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Sustainable Cleaning: Using Natural Products

March 3, 2024
Sustainable Cleaning: Using Natural Products

Why Choose Natural Cleaning Products?

Cleaning products made with harsh chemicals can negatively impact our health and the environment. Natural cleaning products are a great alternative for those looking to clean their homes in a more sustainable way. Here are some of the key benefits of using natural cleaning products:

Healthier for You and Your Family

Conventional cleaning products often contain ingredients like ammonia, bleach, synthetic fragrances, and more. Exposure to these chemicals day after day can irritate eyes, skin, and airways. Children and pets can be especially sensitive.

Natural cleaning products use plant-based ingredients like vinegar, baking soda, essential oils, and plant-derived soaps. These products are much less likely to cause adverse reactions. Cleaning with natural products reduces indoor air pollution and creates a healthier home environment.

Better for the Environment

Harsh chemicals in conventional cleaners get washed down the drain and end up in waterways. Many are not biodegradable and persist in the environment. Natural cleaning products use plant and mineral-based ingredients that break down quickly and are less toxic for marine life.

Natural cleaners also come in recyclable packaging, or no packaging at all if ingredients like vinegar or baking soda are purchased in bulk. Making your own natural cleaners reduces plastic waste.

Cost Effective

Buying ready-made natural cleaners can get expensive. Luckily, DIY versions can be made for pennies on the dollar. For example, an all-purpose cleaner can be made with just distilled vinegar, water, and lemon essential oil.

Natural ingredients like baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, and soap nuts have a variety of cleaning uses. Purchasing these items in bulk minimizes costs.

Safer Overall

According to the Environmental Working Group, conventional cleaning products often contain ingredients linked to asthma, cancer, reproductive issues, and more. Natural cleaners pose fewer risks when accidentally ingested, spilled on skin, or inhaled.

Plant-based soaps, vinegar, lemon juice, and other natural cleaners get the job done without the safety hazards. And kids or pets can’t get into too much trouble if they accidentally taste a natural cleaner.

Making Your Own Natural Cleaning Products

The good news is whipping up your own natural cleaners takes just a few ingredients and moments of your time. Here are some easy homemade recipes to try:

All-Purpose Cleaner

  • 1 part distilled white vinegar
  • 1 part water
  • Lemon essential oil (for scent, optional)

Mix the vinegar and water in a spray bottle. Add several drops of lemon oil if desired. Use on countertops, appliances, windows, and other areas that need non-abrasive cleaning.

Disinfectant Cleaner

  • 1/2 cup distilled white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon hydrogen peroxide
  • 1 tablespoon baking soda
  • 1 cup warm water

Combine all ingredients in a spray bottle. Shake gently before each use. Spritz on surfaces and wipe away germs with a clean cloth.

Drain Cleaner

  • 1/2 cup baking soda
  • 1/4 cup vinegar
  • 2 cups boiling water

Pour the baking soda down the drain first, followed by the vinegar. Let fizz for a few minutes. Then pour the boiling water down to flush away buildup. Repeat weekly.

Hardwood Floor Cleaner

  • 1/4 cup vinegar or lemon juice
  • 1 gallon warm water

Mix ingredients in a mop bucket. Damp mop floors with a microfiber mop. The acid in the vinegar/lemon juice helps remove grime without dulling floors.

Tips for Switching to Natural Cleaning

Switching to natural products can take some adjustment. Here are some tips to make the transition easier:

  • Make changes slowly. Don’t try to replace all products at once. Start with one homemade recipe, like an all-purpose spray. Over time, add more as you get comfortable.

  • Use up existing products first. Avoid waste by using up what you already have before making the switch. Native those harsher products only when natural options don’t work.

  • Know natural limits. Vinegar, baking soda, and soap make great cleaners, but aren’t disinfectants. Use hydrogen peroxide or diluted rubbing alcohol to sanitize when needed.

  • Buy reusable containers. Transfer homemade cleaners from plastic spray bottles to glass containers. Mason jars work great for soap nut cleaning solution.

  • Learn proper dilution. More is not always better with natural cleaners. Vinegar and soap especially need proper water ratios to avoid streaking.

Switching to natural cleaning products is one of the easiest ways to reduce your exposure to harsh chemicals at home. With a few simple ingredients and recipes, you can clean green while saving some green too. Give natural cleaners a try – your body and the planet will thank you!

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