As the weather improves, home owners around Ontario are preparing for the annual rite of passage: Spring Cleaning. This year as you clean out a winter’s worth of dust and grime, don’t forget to keep the environment in mind. There are many ways to get a fresh, clean home without relying on dangerous and harmful chemicals!
Most natural cleaning products available on the market today are formulated using the same DIY recipes your grandmother used before chemical-based cleaning products became so prevalent. These recipes are not only less expensive than commercial products, they are also less toxic.
Many of the ingredients you will require can probably already be found around your home. The basic ingredients used for many DIY cleaning products include:
- Baking soda: Used as a scrubber, baking soda also reacts with acids for added cleaning power.
- White vinegar: A natural disinfectant, vinegar also helps to loosen caked on dirt.
- Lemon juice: Another natural disinfectant, lemon juice can also cut through dirt and helps to leave a pleasant aroma after cleaning.
- Olive oil: Great for polishing natural wood, olive oil is also used to pick up dirt.
- Sodium carbonate: A caustic cleaning agent, sodium carbonate is used as a stain remover and laundry supplement.
- Borax: Commonly used as a disinfectant, Borax also whitens and deodorizes.
- Castile soap: This all-purpose foaming cleanser is required for many DIY soaps.
- Essential oils: If you want to leave a pleasant aroma behind, a few drops of essential oils can be added to most cleaning formulas.
DIY Cleaning Recipes
Here are a few handy DIY cleaning recipes to get your green spring cleaning started with:
- Mix ¼ cup of vinegar into 1 quart of water.
- Pour the mixture into a spray bottle.
- Spray the mixture directly onto the glass and wipe it clean with old newspaper or a lint-free cloth.
- Mix 2 parts vinegar and 1 part baking soda into 4 parts water.
- Apply to counters and tiles with a clean sponge.
- Scour the area and wipe away the mixture.
- Rinse well.
- Mix 4 cups of white distilled vinegar into 1 gallon of hot water.
- Add a few drops of your favorite essential oil(s). (Optional)
- Mope the floors with a damp (not soaking wet) mop. As it dries the vinegar smell will fade, leaving only the scent of the oils behind.
- Sprinkle the toilet brush with baking soda. (Note: To disinfect, use Borax instead of baking soda)
- Scrub the inside of the toilet well.
- Wipe the outside of the toilet with pure white vinegar.
Now that you have some natural cleaning products to use, you can get your spring cleaning done without worrying about the potential harm you may be causing the environment. Remember, there is always a natural alternative to every chemical product you can buy!