In the past few years, consumers have become much more aware of not only the ingredients that go into the things they eat, but also the products they use to clean. With good reason!
According to the Environmental Working Group, many of the ingredients that go into everyday cleaning products have been linked to asthma, cancer, and both reproductive and developmental harm.
Of course, many big companies who produce these products have begun producing “green” and “natural” alternatives to respond to consumers’ growing skepticism. Nevertheless, these are by and large marketing ploys, with the products still containing many of the ingredients that consumers should be most concerned about.
So, if like many others, you’re getting in gear for some spring cleaning, how do you do it safely? For years, we’ve been sold on different cleaning products as the only way to truly get a stove, a countertop, or a coffee table sparkly clean. As a result, even those of us who are concerned about the toxic ingredients will often take the risk, promising to be careful and sensible with their use.
However, you really don’t have to. There are plenty of safe products and substances that work just as well as their toxic counterparts – many of which you probably already have in your pantry or cupboard.
Let’s take a look at three of the best – baking soda, lemon juice, and vinegar – along with their uses.
THREE OF THE BEST ITEMS FOR SAFE SPRING CLEANING
Baking soda is one of the most versatile household products for cleaning. One of the reasons for this is because it absorbs odor, which is why some people keep an open container of baking soda in their fridges.
But it’s also great at cutting through oil and grease and is slightly abrasive, making it good for cleaning stove tops and other tough-to-clean surfaces. Mix it with a little bit of vinegar – which it reacts with – and you have a pretty powerful cleaning solution. Pour some on your stove top, add some water and vinegar, let it sit, wipe, and watch it sparkle.
The same mixture of baking soda and vinegar is also great for unclogging drains, which is a welcome alternative to the highly toxic drain clearing solutions that are available at the store. You can also use baking soda to remove stains, clean brushes and combs, remove marks from your walls, and deodorize carpet and rugs.
The acidity in lemon juice makes it a great item for disinfecting your house and removing stains. You can use it to clean countertops and cutting boards, clean glass, and even polish furniture. It also smells great, so it can be used as a freshener in refrigerators.
Lemon juice works particularly well as a base with baking soda or cream of tartar added. If you’re trying to remove grease or grime, add a little baking soda to some lemon juice. In the case of really tough grime, you can let the solution sit safely overnight.
If you’re looking to remove stains from grout, clothing, or pretty much anything, you can add some cream of tartar, a natural bleaching agent, to scrub the stains out.
Like lemon juice, the acidity of vinegar makes it useful for a number of cleaning purposes. While it’s not the general, all-around cleaning wonder that some people think it is, it is very useful for some specific purposes, including the above-mentioned combination with baking soda to clean drains.
It’s also good for removing and preventing mold and mildew in your bathroom and shower. You can put some in a spray bottle and spritz down your shower and tub to ward away that nasty black mold that builds up.
It’s also great for breaking down different types of buildup, such as what occurs over time in your coffee maker and shower head. For the former, your coffee maker, run a cycle with a mixture of half-vinegar and half-water. Turn your coffee maker off halfway through the cycle, let it sit for an hour, and then turn it back on and complete the cycle.
As a bonus, vinegar is also a great rinsing agent for dishes and can be used for streak-free glass cleaning.
THERE ARE MANY MORE HOUSEHOLD PRODUCTS TO HELP WITH SAFE CLEANING
While these three items are the most common, there are many more. For example, you can use coconut oil as a polisher and lubricant, and to remove chewing gum from surfaces. You can also use vodka for many of the same uses as vinegar, and olive oil and hydrogen peroxide also have many good cleaning uses.
If you’re uncertain about how exactly to do it, a little bit of research will uncover all sorts of items, mixtures, and uses for safe, non-toxic alternatives to common cleaning supplies.
ROCK THE TREATMENT CAN HELP
At Rock the Treatment, we encourage people to use products that are safe for their health. If you have a friend or loved one who is going through cancer treatments such as chemo or radiation, we hope you’ll visit our website to see the thoughtful gifts we have available.