Organic House Cleaning

This article tells how to clean a home using 3-4 homemade organic cleaning products rather than using multiple commerical toxic cleaning products.

Most households contain dozens of bottles of unnecessary cleaning products. People invest in separate products for individual cleaning jobs: furniture polish, bathroom floor cleaner, bathroom fixture cleaner, kitchen floor cleaner, kitchen fixtures cleaners, oven cleaner, bleach for white clothes, 2-3 laundry detergents for stain removal and dark colored laundry, glass cleaner and many more. All of these products are costly, dangerous to your home, family and the environment. A household needs only 2-3 homemade organic products with which to keep the entire house sparking clean! Why organic products? Because they are non-toxic to your pets, family members and the environment. Organic cleaning products that you make yourself cost only pennies, whereas the average cleaning product is $2.99.

Let's start with the kitchen. Rather than use a different cleaning product for the stove, kitchen sink, cabinets, floor and refrigerator, there are only 4 products that you need, and you can purchase the products in any grocery store. They are white vinegar, baking soda, lemon juice and salt.

*Kitchen Floors- In a bucket mix 1/2 cup white vinegar with 1-gallon hot water. This is safe for hardwood, linoleum, tile, and any washable surface.

*Oven Cleaner-Mix 1 tablespoon of baking soda, 1 tablespoon salt, and add 1/2 cup hot water. Make a gritty paste, apply to the oven, heat slightly, cool and then wipe away with a damp rag.

*Refrigerator Seals-The plastic seals of refrigerators can be wiped free of debris with a rag dabbed in white vinegar.

*Kitchen Cabinets-1/4 cup of lemon juice mixed with 1 quart of hot water. Lemon juice helps to remove grease from wood and metal.

*Dishwashing by Hand-In a small spray bottle, fill 3/4 with water and 1/4 with lemon juice. Lemon juice is the main ingredient in dishwashing detergent because it is an excellent grease fighter. You don't need any of the other ingredients that make up commercial dishwashing detergents--mostly fragrances.

For laundry, there are three products to use: washing soda, white vinegar and salt.

*Laundry Detergent for White Clothes- use 1/4 cup washing soda (sodium carbonate) in place of bleach. Bleach is one of the most toxic substances for the environment. Washing soda costs only a few pennies per wash load, and it is far less expensive than bleach. Along with the washing soda, add 1/4 cup of white vinegar.

*Laundry Detergent for Dark Clothes-use 1/4 cup of white vinegar and 1/4 cup of salt.

Salt helps restore faded colors, and to remove dirt and grime.

For carpets there are three choices: salt, baking soda or cornstarch.

Just as salt helps to restore the color of dark colored laundry, it also helps to bring out the color in carpeting, while at the same time, removing dirt. Sprinkle 1/4 to 1/2 cup of salt (depending on the size of your rug or carpet), let it sit for 15-30 minutes, and then vacuum. You can also alternate between salt and cornstarch. The instructions are the same. To remove odors from carpets, add 1/4 cup of baking soda to the salt (or cornstarch) and make a powder with the mixture, sprinkle on the carpet and let it sit for at least 30 minutes, and then vacuum. If you want to add a fresh scent to your carpet, you can sprinkle Cinnamon, or All Spice on the carpet, let it sit for 15 minutes and then vacuum.

Bathrooms no longer have to be a chore to clean. The same cleaning products used in the kitchen are suitable for the bathroom; white vinegar, baking soda, and lemon juice. However, you can use rubbing alcohol and you've got a great glass cleaner.

*Bathroom Glass Cleaner-1-2 tablespoons of white vinegar mixed with 1 quart of water in a spray bottle. To remove oily fingerprints and hairspray from the mirror, dab on a little rubbing alcohol and wipe with a linen rag.

*Bathroom/Bathtub Glass Sliding Doors-1/4 cup white vinegar mixed with 3/4 cup of hot water. Those hard water stains will wipe away like magic!

*Bathroom Floors-The same as kitchen floors: 1/2 cup of vinegar with 1-gallon hot water. This is safe for hardwood, linoleum, tile, and any washable surface.

To polish wood furniture, wood floors, or even wooden blinds, and to have a wonderful citrus scent, use citrus oil. You can purchase a gallon of citrus oil from any home improvement store, or the local Wal-Mart. It costs about $5.00 a gallon, but will last you at least 6 months.

Polishing Wood Furniture-Pour a small amount of citrus oil (undiluted) onto a lint-free rag, and polish to perfection.

Cleaning and Polishing Wood Floors-Dilute one cup of citrus oil in one-gallon hot water.

Use a sponge mop and mop floor. For heavy duty jobs, do not dilute.

Cleaning Wooden Min-Blinds-Dilute 14 cup of citrus oil with water in an empty spray bottle. Lay the blind out on the floor or outside on a towel. Spray the blinds lightly, and wipe gently with a sheet of fabric softener.

For crayon marks, spilled candle wax, and residue left from tape and other adhesive, dab with mineral oil and wipe gently with a rag. Mineral oil is the main ingredient of many commercial products that advertise the removal of greasy wax stains and marks.

To further ensure that you are helping the environment to remain toxic free there are a few simple things that you can do:

*Use Cloth Rags-Never use paper towels or the new "Disposable Wipes." Such products are bleached, and are therefore toxins. Recycle old clothing, sheets and towels into rags. Wash once a week and you'll never have to waste money on paper products again.

*Recycle Paper and Plastic Bags- Never buy plastic garbage bags. Use the bags that you get from the grocery store to dispose of cat litter and household garbage. Invest in cloth bags to use for groceries, and take only 1-2 plastic or paper bags from the grocery store to use as trash bags. Paper bags are the most environmentally friendly, however most cities have ordinances against using paper bags for weekly trash pick-ups. Minimize your use of plastic.

A little planning can go a long way. Our planet and our homes deserve to exist as toxic free as possible!

© High Speed Ventures 2011