8 ways to use non-toxic, home-made cleaning supplies

The Basic Ten at Work Now that you know what products you need, grab a few clean, empty spray bottles; some rags and sponges; and a bucket of water, and you’re ready to clean your house the green way. All-purpose cleaners: An all-purpose cleaner is just that—something you can use for just about every surface in your home, from kitchen counters and appliances to bathroom surfaces and walls. Clean House, Clean Planet author Karen Logan offers this recipe for the all-purpose “Alice’s Wonder Spray”: Put 2 Tbsp. white vinegar and 1 tsp. borax into a 16 oz. spray bottle. Fill the rest with very hot water and shake to blend until the borax is dissolved. Add 1/4 cup of liquid castile soap only after you’ve completed the above steps. If you want to scent your spray, also add 10–15 drops of an essential oil, such as lavender, lemongrass, thyme, eucalyptus, rosemary, rose, or clove. The spray will keep indefinitely. For an even simpler solution, try cleaning with two cups of club soda in a spray bottle. Hard floor cleaner:  This solution is useful for all hard floors (except when directed by the manufacturer to avoid even mild detergents): Combine 1/4 liquid castile soap, up to 1/2 cup white vinegar or lemon juice, and 2 gallons of warm water in a large plastic bucket. Use with a mop or sponge. Carpet cleaner: To clean and disinfect your carpet, blending 1/2 cup baking soda, 1 cup borax, and 1 cup cornmeal. Sprinkle mixture over rug and rub with a cloth. Let rest for several hours or overnight, then vacuum. To remove...

Cleaning doesn’t have to be dangerous!

As the health and environmental impacts of conventional cleaning products become more thoroughly understood, more and more brands of healthy, green and effective cleaning products have started hitting the market. Many of these products are non-toxic, biodegradable, and made from renewable resources (not petroleum). Remnants of cleaning products are everywhere in our homes and offices: on dishes, countertops, furniture, clothes, floors, and floating through the air. In our war on dirt and germs we may actually be making things worse. Did you know that spray cleaners can remain in the air in your home for around 12 hours? This can contribute to respiratory infections, antagonize allergies, and irritate your sinuses. Most standard cleaning products in use since the 1950’s are petroleum-based and are quite toxic to people and the environment. Instead of opting for cleaning products that destroy everything in their path, there are plenty of natural products and methods to keep a house clean and fresh-smelling without the toxic side effects. Take a look at our green living blog to find out ways to cut out unnecessary chemicals and replace them with healthier...