Modern cleaning methods rely heavily on manmade chemicals and bleaches, some of which are far from mild. However, there are safe, non-toxic cleaning materials that you can pick up very inexpensively in town at the supermarket or fruit and vegetable store. Some of them I'll bet you have lying around the home.
Your grandma knew what she was doing, and when it came to safe, non-toxic materials, well it was probably the only things that grandma had to use. Cleaning, like most jobs and solutions in the home, were passed down from mother to daughter, although nowadays, cleaning is not just for women. Just get these common household ingredients off the shelf, and voila, no more chemical nasties.
Here are a few secrets revealed from our very own resident grandma, and all of them natural and safe non-toxic cleaning products:
1. Baking soda is a very mild, non-aggressive cleaning agent. Take about half a cup of baking soda, mixed with a small drop of mild, biodegradable liquid detergent. Used with a cloth or a sponge, this simple recipe will clean bath, sink and toilet surfaces to the point where you can see your face in them; and the beauty of it is, it is non abrasive, non-toxic and does not damage the surface.
2. Mix together three tablespoons of vinegar, half a teaspoon of mild liquid detergent and two cups of water. Place in a trigger action spray bottle, and voila, you have a non-toxic, vinegar-based window cleaner. (It also makes quick work of lime scale in those difficult-to-get-to areas in the bathroom). And as a bonus, vinegar is a natural deodorizer and disinfectant.
3. Good thing the lemon law doesn't apply to this little baby. Slice a lemon in half; clean the barbecue grill, windows, mirrors, oven tops and indeed inside ovens (but not with the same piece of lemon, obviously). The bonus is it is also a good antiseptic, killing the bugs as you go along. And if you have half a lemon left over, may I suggest lemon tea to relax with after a hard green cleaning session? You earned it.
4. Mix half a teaspoon of olive oil, and a quarter of a cup of fresh lemon juice or vinegar. Shake in a sealed container vigorously till it has emulsified (looks like a watery dip), dap a soft cloth into the solution and you have a wonderful, very inexpensive polish for natural wood furniture or fixtures and fittings. Use extra virgin olive oil for a much smoother, all over sheen.
5. If you have a pongy toilet (and let's face it, we all have one from time to time) keep a spray container in the bathroom with a neat vinegar solution in the container. Spray around the rim and bowl and wipe away after about 15 seconds to half a minute. Pong gone and no vinegar smell either, and it is a natural disinfectant to boot.
6. To get rid of mold, whether it is in the bathroom or behind the dog's ears, use vinegar from a trigger spray container, and leave to settle. The vinegar smell will dissipate, and the mold will just wipe off. Great for bathroom and kitchen floor or wall tiles, where the mold is on the grout.
So you see, just looking through the kitchen, there are many natural, safe non-toxic cleaning options available, and all very easy and cheap to put together. You will now start wondering why you ever bought that spray-on cleaner or bleach.
This article was written by the staff of www.GreatGreenIdea.com, a site dedicated to teaching about great green ideas and healthy green living. The goal of the site is to help the public on the quest for "Guilt Free Green Living."
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