If you think that cleaning your home with safe, non-toxic products means spending a bundle, well, you’ve got another blog coming…
I’m a stickler for using only non-toxic ingredients to clean my kitchen and bathrooms and guess what? I bet I spend a heckuva lot less money cleaning house than you do.
Don’t believe me? Well, at last go-round, a gallon of distilled white vinegar set me back $3.69, hydrogen peroxide cost me $1.49 and baking soda was a whopping $1.29. And tap water? I already owned that. And get this — the stuff really works. So my home is clean, I’m being crazy friendly to my health and my wallet and I’m being rather friendly to my other home as well — the one called earth. Whaddya say to that? (Evil eye in the direction of your Fantastik. Excellent, that’s a start…)
First, let me tackle the ugly details. Other than the fact that your basic arsenal of cleaning products has you shelling out plenty of greenbacks regularly, the products are so full of respiratory toxicants, carcinogens and allergens like ammonia, formaldehyde, hydrochloric acid, lye and synthetic fragrances, that when you use them, you’re not only polluting the world, but you’re actually promoting chronic chemical exposure in your own home. As in: you’re doing some very nasty things to the air inside your home and the organs of your body.
It’s oddly counterintuitive but totally true: the cleaner you try to make your home by routinely using ‘bottles of chemicals’ (as I affectionately call them), the more damage you’re doing to the health of the people who live there. (Doting eye in the direction of your baby in a high chair, the very chair you cleaned with Fantastik. Ugh.)
Onto the good – no, great – news. Homemade kitchen and bathroom cleaning solutions are ridiculously easy to prepare, cheap, versatile (a single combo can work in many areas) and super safe. What’s the catch? Well, besides the fact that you might have to unlearn the pounded-into-your-head idea that chemical-based cleaners are necessary and that simple white vinegar can’t possibly clean your home (I admit, I had to make the leap), there is no catch. No downside. It’s all good. (And no excuses regarding the smell of vinegar — it dissipates in minutes.)
Here are a bunch of easy cleaning concoctions that will change your life in so many fantastic (I like that word as long as it ends with a ‘c’) ways:
- Kitchen counters/tiles/surfaces (and high chairs): Combine approximately 9 parts water with 1 part vinegar in a spray bottle (add some lemon if you want). Spray and wipe with a microfiber cloth. Label the bottle and use it regularly. (In the case of marble countertops, don’t use acidic substances. Combine 1 tablespoon of natural liquid Castile soap with 1 quart of warm water. Spray and wipe.)
- Disinfection (such as when there’s raw food remnants on a surface): After a little spot test, spray some hydrogen peroxide on the surface and then follow it with the above vinegar solution.
- Drain cleaner: Pour 1/2 cup baking soda and then 1/2 cup vinegar down the drain. Plug for 30 minutes and then, as long as the pipes are metal, run hot water through to clean out the debris.
- Bathroom counters/tiles/surfaces: See Kitchen counters/tiles/surfaces.
- Bathroom scrub: Combine 1/2 cup baking soda with some non-toxic liquid soap (and a few drops of essential oil if you want a particular scent). Scrub away.
- Basic mold cleaner: Combine 3 parts vinegar to 2 parts water and spray. Let it sit for about an hour. Wipe down with cloth or brush.
- Toilet bowl cleaner: Spray in some vinegar. Let it sit. Finish with toilet brush.
So there you have it. A lickety-split lesson on the amazing benefits of vinegar and its inexpensive, safe and effective pals.Unbelievably easy, right? No fuss, your home is clean and you protect the health of everyone who lives there. And that, as they say, is priceless.