Green Cleaning Supplies
One way to create a greener home environment is to steer clear of commercially formulated cleaning products, which all basically contain the same unhealthy ingredients. Keep these green cleaning alternatives in your house instead:
Baking soda: Sodium bicarbonate cleans up after acidic stains and messes, works as a mild abrasive, shines up aluminum, chrome, silver, and other metals, and unclogs and cleans drains. It cuts grease and dirt and also deodorizes.
Borax: Another member of the sodium family (sodium borate), this natural mineral is a disinfectant and is sold at drugstores, supermarkets, and hardware and supply stores.
Castor oil: The colorless or sometimes yellowish oil, from the castor plant, is a fine lubricant and a worthy ingredient in wood cleaners or polishes.
Cornstarch: Just as its name implies, this mild and absorbent cleaner is a starch derived from corn.
Cornmeal: Set aside some the next time you’re making corn muffins: This mildly abrasive substance makes easy work of grease stains.
Club soda: Have a big bottle of bubbly on hand for cleaning glass or tackling wine spills on carpet.
Cream of tartar: This white crystalline powder sold in the spice section of supermarkets whips up impressive meringue and makes a great paste for scrubbing cookware.
Essential oils: Tea tree, peppermint, grapefruit, and other oils (found in health-food or craft stores) not only smell great, but they have disinfecting properties, as well.
Glycerin: This common ingredient in hand-wash and dish liquid is an oil that provides lubrication and is often used in milder cleaners.
Hydrogen peroxide: An oxygen bleach that doesn’t have the harmful properties of chlorine bleach, this mild acid is used as an antiseptic for minor wounds and kills germs when it’s used as a cleaning agent, too.
Lemon juice: This citric acid bleaches, disinfects, deodorizes, and cuts grease. Use the real thing — or bottled concentrate.
Liquid castile soap: This vegetable-based soap, found in grocery or health-food stores, is a mild and versatile cleaning agent.
Salt: Another member of the sodium family, sodium chloride — or common table salt — is a natural scrubbing agent.
Washing soda: Also known as sodium carbonate, this stronger iteration of sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) looks similar and is sometimes available in the laundry section of the supermarket or hardware store.
White distilled vinegar: Count on this wonder cleaner for deodorizing, cutting through grease, removing stains, and freshening.