Everyone loves the feeling of a fresh, clean house. Unfortunately, that fresh feeling can come at the expense of hours of exposure to harmful toxins and chemicals. With ingredients like ethanolamine and sulfonate, many household cleaners make you wonder whether your house is really being cleaned–not to mention how safe they are to even use at all.
Instead of scrubbing with bleach and other toxic cleaning aids, consider these eco-friendly methods. At the end of the day, your house will be clean and you won’t feel the effects of harsh fumes and oily residues. By making a few changes to your cleaning regimen, you can actually breathe easier. You’ll be saving money and resources while reducing waste and chemical production, freeing you up to enjoy your clean house!
Make your own natural dryer sheets
Instead of throwing away money each month on one-use dryer sheets, try making your own out of washcloths and natural oils. Simply take a damp wash cloth and add one drop each of at least two natural oils, like lavender or tea tree oil. The oils add fragrance to your clothes and linens and can be used for multiple loads of laundry before washing. Also, there’s no static cling effect with this dryer sheet and many essential oils also act as a moth-repellent in your closets.
Replace all-purpose cleaners with white vinegar
White vinegar can be used to disinfect and deodorize just about anything. Use it to spot-clean carpet spills, remove mildew smell from towels and washing machines, or to remove toilet-bowl stains. It’s also great for cleaning stove tops, counters and shower heads. You can even use white vinegar to bathe your dog! Just combine 1 cup white vinegar with two gallons of water, pour mixture over the dog, rub in and towel dry without rinsing. You’ll both be happy that you did.
Forget about fabric fresheners
Make the swap to baking soda, which acts as a natural odor neutralizer for the fabrics in your home. Just sprinkle a thin coat onto carpets and rugs, let sit for ten minutes, then vacuum up. It’s that easy. Avoiding pricey name-brand fabric fresheners will save you money over time, and you’ll get the health benefits of fewer allergens in the air. Baking soda is also a useful addition to clothes in the washing machine, acting as a stain-remover when combined with detergent.
Say ‘goodbye’ to bleach
In order to avoid toxic chemicals that dry out your skin, many people have made the swap from chlorine bleach to hydrogen peroxide. Hydrogen peroxide offers the same bleaching power as chlorine and is also a proven antiseptic, while being more kind to your skin and nose. This type of peroxide is used to clean hospitals and research labs, so why not try this method at home? You won’t miss the smell of bleach, and you’ll always have a first-aid necessity on hand. All you need is a spray bottle filled with a half water, half peroxide mix.
Let cornstarch do the work for you
Cornstarch is another great alternative to toxic carpet cleaners. Just mix with water and lemon juice to create a solution that can be sprayed onto stains, left to sit for 30 minutes, then vacuumed away. To remove crayon markings from your walls, create a thick paste made from cornstarch and water. Apply it to the affected area of the wall, let dry completely, then peel away and check out the results!