We can't talk of being healthy and not mention the role that household chemical play on our health. With many toxic agents present in our daily life its important to limit as much as possible our exposure to toxicity and utilize the natural products we have and make the best use of them.
I love to clean my house with natural homemade products which not only are they cheaper but they are not toxic. With three children around the house I feel comfortable knowing that my cleaning products do not present a threat to them. What's even more appealing to homemade cleaner is the fact that all your ingredients are already available in your kitchen cupboard or pantry. My main cleaning ingredients are:
White distilled vinegar
The first three offer such a vast array of usage that it's beyond the scope of this article to list all the many ways one could use them. So below I will share only how I personally use them in my home on a daily basis.
My recipe for cleaning my floors and countertops is simply to mix in a spray bottle some white vinegar and water. I do not even measure but generally I put 1/4 vinegar and 3/4 water.
I just spray directly on my floor just like one would spray with the swiffer wetjet. I actually use the swiffer wetjet and disposable pads but instead of the swiffer's cleaning solution I use my own. If I want to add some fragrance I just put one drop of aromatic oil of my choice like lavender or eucalyptus.
Wash fresh vegetables with a mixture of 1 tablespoon of white distilled vinegar in 1 ½ quarts of water.
I clean my countertops with the same solution I use for my floors and if I have some cut lemons which is often I mix some fresh lemon juice to my solution to clean my countertops and wipe the dinning table.
Cleaning the sink
I clean my sink again with the same homemade solution and in addition to that I use half a lemon to scrub the whole sink.
Cleaning windows and mirrors
Same thing again. Just plain water and vinegar would do it. You can even use old newspapers to clean your windows instead of using a rag. Have you noticed that there is some Windex window cleaning products containing vinegar?!
Cleaning wood cabinets and furniture
To polish my cabinets I mix 1 part lemon juice to 2 parts olive oil. I polish with a soft cloth and voila!!!
Cleaning bathtub and shower
For tubs and shower I mainly use baking soda. Only once in a while will I use a powder like Comet.
Cleaning greasy pots and pans
I use baking soda and half a lemon to scrub my pots and degrease them. Then I wash them with soap and water.
Homemade fridge odor absorber
You can place some baking soda in your fridge to absorb odors.
To add a fragrance to your fridge (smiles). I like the idea of the fridge being clean and smelling fresh, I simply dip a few cotton balls in vanilla flavoring and place the cotton balls in the fridge. I replace them every two weeks.
Homemade air freshener
To have the house smells good without spraying anything in the air I simply boil some fresh mint leaves, or lemon balm leaves in a pot. The fresh smell of boiling leaves quickly spread throughout the house. This is more feasible during the spring and summer time as lemon balms and mint grow profusely. I don't have yet a homemade solution for the winter season. So during the winter months I rely on burning candles. Soy candles are my favorites.
Cleaning a house can be easy and very inexpensive. Using homemade products offer you the advantage of staying away from chemical that not only are poisonous should they be swallowed by your pet or child but those products can be precursors to conditions such as asthma, headaches, migraines, allergies just to name a few.
Why use lemons: lemons have antibacterial and antiseptic properties. In addition to that they smell good, reason why many controversial cleaning product have lemons in them.
Why use vinegar: Its antiseptic and all natural.
For more use for vinegar check http://www.vinegartips.com/ . The information above are things that I do myself on a daily basis but vinegar,baking soda and lemons have much more household uses than the few I mentioned. I will add more as I experience them myself.
Please share any one of your own natural cleaning tips and let me know which one of the one above is more likely to be part of your housekeeping regimen.