It is true that most cleaning products on the market today are loaded with toxins and pollutants, but there are alternatives. Many eco-conscious companies are making truly Green Cleaners available to the consumer.
In this post I will talk about some of the Cleaning products that are available and list some natural cleaning agents that you can keep at home to clean with and to create your own Green Cleaning products for a multitude of cleaning jobs around the house.
What do I clean with? Eco friendly sponges, mops and cleaning cloths.
Instead of polyester or plastic (most household sponges) try cellulose sponges, available at natural foods stores, which are biodegradable and will soak up spills faster since they’re naturally more absorbent. Also use micro fiber cloths, which are environmentally friendly alternatives to paper towels and micro-fiber mops, use less water.
If You Care has sponge cloths and household gloves
Cloths, Pads, and Towels, Mops in Stores:
Where to Buy Green Spring Cleaning Supplies
In your local department stores and supermarkets:
There are many inexpensive, easy-to-use natural alternatives which can safely be used in place of commercial household products.
- Baking Soda – cleans, deodorizes, softens water, scours. see: The Blender Girl’s Top 50 Green Uses For Baking Soda
- 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. see: The Blender Girl’s Top 30 Natural Uses For Lemons
- 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. see: The Blender Girl’s Top 45 Natural Green Uses For Vinegar
- Washing Soda – or SAL Soda is sodium carbonate decahydrate, 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. (It has been suggested to replace this with ethanol or 100 proof alcohol in solution with water. There is some indication that isopropyl alcohol buildup contributes to illness in the body. See http://drclark.ch/g)
- Cornstarch – can be used to clean windows, polish furniture, shampoo carpets and rugs.
- Citrus Solvent – cleans paint brushes, oil and grease, some stains. (Citrus solvent may cause skin, lung or eye irritations for people with multiple chemical sensitivities.)
Baking soda (bicarbonate of soda). This mild alkali powder can be used for a variety of household cleaning purposes, such as removing stains from tile, glass, oven doors, and china; cleaning the inside of refrigerators; helping to absorb odors; and removing baked-on food from pans. It also acts as a stain remover for fruit juices and other mild acids.
Borax. A powder or crystalline salt sold in most grocery stores, borax is a water softener and sanitizer. It makes an excellent freshener when added to laundry and is an all-around deodorizer.
Castile soap. A mild soap available in liquid or bar form that can be used for general-purpose cleaning. It was once made from olive oil, but now may include other vegetable oils as well.
Cream of tartar (potassium bitartrate). This common baking ingredient is a mild acid that can be used as a sink and bathtub stain remover. It can also be used to remove spots from aluminum cookware.
Hydrogen peroxide. A mild alternative to chlorine bleach that can be used for stain removal and mild bleaching and killing germs. Available in drug stores and supermarkets.
Lemon juice. This familiar ingredient can be used to lighten stains and cut grease. It can also be used to remove tarnish can be used on brass, copper, bronze and aluminum (not to be used on silver).
Washing soda (carbonate of soda). A stronger alternative to baking soda, washing soda can be used as a water softener in conjunction with laundry detergents (gloves are recommended as it may irritate skin; not to be used with silks, woolens or vinyl).
White vinegar. Good for a variety of household cleaning tasks, vinegar may be used to help kill germs and deodorize, remove some carpet stains, and clean coffeemakers, chrome, cookware, and countertops. It can also be used to unclog drains. Note that while white vinegar has a slight scent while wet, when dry, it leaves no odor. However, don’t use it on acetate fabrics, such as in some tablecloths, because it can dissolve the fibers.
Combinations of the above basic products can provide less harmful substitutions for many commercial home products. In most cases, they’re also less expensive.
Next week I will start a weekly post of homemade cleaning products for the DIY folks : Home made Green Cleaner recipes for Kitchen Cleaning
Until Then “Think Green, Live Green and Go Green America!”
you can follow the Jeff Davis on twitter @thegogreenguy
Category: Go Green Home
About the Author (Author Profile)
Creator/Host of Go Green America TV
Jeff (Jf) Davis aka The Go Green Guy is from Maine
Moved to LA to follow his passion as an actor
these days he is still acting, lives in LA with his wife and two boys
an writes about Green Living for his website Go Green America TV
that will soon be a TV show!!