For most homeowners, trial and error usually comes with selecting the right cleaning products for the bathroom, kitchen and other living spaces. The first step is usually reading the labels in the department store aisle. You might even take a minute to smell the product, or spot test it on the shelf. Don’t say that you’ve never tried it; we all have. After all this, a consumer buys a product, and tries it in his/her home to determine its usefulness. If that cleaning solution is ineffective, the customer will keep buying and trying products until he/she finds something that works. With all the chemicals in modern-day cleansers, this can put unnecessary wear on the quality of your home’s surfaces, not to mention that it can be dangerous for humans and pets, as well.
To avoid these potentially harmful effects, and to steer clear of high costs, you can make eco-friendly cleaning solutions using simple products you probably already have. The best part is that most of these items are multipurpose, so you can safely spruce up any room in the house at a moment’s notice.
The Multipurpose Cleaner
The cleaning aisle can be a daunting part of any retail store. You can find products specifically marketed to clean kitchens or freshen bathrooms. There are even cleaning tools made specifically for ceiling fans. Wouldn’t it be much easier if you could use the same product you use on your kitchen counters to keep your bathroom counters nice and shiny, too.
This multipurpose cleaner cuts through dirt with the help of hydrogen peroxide’s ability to break down grime and destroy bacteria. You will need:
- 16 ounces hydrogen peroxide
- ½ teaspoon lavender essential oil
- Additional essential oils for fragrance
Allow the solution to sit for a few minutes before you wipe it with a clean towel.
Alternative Oven Cleaner
The active ingredient in most oven cleaners is lye, or sodium hydroxide, a chemical known for its ability to break down grease and rust. This same potent chemical poses immediate harm to almost anything else it comes into contact with; it can corrode countertops and inflict painful burns on a person’s skin. Even after you’ve wiped the oven clean, the harmful fumes can linger for days. To create a much gentler and safer oven-cleaning alternative, turn to the products stored in your kitchen cupboards:
- ¾ cup distilled white vinegar
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- ¾ cup baking soda
Mix ingredients in a clean bowl until the consistency resembles a paste. Next, evenly apply the paste to oven surfaces using a wide paintbrush. After two hours, remove the cleaner and buildup with a textured sponge before rinsing the surfaces with a thin application of water. Increase the baking soda ration to remove stubborn gunk.
Eco-Friendly Furniture Polish
Even that seemingly harmless, citrusy smelling wood polish you have under your sink can pose a threat to your health. The U.S. National Library of Medicine describes the serious symptoms of furniture polish poisoning: stomach pain, bloody stool and even a coma. How can you duplicate that pleasant furniture polish smell and shine without using chemical-laden products? Opt for a homemade blend crafted with these natural ingredients:
- Lemon juice
- ¾ cup olive oil or coconut oil
- 1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar
Dampen a microfiber cloth to apply the cleaner, and then dry the wood with a porous lint-free fabric. For an extra-fresh scent, add a few drops of your favorite essential oil.
Now that you’ve got the hang of it, you can use your imagination to try these mixtures on other surfaces in your home, car or office. They’re re-usable and easy to store, so make extra for later, or to gift to your friends and family. They’ll thank you, and their freshly cleaned homes will thank you, too.
Author Bio: Carmen Fiordirosa works as head of marketing at CleanTools, a manufacturer of household drying, cleaning, and polishing products. CleanTools’ acclaimed drying cloth “The Absorber” has been used to dry a variety of home items, along with autos and boats. To date, The Absorber has garnered over 700 5-star reviews on Amazon. When not busy at CleanTools, Carmen is a busy mother of four.