have a very powerful cleaner for bathtubs and showers.
Commercial Natural Cleaners
I do have a few favorite products that can be purchased at your local health food store.
Citrasolve is made from the peel of citrus fruits, and is an incredibly powerful product. It comes very concentrated, and you just dilute to the strength you need for the job you’re tackling. One rental house we moved into had terrible pet odor in the carpets, and using a 5:1 solution of water to Citrasolve to liberally soak the spots, and then steam cleaning with vinegar and water, I was able to almost totally get rid of the smell. It is also a fantastic degreaser when diluted 16:1, and used full strength it will literally clean heavy grease off bicycle chains and car parts.
Castile Soap is a mild liquid soap (though it can also be bought in bars) made from coconut and olive oils. It is sold in many different fragrances, and I love the eucalyptus and tea tree oil fragrances for cleaning. Great for floors (especially when you have crawling babies), walls, and anywhere else you need an all-purpose soap. We even use the unscented as our shower soap.
Biokleen is a company with so many great cleaning products that I cannot list them all. Their natural dishwashing powder is the best I’ve tried, especially in hard water. They make great glass cleaner, dishwashing detergent, laundry detergent, and an enzyme based cleaner/deodorant called Bac-out. Anything I have tried of theirs works great!
Natural cleaning does not have to be complex, expensive, or confusing. With these few products you can leave your house shining, and still feel confident that it’s safe for your kids and the environment!