This spring, go green with your cleaning and ditch the chemical-heavy disinfectants you usually use for a better-for-the-environment and better-for-you natural cleaner you can make at home. From furniture polishes to glass and floor cleaners, there is a green solution to any cleaning conundrum that will leave your home sparkling and fresh without a chemical overload.
Vinegar – When it comes to green cleaning, vinegar is essential as a disinfectant. If you have had trouble with the smell and fumes that come from bleach, vinegar is an eco-friendly alternative. According to the National Sanitation Foundation, “a vinegar and water solution can be used to clean and freshen many surfaces around the home, including walls and cupboards. It also works well to clean windows.”
Baking Soda – If you need a natural cleaner with a little more of an abrasive touch, baking soda is the answer. While vinegar is ideal for disinfecting surfaces, baking soda is more effective when it comes to breaking down stubborn stains and replacing conventional scrubbing cleaners. The gentle abrasiveness of baking soda can be used to scrub tubs and you can even add an essential oil, like lemon or tea tree, to give it a pleasant scent.
Lemon – Like baking soda, this citrus fruit works wonders for neutralizing odors and removing stains thanks to its acidity. It can freshen up appliances, like your dishwasher or garbage disposal, remove hard water build-up in a blender, or clean a microwave. It can also be added when cleaning with vinegar to neutralize the strong smell. There are many uses beyond that, including using it along with olive oil as an effective wood polish.
Of course, there may be times when you feel the need for the very powerful cleaning of bleach—life can be extra messy, after all. In these instances, it is important to keep in mind that a little bit of bleach goes a long way. One part bleach to four parts water is the recommended usage. The tried and true combination of hot water and soap also goes a long way for effectively cleaning surface dirt and grime.
If making your own cleaning products is a bit much for you, you can check out this list of 8 Green Cleaning Products that can be purchased from stores or found online.