Health isn’t determined solely by what we put in our bodies, it’s also about what our bodies are exposed to and what we put on our bodies as well.One of the ways that our bodies are exposed to harmful substances and chemicals is through the cleaning products we use in our homes.
So many cleaning products contain harmful chemicals like:
- Phthalates: May disrupt hormones
- Perchloroethylene or “perc”: May be a neurotoxin
- Triclosan: May promote growth of drug-resistant bacteria (ICK!)
- Quaternary Ammonium Compounds or “quats”: May also promote growth of drug-resistant bacteria and may also be a skin irritant
- 2-Butoxyethanol: May promote pulmonary edema, liver and kidney damage
- Ammonia: May contribute to breathing issues and asthma
- …and others
So while there’s some bad news about what you may find in your household cleaners, there’s also some good news, which is that you can easily make non-toxic and green cleaning products out of the items you may already have sitting in your pantry.
12 natural cleaning solutions (made from 3 common pantry items!)
- Olive oil: Olive oil is something you may have thought of to cook with, but have you thought of it as a cleaning agent? Olive oil is great for doing including:
- Remove paint from skin: rub olive oil into your skin and let it sit for 5 minutes before washing skin with soap.
- Shine stainless steel: Pour a little olive oil onto a cotton swab and buff the desired stainless steel.
- Clean wood furniture: Combine 2 cups olive oil with 1 cup lemon juice (or vinegar) and then you can use it to clean the furniture using a soft cloth.
- Baking soda: Baking soda is another pantry item that you may use to cook with, or to keep your fridge smelling fresh. But it’s also great when it comes to cleaning. You can use baking soda to do the following:
- Clean silver: Make a mixture of 3 parts baking soda to 1 part water and rub the paste onto each item, and rinse with warm water and dry with a soft cloth
- Clean pots: Baking soda makes for a great agent to remove burnt food items from pots and pans. To do so, simply sprinkle baking soda into the bottom of the affected pan, then pour hot water on top of the baking soda, let soak overnight then clean as usual.
- Prevent clogged drains: Pour ¼ cup baking soda down each sink drain weekly to prevent a clogged drain.
- Table Salt: Table salt certainly belongs on the table, but it can also be put to great use when it comes to cleaning the house. Here’s how you can use salt to help you clean in a green way:
- Remove a wine stain: I remember this one vividly from every family gathering growing up when someone (usually my father) would spill the wine. Blot up as much of the wine as possible from the tablecloth, then pour a pile of salt over the stain. Soak the tablecloth in cold water before washing.
- De-ice walkways: So many of the chemicals used in commercial salt products can be toxic for many reasons and for anyone with dogs, can be dangerous for the health of their paws. Instead, try using table salt as a method for preventing freezing ice from building up on walkways.
- Remove perspiration stains: Make a mixture of 4 tablespoons of salt to one quart of hot water and use a sponge to dab the stained fabric until the stain has been removed.
- Lemons: Lemons are great for making salad dressings, adding to hot water and tea, flavoring dishes and more. Lemons are also great for making all-natural cleaning solutions. Try using lemons to do the following:
- Scrub bath rub grout: Use lemon juice and an old tooth brush to clean the grout in the bathtub.
- Remove grease stains from clothing: Rub lemon juice into the stain on your clothes and let it sit overnight- then wash as usual.
- Remove hard-water stains from shower doors: Use a half cut lemon and use to clean off hard water stains on your glass shower doors.