If you are somewhat confused as to which are the safest and most effective cleaning products to use in your home, you are not alone. With increasing numbers of organic and “healthy” cleaning products hitting the market and a slew of conventional products battling for customer votes, it is super easy to become baffled.
One of the biggest problems with regards to cleaning products is that consumers do not receive all of the information that they need to make an educated decision. Because of labeling laws, it is increasingly easy for manufacturers to sneak in ingredients without making full disclosure on the labels.
One place where you can locate information is by searching the Environmental Working Group Guide to Healthy Cleaning or checking the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Design for the Environment Program. You may still be confused because each site uses different criteria to meet its unique “green” standards.
Regardless of where you head for the information, keep the following in mind when choosing the safest products for your home and family:
- All ingredients must be displayed on the label.
- Product should be made from plants and minerals.
- Product must contain no petroleum or petrochemical ingredients.
- Information about any fragrance used – it must be natural.
- Product must be safe for grey water and septic tanks.
- No animal testing, or animal-derived ingredients can be used.
- Product must be free from any known human carcinogens, endocrine disruptors or teratogens.
Make Your Own
Keeping up with the list above can be exhaustive. A simpler, and much less costly approach is to actually make your own cleaning solutions from non-toxic ingredients. Here are some easy-to-make options for keeping your home clean while protecting your family and the environment.
Bathroom Grime Away
- 1 1/2 cups baking soda
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil-based soap
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 tablespoons vinegar
- Find an old cleaning supply spray bottle or purchase a new one. Be sure to clean the bottle well if you are using an old one.
- Add all the ingredients to the spray bottle.
- Shake the bottle well to mix all the ingredients and dissolve the baking soda.
- To use, spray on tile, floor, shower, tub, toilet, or sink and wipe clean with a damp sponge or rag.
Kitchen Bacteria Buster
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon organic dish soap
- 2 teaspoons vinegar
- Warm water
- 20 drops lemon essential oil
- Use a funnel to put the baking soda into a spray bottle.
- Add the soap and vinegar to the bottle. Shake the mixture well.
- When the mixture stops foaming, fill the bottle the rest of the way up with warm water. Shake again.
- Add essential oil to give your cleaner a fresh scent. Shake again to mix well.
- To use cleaner, simply spray on appliances, counter, or floor then wipe clean with a sponge or cleaning rag.
- 1 lemon
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon water
- Cut the lemon in half and squeeze the juice from both halves into a container. Try to avoid adding any pulp or seeds.
- Add the olive oil and mix well.
- Add the water and mix well.
- To use, dab a microfiber dusting cloth into the mixture then wipe wood surface clean. Make a fresh batch each time you clean.
Clean Day Laundry Detergent
- 2 bars ivory soap
- 2 cups baking soda
- 2 cups borax
- 20 drops lavender essential oil
- Use a cheese grater to grate the soap into small pieces
- Mix the grated soap and the baking soda and borax together in an airtight container.
- Add some essential oil and stir in. Store the powder in the airtight container.
- To use add 1-2 tablespoons to each load of laundry.
- 1 oz rubbing alcohol
- 6 oz filtered water
- 40 drops clove essential oil
- Pour all of the ingredients into a spray bottle.
- Shake the bottle to mix all of the ingredients.
- To use simply spray into the air, on pillows, sheets, or furniture for a fresh and clean scent.
-The Alternative Daily