Combining "green" ingredients like baking soda with old-fashioned elbow grease works just as well as chemical cleaners in most cases, the Environmental Protection Agency reports. If you have a challenging tiled area in your bathroom or kitchen, consider giving it an initial scouring with baking soda first. Add the power of white vinegar if your tiles and grout have soap scum or film. If the grout remains dirty or ...
The eternal struggle to keep your home's windows clean and streak-free may tempt you to reach for industrial-strength chemical cleaners. But natural products may be just as effective and kinder to your family's health and to the environment. Look for commercial products bearing the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's "Design for the Environment Label." These products pass the EPA's standards for nontoxic or ...
Windows get dirty, but you don't need to reach for chemical cleaners to return them to a sparkling shine. Use natural, nontoxic ingredients such as vinegar, baking soda and lemon juice to clean and polish windows. Chemical window-cleaning agents contribute to environmental damage and can contribute to indoor air pollution.
Vinegar isn't just a salad dressing ingredient -- it also works wonders as a natural household cleaner. That appeals to people concerned about the toxic ingredients in some of the most common household cleaners. You can replace them with green-friendly cleaners made from vinegar and water, and you can have a safer home while at the same time reducing the amount of toxins you release into the waste stream.
More Articles on Natural Cleaners
In the contest to make the quicker, easier and more effective cleaning solutions, manufacturers have loaded their products with chemicals that can cause respiratory problems, skin sensitivities and asthma attacks. A few companies have noticed this trend and created nontoxic cleaning solutions that are widely available and gentler than typical commercial cleaners, but these products still contain chemicals. To be absolutely sure of what you're cleaning with, make your cleaning solutions yourself.
You want your carpet to be clean, but not at the cost of your health and the safety of the environment. Unfortunately, commercial cleaning supplies often contain hazardous substances. The National Park Service considers one of these, butyl cellulosive, a "severe pollutant" (see References 1, page 5). Keep butyl cellulosive out of your home and out of the water table by switching to a natural alternative.
Grime, smudges and spills can detract from the appearance of high-end stainless steel appliances, such as refrigerators, stoves and ovens. Instead of using chemical cleaners and polishes to clean stainless steel surfaces, however, you can minimize damage to your health and the environment by purchasing natural, nontoxic cleaners, or even making them yourself from a few simple household ingredients.
You can replace your chemical-laden facial soaps with homemade baking soda cleanser to save money, save the Earth and save your skin. The naturally occurring chemical compound sodium bicarbonate, also known as baking soda, can clean anything from your face to your toilet (see References 1). Not only is baking soda inexpensive, it's environmentally friendly, even after it goes down the drain (see References 2).
Clean windows let in maximum daylight, which saves on energy use. They also reveal the view and enhance a home's curb appeal. You can get your windows sparkling clean without adding harmful chemicals to the air inside or outside your home. Many natural glass cleaners can be made for pennies, or from materials already stocked in your pantry. If you don't want to make your own cleaner, you can buy commercial green cleaners that are both nontoxic and effective.
Brass and copper develop an unsightly patina, or tarnish, over time due to chemical reactions between the surface of the metal and the surrounding air. Many metal-cleaning products, or tarnish removers, contain harsh chemicals that can damage human health. Create safe, inexpensive and effective homemade brass and copper polish from just a few simple kitchen ingredients.
If you are worried about the personal and environmental dangers of commercial cleaning products, you may be looking for ways to create your own safe cleaners right at home (see References 4). Given the extensive ingredient list in commercial bathroom cleaners you might think a chemistry degree is required to prepare your own formulas. A small collection of basic, non-toxic household items is all you need, however, to treat soap scum, mold and everything in between -- without exposing your family and the environment to harmful fumes and chemicals.
The cleaning aisle in a supermarket can be deceiving; it appears as though you need a different cleaner for each room and surface in your home. Not only does it cost a lot of money to put together a large collection of commercial cleaning products, they can contain toxins and caustic chemicals that contribute to pollution and cause respiratory irritation. Slightly different combinations of basic all-natural ingredients will do the same job safely --- for a fraction of the price.
Cleaning products are essential to creating a healthy, sanitary environment both indoors and out. Often hubs of family activity, even concrete patios need to be cleaned from time to time. Don't just choose any off-the-shelf cleaning product, however. According to Karen Logan, author of "Clean House, Clean Planet," the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has approved over 72,000 different chemicals for use in cleaning products. (See Reference 1, Page 4) Many of these ingredients are toxic, not biodegradable, or have other negative health affects. Make your own effective, affordable and safe concrete cleaning products with just a few simple household ingredients.
It happens all the time: You hurry home, excited about a new purchase. You peel off the price tag so you can use it right away, but you're left with a sticky smear that attracts dirt and gets more noticeable over time. Or your toddler has plastered the living room wall with stickers, which leave their own sticky splotch behind. Regular cleaning solutions are ineffective at best, and some may even make the situation worse. Put away the harsh chemical cleaners -- adhesive removal is the job all-natural cleaners were made for.
Silver's durability and brilliant sheen have made it a traditional favorite for tableware and serving utensils. However, silver quickly darkens when exposed to air, creating a fine patina of tarnished silver. Over time, this layer steadily becomes thicker and harder to clean. Removing tarnish with conventional chemical-based cleaners requires a significant investment of time and effort, and won't always remove the tarnish from fine details of the pattern. It's simpler, and easier on the environment, to reverse the tarnishing process with a few natural ingredients found in your home.
Since World War II, chemical-based cleansers have replaced the common household materials that were once used for general household cleaning (see References 1). However, these common cleansers often contain toxic and hazardous chemicals, dangerous to both their user and the environment (see References 1, 2). Environmentally conscious consumers, and those with sensitivities to toxic chemicals, are turning back to less-harmful cleaning products. Simple, natural household items can be used to clean most surfaces, including upholstery.
The skins of many fruits and vegetables produce a protective waxy layer to shield them from dehydration and other hazards. The champion is the Asian "fuzzy melon," which produces a thick enough layer of wax to preserve the gourd for months (see References 7). Ordinary cucumbers, melons and other fruits produce thinner waxy layers that rinse off as the fruits are cleaned for market. Produce processors frequently spray their fruits and vegetables with a fine film of approved wax, lacquer or resin coating to replace the natural protection they've lost (see References 2). Many consumers prefer to wash off these coatings before eating the produce.
Natural gas is the product of vegetable and animal material that was buried and exposed to extreme pressure and heat over the course of thousands of years. A combustion process generates electricity from natural gas (see References 1). Like petroleum and coal, natural gas is a non-renewable resource that comes with environmental and health drawbacks.