Challenge: Read the ingredients listed on the back of one of your household cleaners. Can you pronounce them all? Do you know what they are? Do you know what the health and environmental effects of those cleaners are? Maybe you should. Good news! You can. By taking control and making your own cleaning products from simple and inexpensive ingredients or hiring a cleaning company that utilizes non-toxic products.
Knowing what’s in that stuff you are squirting in your kitchen, on your bathroom surfaces, or on the floor where your pets and children play can be empowering. The best way to know exactly what’s in your cleaners is to make them yourself. Ingredients like baking soda, vinegar, hot water, or Borax are not only easy to pronounce, but we also know they pose less of a risk to the ones we love and our precious Earth. (Of course, too much of anything can pose a health threat, so you must still take care.) If you don’t have the time or inclination to make your own cleaners, there are some non-toxic commercial cleaners on the market or people willing to clean in a green way for you.
Making your own cleaners is fast, cheap and easy! One of our favorite all-purpose cleaning recipes is a combination of warm soapy water and vinegar. This stuff works on everything from counters and sinks to floors and walls and even spots on clothing. Here’s the recipe:
- Take one spray bottle (do not reuse one that formerly held hazardous cleaners)
- Fill the bottle 2/3 full of very warm water
- Add a few drops of your favorite dish soap and shake it to mix
- Fill the rest of the bottle with white vinegar and shake again to mix
- Use the mixture as an all-purpose cleaner
There are lots of great green cleaning recipe books on the market. Try out some reusing and borrow a couple from your local library, the Solid Waste District’s office or visit a book resale shop.
Click below to watch a video demonstration we put together about the benefits of green cleaning!