Safe Alternatives to Toxic Cleaners
Photo: © icarmen13 - iStockphoto
Open almost any kitchen cabinet and you're bound to find cleaning supplies made with toxic chemicals or other pollutants. While harsh chemical cleaners have become increasingly popular, there are plenty of all-natural alternatives that work just as well—usually at a fraction of the cost! Below are some common household ingredients that pull double duty as effective, eco-friendly cleaning agents.
White Vinegar: Despite the strong smell, vinegar is quite versatile when it comes to cleaning. In fact, due to its natural disinfecting and deodorizing properties, it makes an effective ?all-purpose cleaner for virtually every surface in the house. Mixed 50/50 with water, white vinegar can be used to cut grease, get rid of wax buildup on wooden floors, kill mildew, and even get rid of stains.
Baking Soda: Baking soda is one of the best deodorizers available. It can be sprinkled over virtually any surface and simply swept, vacuumed, or sponged away when the job is done. Baking soda is also wonderful for scrubbing surfaces that could easily be scratched, such as glass or stainless steel.
Lemons: Lemon juice is a powerful natural acid capable of tackling mildew with ease. It can also cut through soap scum and help get rid of calcium deposits. Spritzing kitchen surfaces with a mixture of water and lemon juice helps keep them sanitized. The fresh, clean scent is a bonus!
Cornstarch: Due to its impressive absorption abilities, cornstarch is the go-to cleaner for dealing with grease and oil. It works especially well on stove tops, vent hoods, counters, and anything else in the kitchen that is exposed to grease. Also, mixing cornstarch with water forms a paste that can be applied to carpets and upholstery before vacuuming to clean without the use of skin-irritating chemicals.
Borax: Also known as sodium borate, borax is a multipurpose cleaner. While it does a fine job of disinfecting and deodorizing, borax really shines when cleaning painted or wallpapered walls without causing damage. Borax is also an ideal choice for grout cleaning.