If you’re like most people, you still use plenty of chemicals when you clean your home. While there might be some ‘green’ products under the sink or in the laundry room, chances are that you can’t seem to disengage from the use of chemical products completely.
With World Environment Day falling on June 5, 2015, now is the perfect time to take a closer look at the many household cleaners you use and to throw out the ones that cause harm to the environment. According to an article issued by Helpling.com on May 26, 2015, “The life cycle of chemical cleaning products returns back to our surface water, posing environmental and ecological risks… instead of pouring harsh chemicals down our drains, alternative resources might be the solution.”
Helpling issued a press release on May 26 noting that the company has compiled a list of natural cleaning ingredients that you probably already have in your fridge or cupboard. The good news is that these items cost much less but clean just as well as their toxic counterparts. A few of them just might surprise you!:
1. An essential oil consists of concentrated “hydrophobic liquid” and “volatile aroma compounds” derived from plants. These natural oils, which are extracted from flowers, leaves, bark and stems are most commonly used in aromatherapy to help soothe the body and mind to enhance one’s overall well-being. You can bring the calming effect to your bedroom by adding “25 drops into your wash cycle” when you clean your bedding to promote better sleep. A huge benefit of using these oils is that while the aroma will help you drift off to sleep, “Dust mites hate the smell.” As well, the antiseptic nature of lemongrass oil is great for cleaning glass. Just add a few drops in water for sparkling clean windows.
2. We all love to enjoy that first cup of coffee in the morning and for many of us, it needs to be perked. If you’re one of them, don’t throw out those coffee grounds! They are very effective at eliminating obnoxious smells like those you might have in your refrigerator or garbage cans. You can also use the grounds in your dishwater to scrub away stubborn leftovers. Just add 2 or 3 teaspoons. As well, you can easily remove the smell of garlic or onions from your hands this way.
3. Distilled white vinegar is a great household cleaner since it contains about five percent acetic acid, which attacks both bacteria and grease. Its uses include cleaning your coffeemaker or rice maker (half water/half vinegar) as well as cleaning calcified mineral deposits from irons and shower heads and even cleaning floor without wax. For even more uses of vinegar, go HERE.
4. Salt has more uses than simply sprinkling it on food. It can be used to clean stubborn stains on everything from coffee mugs and tea cups to greasy iron pans, ovens and drains. To clean those greasy pans, sprinkle on salt to absorb the grease and wipe off. You can also use a cup of salt, half a cup of white vinegar and one cup of baking soda the clear out drains. About 10 minutes later, pour two liters of boiling water down the drain.
5. Speaking of baking soda, it can serve many purposes all on its own. Fruits and vegetables purchased at a grocery store likely still have traces of pesticides and even dirt on them. Just soak them from five to 10 minutes in cool water with a couple of tablespoons of baking soda and scrub gently with a vegetable brush. Baking soda applied to a damp sponge also works effectively when used as an abrasive to remove layers of built up material on stainless steel and chrome kitchen appliances such as ovens, fridges, dishwashers, mixers, etc.
6. Most people already know that lemons, which contain citric acid is great for killing germs. Because of this, lemon juice is a natural disinfectant. You can even use it to sterilize baby toys – a wonderful non-toxic cleaner. Lemons can also be used instead of bleach to whiten linens, towels and other such items. Add the whites to four parts water and one part lemon juice overnight and then put out to dry under bright sunshine. Having a problem with soap scum o hard water deposits in you kitchen or bathroom? Simply pour on some lemon juice and let sit for two hours before rinsing.
7. Olive oil is not just for cooking and salads. Do you have bits of tape or other adhesive stuck to wood frames or furniture? How about plastic items, table tops or leather? Just put some olive oil on a sponge and wipe off. Not only that but olive oil can bring new life to dull wooden cabinets, desks, tables, door frames, staircase railings and more. You can also use it to ward of water marks and stains from stainless steel sinks, as well as neutralize those horrid smells that sometimes come from drains.
8. Last but certainly not least, this one is really going to surprise you. The soft inside portion of bread can be used to remove built up particles and dirt from heirloom oil paintings. First you should dust the painting, dab on the bread and then brush away the crumbs. Voila! A fresh look to an old painting. And here’s another unexpected use for soft bread that few people know about. Dampen it and then use it to pick up small shards of broken glass.
World Environment Day has been designated by the United Nations (UN). The theme of the day this year is “Seven Billion Dreams. One Planet. Consume with Care.” The UN has stated that if the rate of both production and births continue to increase at current levels, “we will need three planets to sustain our ways of living and consumption.”
Helpling.com is a leading global company of professional home cleaners, who service 250 cities in 12 countries including Canada. As an environmentally conscious company, it is doing its part to promote natural products.
World Environment Day is June 5: How to cut back on chemical detergents by cleaning with natural ingredients
World Environmental Day
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