10 ECO-FRIENDLY CLEANING TIPS
NATURAL CLEANING PRODUCTS TO MAKE AND TRY AT HOME.
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You know, for years I have been trying to decrease the amount of toxins that I encounter. It’s really difficult to achieve given the amount of chemicals that we come in contact with on a daily basis.
From the automobile emissions that we inhale by just venturing outdoors, to the chemicals we encounter in our “fresh” vegetables (if they’re not organic), we are constantly being introduced to toxins in unawares.
Thankfully, one of the areas that we have somewhat more control over the amount of chemical content is in our own homes.
Here, I am going to give you 10 ideas for making your own natural, eco-friendly household cleaners.
I feel so much better using these green cleaning tactics because I know I am protecting my health and the health of my family members by employing these eco-friendly cleaning methods. You can easily do these too, so read on!
1.) Natural fruit and vegetable spray
Make use of good old fashioned clear, distilled vinegar! It’s very inexpensive and highly effective at removing dirt and residual pesticides from the skin of your produce.
Just purchase an inexpensive spray bottle and fill it with undiluted distilled vinegar.
Spray the vinegar on your produce and let it sit for about 5 minutes to loosen the impurities. Then either massage the veggies/fruit with your hand, or lightly scrub them with an inexpensive vegetable brush to completely loosen the unwanted residue.
Rinse and enjoy your super-clean garden bounty!
2.) Make your own eco-friendly air freshener.
Instead of opting for room freshening sprays made with artificial fragrances (read, chemicals), just make your own!
Using the same type of spray bottle that you used to make your homemade vegetable cleaning spray (in #1 above), just fill an empty spray bottle with about 8 ounces (1 cup) of filtered or bottled water. Add 5-10 drops of your favorite essential oil.
Be sure to put your spray bottle setting on “mist” vs. a “stream-like” spray. Shake vigorously to properly blend the contents. Then spray a few spritzes into the air of your room of choice.
Because this recipe does not call for chemicals that keep the essential oils and water blended together, you will need to shake and blend the contents before each use. However, this method is eco-friendly and keeps your home environment safe from harmful propellants.
Plus, because you are using pure essential oils, you not only reduce concerns about inhaling toxins into your body, but you will also add therapeutic benefits to the air that you and your family members inhale at home.
A few essential oils to try that not only smell wonderful, but also reportedly have anti-bacterial and antiseptic properties are lemon essential oil (2), grapefruit essential oil (3), and pine essential oil (4).
3.) Remove sticker residue from non-porous surfaces
Do you have a sticky film on your glass or tile surfaces?
Just apply a bit of olive oil or coconut oil to the sticky area and allow it to sit for about 5 minutes.
Then massage that area to loosen the sticky residue and wipe it clean with a disposable paper towel.
Remove the remainder of oil with a reusable soapy cleaning cloth. This way you will not embed the sticky substance into your reusable cloth towels.
4.) Is your metal zipper stuck?
OK. So this isn’t really a cleaning tip, but it’s a useful tip, nevertheless.
Sometimes metal zippers get stuck, especially if it is an older zipper. And it can be mildly frustrating.
All you have to do is take an old wax candle and rub it up and down the zipper to create a waxy film along the zipper path.
Then, move the zipper up and down a few times to coat the zipper from top to bottom for a free flowing zipper. Voila! Zipper unstuck!
5.) Create your own natural disinfectant.
Did you know that tea tree oil reportedly has disinfecting properties (5)? Well, try this one at home.
Get your trusty, inexpensive spray bottle out and add about 10 ounces of filtered water, 10-12 drops of pure tea tree essential oil, and a few drops of natural dish detergent.
Shake to blend all of the ingredients, then spray on the areas that you want to disinfect. You can use this to clean floors and counter top surfaces in your bathroom and kitchen.
Tip: This is the water filter that I use to filter the water with which I cook and clean. It not only provides me with a healthier water source in my home, but also gives me a more non-toxic base from which to create my home cooked meals and my homemade green cleaning solutions. You can choose to have it installed under your kitchen sink, or just sit it on your kitchen counter top and dispense from there.
6.) Gum stuck on an item of clothing?
Just take an ice cube from your freezer and rub it across the gummy area to freeze and harden the gum.
While the gum is frozen solid, pick off the gum, bit by bit, until you have completely removed it all from your item of clothing.
You may have to rub the ice cube over the gummy area several times to prevent it from softening again until you have removed all of the gum.
7.) Eco-friendly cleaner for floors
Here is a simple vinegar cleaning solution that you can use as a natural floor cleaner for your home.
Add 1/3 cup of distilled vinegar to 1 bucket of water (approximately 2 gallons). Combine with 10-12 drops of either pure peppermint or lemon essential oil. Blend by swirling a paint stick or ruler through the water mixture.
Then take a clean sponge mop, dip it into your herbal mixture, wring out the excess water, and mop over your floor to remove dirt and refresh your hardwood floors. Plus your house will have a natural crisp, clean scent.
8.) Foul odor coming from kitchen sink garbage disposal?
Instead of throwing away the peels from your oranges or lemons, grind them up in your garbage disposal.
I usually allow a light trickle of water to run into my garbage disposal while grinding up my citrus fruit peels.
This ensures that the essential oils from the peels of the oranges and lemons are allowed to thoroughly coat the mechanics of the garbage disposal and ensure a more thorough cleaning.
Citrus essential oils have strong antiseptic properties, too (6). They deodorize as well as disinfect, leaving you with a naturally clean garbage disposal.
9.) Bugs in your kitchen cabinets?
If you store your rice, beans or any other dry staple food products in your kitchen drawers or cabinets, there is a possibility that they will attract unwanted visitors like grain bugs or ants.
A highly effective and inexpensive way to keep these pesky little critters at bay is by placing a few dried bay leaves (no pun intended) in your food storage areas.
Bay leaves make excellent natural insect repellents (7).
Chances are, you already stock bay leaves as part of your seasoning supply, so why not get double benefits from them?
Plus, you will have no concerns about contaminating your food storage areas with chemical pesticides. Safer for you, safer for your family. And did I mention, inexpensive?
10.) Ink or fruit stained hands?
Lemon juice to the rescue!
Squeeze the juice from a fresh lemon onto your hands and massage it into the stained area.
Word of caution, though….don’t apply lemon juice to nicks or cuts on the skin because it will sting terribly!
Lemon juice has natural whitening properties (8). The longer you leave the lemon juice on the affected area, the more the stain will lighten.
Your hands will not only “come clean”, but they will smell delightful, too!
Key takeaways for eco-friendly cleaning
We can all take baby steps toward reducing toxins from our lives.
I highly emphasize “baby steps” because there are so many wonderful, healthy and beneficial uses for plants, fruits, and vegetables that you simply will not learn them all in one day, or one week, or even one year!
However, the more we learn about plant-based living, and the more we incorporate that wisdom into our lives, the cleaner our world becomes…..at least our own individual worlds.
That’s where the responsibility starts, with ourselves and for ourselves. And we can only control ourselves, yes?
Do you have any plant-based wisdom nuggets that you’d like to share with us? Please! Feel free to comment below.
The content on this site is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to cure, prevent, diagnose or treat any ailments. Consult with your physician prior to incorporating any of these natural cleaning products at home or regarding any health issues you may have.