"I hate the smell of bleach!" my friend Mel said crinkling her nose up in response to my comment on how to clean blood off the walls (chill out people, this discussion stemmed from watching Dexter). "My son and I both hate it and we don't even keep bleach in the house." It led me to thinking how I use to hold my breath when walking down the aisle with all the cleaning agents at the grocery store. Thinking that just inhaling the air was going to give me some form of cancer.
For the last 10 years I've been making my own home remedy disinfectants. The concoction I use to clean off the Pilates equipment at my studio is made up of Lavender oil and distilled water; A natural anti-bacterial. Added benefit, the room smells nice and it has aroma therapy qualities. Regular anti-bacterial can break down your own immunities, but that's a blog for a different day. I prefer the natural way, I prefer to Green Clean.
Using more natural or 'Green' cleansers instead of harsh chemical cleansers can be better for your health and home, especially if you have small children or animals. At the very least they can contain synthetic fragrances which can irritate sensitive allergies, worst case, they can produce indoor pollution by off-gassing toxic fumes.
So go down to the dollar store and get yourself some spray bottles. Put away your harsh cleansers and try cleaning your home with some of these healthy alternatives:
Windows & Mirrors: 1 tablespoon of white vinegar with a spray bottle of water. Tip: Use Newspaper instead of paper towels to eliminate streaking.
Carpet Spot Cleaner: Mix 1/2 cup liquid soap with 1 cup water. Shake well. Spray on the spot, and then rinse with vinegar (I put it in my Little Green Clean Machine and use that to rinse. For immediate spills, club soda works well. Pour on the spot and blot with a rag. The carbonation in the soda brings the spill to the surface.
Hardwood floors are easily cleaned with ¼ cup white vinegar and 30 ounces of water. Lightly dampen a rag and use it to mop your floors. Also a steam mop works well at gently lifting dirt without getting your floors wet.
Natural disinfectants include, as I mentioned above, distilled water and lavender oil. Or instead of bleach, mix 2 cups of water, 3 tablespoons of liquid soap and 20 to 30 drops of tea tree oil.
Silver tarnish can be removed with toothpaste. For bigger jobs try lining your sink or a bucket with aluminum foil, and drop in tarnished silver. Pour in boiling water, a cup of baking soda and a dash of salt. Let this sit for a few minutes. The tarnish will transfer from the silver to the foil.
Copper pots and pans brighten up by rubbing ketchup on them.
Bathroom and kitchen tiles can be cleaned with baking soda, sprinkle on dry the scrub with a moist sponge. For tougher stains, sprinkle on some kosher salt as an abrasive.
For mildew or grease douse with lemon juice or vinegar, let sit then scrub with a stiff brush.
Clean your stainless steel sink, cutting boards, containers, refrigerator, and oven top with baking soda and water. Mix into a paste. This also helps to kill bacteria so it’s great for the kitchen.