Now that we’re focusing on lifestyle changes, let’s talk about cleaning! How green are your cleaning products and habits? Common household cleaners contain harsh chemicals that are not only bad for the environment, but can be harmful to the health of your family and pets, too. Using natural cleaning products is safer and healthier. Avoid cleaners that contain the following ingredients:
- Quaternary Ammonium Compounds
- Chlorine Bleach
- Perchloroethylene (PERC)
- Diethylene Glycol Monomethyl Ether
- Fragrance-based cleaners
Opt for cleaners that use natural ingredients such as:
- lemon and citrus-based cleaners
- baking soda
- castile soap
You can also avoid excess packaging by making your own cleaning supplies. Having a spray bottle and reusable sponge/cleaning clothes on hand will prevent plastic waste. I like buying products from Mrs. Meyer’s, but you can also make your own by following one of these recipes from Earth Easy:
Mix 1/2 cup vinegar and 1/4 cup baking soda into 1/2 gallon of water. Use for removing water deposit stains on shower panels, bathroom fixtures, windows, and mirrors
Carpet Stain Remover
Mix equal parts white vinegar and water in a spray bottle. Spray on stain, let sit for several minutes, and clean with a brush or sponge using warm soapy water. For fresh grease spots, sprinkle cornstarch onto spot and wait 15 – 30 minutes before vacuuming. For a heavy-duty carpet cleaner, mix 1/4 cup each of salt, borax and vinegar. Rub paste into carpet and leave for a few hours. Vacuum.
To avoid scented candles or environmentally-harmful air fresheners, try one of the following
- Baking soda or vinegar with lemon juice in small dishes absorbs odors around the house.
- Houseplants help reduce odors in the home.
- Grind up a slice of lemon to freshen the garbage disposal.
- Place bowls of fragrant dried herbs and flowers in room.
There are also plenty of green cleaning products on the market. Read the ingredients list and look for the most natural ones.
What’s your favorite green cleaner?