By Jennifer Carter Avgerinos
Take off your rubber gloves forever. DIY natural cleaners are the latest thing. According to the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency), indoor air can be 10 to 100 times more polluted than outdoor air. This stat completely freaked me out when I saw it, but it makes sense. The main culprit is common household cleaners emitting toxic fumes. Household cleaners, often placed under the kitchen sink, release Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), when used and stored. These chemicals contain noxious toxins that are dangerous to adults, children, pets and the environment. If you have to wear rubber gloves to use these chemicals they are probably best avoided. Think about all of the household cleaners that we use without even pausing to consider that we are using them in a confined space with limited ventilation. Nearly 6 in 10 people surveyed agree that natural cleaning products are healthier than conventional ones. Your eyes, throat and hands don’t need to burn to get the house clean.
Natural cleaners aren’t really new. Vinegar has been used over time for a variety of cleaning tasks due to its high level of acidity. Most of our grandmothers knew about the wonders of vinegar. It is a natural, inexpensive disinfectant that can eliminate mold, bacteria, grease and germs. The smell can be a little astringent at first but once it dries, it fades away. You’ll also be glad to know that it is environmentally friendly and very economical. I have discovered that if you have vinegar, you can clean just about anything. Add some essential oil for scent and anti-bacterial properties, and voila! You have natural cleaning. Visit the website www.vinegartips.com for 1001 uses for white distilled vinegar (and I’m not even kidding).
Here is a natural DIY cleaning recipe that is non-toxic and just as effective as store bought cleaners, especially when used in combination with microfiber – the pleasant smell is just an added bonus.
General Purpose Cleaner
- 2 cups warm water
- 3 tablespoons white vinegar
- 30 drops Lemon essential oil
Pour ingredients into a spray bottle. Shake well to mix. Use with a microfiber cloth. I have found that this mixture will help control kitchen ants. They will avoid the acidic citrus in this cleaner and will stay off of counter tops and stoves.
About the author: Jennifer Carter Avgerinos is the author of The Yoga of Cleaning: An Essential Guide, and is also a Senior Brand Manager at Unger. For more information about Unger, Unger cleaning tools, or other cleaning tips, please visit www.neat-home.com