We love to have fun with our families. We cook together, and we eat together. When we garden together, we grow together. But… what about when the fun is over? What’s left? THE MESS! Oh yes, the mess. We forget about the consequences when we have fun in the heat of the moment- whether it’s splashing each other with mud and getting it on the window treatments, or throwing flour at each other and getting it on the counter tops and floors. We have to make sure our homes are clean, so we can continue to have copious amounts of fun with each other. But that, in turn, means we have to make sure our floors are swept, our table tops disinfected, window treatments cleaned – until the next time we forget ourselves in the fun!
Many household cleaners will do the trick in getting rid of germs and keeping surfaces sparkling, but the hazards they pose to your health are higher as well. Name brand cleaners are more often then not made of chemicals. While they get the work done, there are many ways to ensure you have the same level of cleanliness without the hazardous use of chemicals. Go green!
Many cleaners include chemicals like: phosphates, ammonia, and fragrances- a broad term that includes over 4,000 different, and often synthetic ingredients. While there are many more, these chemicals irritate the skin, our respiratory tracts, and prolonged exposure can result in headaches, asthma attacks, and even worse, bronchitis, and pneumonia. To offset the use of these products, there are cleaners that are only made from natural and organic ingredients. You can even use ingredients lying around your home to make your own cleaners. Here are a few brands and a few recipes as well!
Seventh Generation Natural All- Purpose Cleaner is great to use on counter tops and has no added perfumes. It can be found at Walgreens, and can be bought online as well. It effectively cuts grease, grime, and dirt.
Nature Clean All Purpose Cleaning Lotion is really that- it can be used for EVERYTHING. Use it in your laundry, to wash your hands, or even your fruit! It is made up of corn and coconut derived chemicals, though they are plant based rather than synthetic. Check out their website, and even download their Material Safety Data Sheet about the product.
Making your own at home cleaners has never been simpler either. Gather your vinegar and your lemons- they’ll show you what they can do!
Mix a cup of white vinegar with a cup of water. Use this homemade spray cleaner to clean counters, kitchen back splashes, and warm the solution to clean shower walls. Use undiluted vinegar to clean toilet bowls, or shower heads that are clogged with mineral deposits. Submerge your shower head in vinegar for a few hours, by securing a plastic bag full of vinegar around it. Rinse it out and check out your fixture! Vinegar dissolves soap scum, and is a natural deodorizer as it absorbs the smells around it.
Use lemons to clean surfaces prone to molding- they are one of the strongest acidic foods, and fight bacteria with a vengeance. Run a slice of lemon against a cutting board used to cut meat before you use it. Lemon will kill any bacteria, and mixing it with vinegar will give you an even stronger cleaner to use on floors, counters and even windows.
Check out your local organic store, or even big box stores to buy cleaners, or cleaning ingredients. Check out different recipes online for homemade cleaning products and figure out what you need to use to keep your home fresh and clean after your family fun days!