Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Change the Industry from the INSIDE of your home OUT

All-Purpose Cleaner

Never waste your money on "antibacterial" cleaners and soaps whose active ingredients have been linked to thyroid damage, water pollution, and the emergence of drug-resistant superbugs like MRSA. Instead, kill germs with this all-purpose vinegar solution. It'll only cost you about 20 cents!

Make It!
9 parts water
1 part white vinegar

Mix ingredients in a spray bottle and clean away!

For particularly nasty messes, such as a counter top after you've handled raw meat on it, squirt straight white vinegar on the surface, and follow with a squirt of hydrogen peroxide to knock out virtually all germs. (Remember to do a spot test first to make certain the surface doesn't discolor or otherwise react.)

Tile Cleaner

Common tile cleaners are laced with dozens of contaminants, including chemicals linked to cancer, reproductive damage, and hormonal harm. A 2009 analysis even detected formaldehyde, toluene, and benzene—components of gasoline—in the popular cleaner Comet. To clean greener, make your own scrubbing paste.

Make It!
½ cup baking soda
Castile Liquid soap (we like Dr. Bronner's)
5 to 10 drops of pure essential oil of lavender or rosemary, or tea tree oil (optional)

Place baking soda in a bowl; slowly pour in liquid soap, stirring until it looks like frosting. Add optional essential oils. Scoop onto a sponge, scrub, and rinse. You can also try cutting a lemon in half and using that as a scrubber.

Oven Cleaner

Avoid polluting your indoor air with the harsh ingredients that are often found in store-bought oven cleaners by using this homemade cleaning mix.

Make It!
2 cups hot water
1 Tablespoon natural dish liquid
1 teaspoon borax

Mix the ingredients, spray on a spill, let sit for 20 minutes, and wipe off with a clean cloth. For handling an extra-greasy mess, wipe off as much loose goop as possible with crumpled newspaper first, then use the spray.

Window Cleaner

Whip up a batch of natural window cleaner that won't aggravate allergies or asthma the way many store-bought formulations will. A bottleful will only run you about 40 cents.

Make It!
¼ cup vinegar
½ teaspoon natural liquid soap ( Dr. Bronner's)
2 cups water

Put all ingredients in a spray bottle and shake to blend. To use the cleaner, spray onto the glass, covering as much as you can finish wiping in a few minutes at a time, scrub as needed with the rough side of a kitchen sponge, and squeegee off. Use a cotton cleaning cloth to dry off the blade of the squeegee between swipes, and to wipe up any liquid that puddles at the bottom edges of the windowpanes. Toss the cleaning cloths into the wash basket, and enjoy your sparkling windows.

Lemon Oil Duster

Because household dust can be loaded with harmful substances like flame retardants, allergens, pesticides, and plastics chemicals, it's important to keep your home as clean as possible. However, many dust cleaners contain air contaminants and hormone-disrupting chemicals. Keep it safe by mixing up your own and using it to dust furniture and other surfaces where dust collects in your home.

Make It!
10 drops pure lemon oil
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
A few drops olive oil

Use a clean recycled flannel cotton cloth to mop up dusty surfaces.

All-Natural Air Freshener

It's ironic, but most air fresheners, because they're full of allergy- and asthma-inducing chemicals, actually worsen air quality. Sure, setting out a bowl of white vinegar is a go-to method for natural odor removal, but here's a recipe with a little added zip.

Make It!
Several orange peels
2 cinnamon sticks
Several cloves
Pot of water

To get rid of tough kitchen odors, bring the pot of water to a boil with the orange peels, cloves, and cinnamon sticks, and leave it simmering on the stove for a while.

Multi Surface Cleaner

If you need an all-purpose cleaner with a little more grit than our vinegar/water solution, try this natural cleaning concoction. (Always spot-test before trying it on a new surface.)

Make It!
2 teaspoons borax
1 teaspoon washing soda (not baking soda)
Hot water
4 Tablespoons vinegar
½ teaspoon natural liquid soap
¼ teaspoon tea tree oil
8 drops rosemary oil
8 drops tangerine oil
8 drops lavender oil

Dissolve borax and washing soda (find them in your store's laundry aisle) into 2 cups of very hot water, strain the mixture through a very fine sieve, and funnel it into a 1-quart spray bottle (or forget the sieve and just pour it in slowly, leaving behind any undissolved powder). Add the rest of the ingredients and shake to blend. Top off with more hot water and shake again.

Basic Laundry Powder

Many laundry detergents are loaded with questionable foaming agents and even migraine-inducing fragrance chemicals. Who would want to pay for a headache? Instead, save money and your health by making this laundry powder designed for warm-water loads.

Make It!
½ cup soap flakes or grated plain bar soap
½ cup borax
½ cup washing soda

Combine ingredients well and store in a jar with an airtight lid. Use ½ to 1 tablespoon per load.