Cleaning Green

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There are several reasons why one might want to use more natural and green cleaners to tidy up their home. Conventional cleaners might be effective in cutting through dirt and grime but they do so at the expense of our health and the environment. Many people use cleaning products with very little prior thought or concern. The widespread availability and use of conventional products indicates to them that they must be relatively safe for use. But these cleaners contain many chemicals that can be toxic, reactive, corrosive, or flammable. There is also the potential that they can cause serious health issues and environmental damage. Just ask yourself if you really need to clean your home with ingredients like these:

• Formaldehyde
• Hydrochloric Acid
• Petroleum

Not only do ingredients like these and the hundreds of other potentially toxic ingredients used in mainstream cleaners have the potential to cause physical harm, they can do environmental harm as well. Each day millions of pounds of household cleaning products are carelessly poured down drains. Many of these toxic substances are NOT able to be processed adequately by sewage treatment plants or septic systems and contamination of surface and ground water can occur. Fish and other wildlife might also be negatively impacted.

It is for all these reasons that green families everywhere are choosing to use cleaners made with natural ingredients that do not endanger their children or the planet. Natural ingredients can be just as effective as harsh conventional cleaners but without the negative side effects. Some of the favored natural cleaning ingredients are below.

• Vinegar is a natural all purpose cleaner. It also disinfects and deodorizes. It kills 99 percent of bacteria, 82 percent of mold, and 80 percent of germs and viruses.

• Pure castile soap is a basic cleaner that works wonders. Why do you need fancy cleaners when good old soap and water so good?

• Lemons can be used to make your own cleaning pastes when you add baking soda and vinegar. They dissolve soap scum and hard water deposits and they shine brass and copper. Since they smell so divine they can also be used to deodorize. For instance, grinding some lemon peels in the garbage disposal takes care of odors beautifully.

• Vegetable oils can be used as a furniture polish to hydrate and shine your wood furniture.

• Baking Soda is one of the more preferred and versatile natural cleaners. It deodorizes, it scrubs surfaces, and it can be used to make liquid pastes. Add a few drops of essential oil to baking soda and you have a scented toilet and tub scrub.

Making your own cleaning supplies with natural ingredients is easy and safe but if you don’t have the time or inclination to do that there are also a growing number of green cleaners available at health food stores and online. There is just no reason why you can’t clean with green power in your own home.

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