Are you a little freaked out about all of the chemicals in your cleaning products, but worried that going green won’t clean as well? We get it. It’s hard to know what products are both safe and effective when it comes to cleaning house. “There are a lot of bad basic cleaning formulas out there filled with chemicals,” explains “The Godmother of Green” Annie B. Bond, an expert on green living and best-selling author of five books, including “Better Basics for the Home.”
In small amounts, exposure to these toxins is not a problem—after all, your liver is designed to detoxify your body of chemicals—but they can even damage the liver itself. Bond, a survivor of chemical poisoning who devoted herself to educating others about healthy living, believes that every toxic substance you come into contact with accumulates in your system and that, eventually, their cumulative effects could trigger health problems ranging from headaches to a serious disease, such as cancer. One way to reduce your family’s exposure to toxic chemicals is to make your own “green” cleaning solutions. “Using your own homemade, healthy cleaning formulas is an inexpensive way to disinfect your home and reduce your exposure to potentially dangerous toxins,” says Bond.
Check out these eight simple DIY cleaning recipes you can feel good about using in your home.
1Bathtub, Kitchen Sink, Countertops and Stainless Steel Fridges Cleaner
½ cup baking soda (we recommend Arm & Hammer)
A few teaspoons “green” dish liquid or all-purpose cleaner (we like Seventh Generation, Ecover or Biokleen brands)
Mix baking soda and all-purpose detergent in a bowl so it forms a frosting-like consistency. Use a wet sponge to wipe away any residue after cleaning, and then rinse well with water.
2Microwave Oven Cleaner
1/2 teaspoon washing soda
A dab of “green” liquid soap or detergent
2 cups very hot tap water
Combine ingredients in a spray bottle and shake until the washing soda has dissolved. Spray inside and outside of oven, and then wipe off with a sponge or rag.
3Toilet Bowl Cleaner
1 cup Borax
Pour Borax (an alkaline mineral, found in the laundry section of the supermarket) into toilet water, and let it sit overnight. The next morning, flush it away. Borax will dissolve iron and other minerals that build up in water.
4Toilet Rims and Doorknobs Cleaner
White distilled vinegar
A few drops of an essential oil, such as lavender (optional)
Fill up a spray bottle with white distilled vinegar to kill bacteria, molds and germs. Spray a generous amount under the toilet bowl rim or onto doorknobs, and let it evaporate. Add essential oils if you prefer a scented cleaner.
1/4 cup white distilled vinegar
1/2 teaspoon green liquid soap or detergent
2 cups of water
Combine ingredients in a spray bottle. Shake to blend, and spray on windows. Wipe off with a soft cotton cloth.
6Wood Floors All-Purpose Cleaner
¼ cup all-purpose green cleaner or detergent
2 gallons very warm water
¼ cup washing soda (optional)
Essential oils of choice, such as lavender or rosemary
2 cups white distilled vinegar
1 gallon warm water
Step 1: In a bucket, mix all-purpose cleaner with water. Then, add 10 drops of essential oils. If floors are extremely dirty, add ¼ cup washing soda. Wash floors. Step 2: Mix vinegar and warm water together in a bucket, and mop floors to rinse.
7Plastic Storage Containers and Baby, Pool or Pet Toys Cleaner
4 tablespoons baking soda
1 quart warm water
Mix baking soda in water and use a damp sponge to wipe clean.