As we become more environmentally aware, we look for better cleaning solutions that are effective and safe. Before the invention of detergents, bleaches, solvents and other chemically charged cleaners, there were herbs, oils, fermented plants and fruit to solve cleaning problems. What began as a bunch of twigs tied together on a long stick to make a broom, we now have machines and solvents to do the job. What was intended to make our lives and chores easier, became a chemical soup affecting our health.
I don’t mean to be overly dramatic, however, many diseases have been sourced back to certain chemicals used in washing our windows, floors, appliances, our clothes and the sheets we sleep on. Granted, we do live much longer in this century than we did in the 13th, nonetheless, we are potentially aggravating our health by what we do every day.
If you want to take a healthier way of cleaning approach, here are the main ingredients to naturally clean your home.
Often used for pickling and typically made from apple, grape, corn, wheat, or rye. Because of its acidic properties, it is very effective in cleaning grimy surfaces. Just add directly into a spray bottle undiluted to instantly clean the surface of your outdoor grill. Add some essential oils and you have a great window cleaner. Also, half a cup of vinegar in the rinse cycle or adding to softener dispenser will brighten colours as well as whites. I love how it makes my windows shine and my grill looking like new.
This powerful ingredient added to grime in window tracks, around sinks and tubs will make everything sparkle. Adding a spritz or two of vinegar will make the baking soda fizz while lifting the dirt right out! This is my preferred oven cleaner!
Nothing works better and it has no fumes. In a small mason jar add baking soda with 10 drops of lavender essential oil will create the best antimicrobial mattress refresher! Read more on this topic in our previous article Sleep Tight! Don’t Let the Bed Bugs Bite.
They are not just to adorn cocktails or squeezed on fish, but the acid in lemons can actually remove rust and shine brass to a brilliance only seen from the sun. Squeezing half a lemon onto a wooden or plastic cutting board, gently rubbing the stains and letting it sit for 20 minutes will remove all the bacteria and stains. If you add a few drops of lemon juice to your dishwater, it will boost the grease cutting properties of your dish soap.
Vegetable or plant-based oil like sunflower or corn can remove dirt, lessen scratches on wood, and restore your pans. Adding some coarse salt with a few drops of oil to your cast iron pan will easily remove all the bits of stuck on food. Soap never touches my cast iron pan!
Restore your leather shoes by adding just a few drops on a cloth to remove scuff marks. Follow with a buffing cloth, and voila! Furniture polish made with the juice of one lemon and a cup of oil will smooth out scratches with just a few drops on a clean cloth.
I have barely scratched the surface on this topic, so watch for another instalment on natural cleaning solutions that keep you safe while getting the job done!
Angela, Your Sleep Expert