April 04, 2010

Green to Clean: Green Cleaning without the Nasty

There are a lot of cleaning products today that are full of harsh chemicals that are not only hazards to your health, but also unhealthy for the environment. In our efforts to tackle tough jobs around the house, we tend to focus on getting the job done no matter what the cost, and sometimes pass up green cleaning products. This can be for many different reasons, whether we want a quick fix with cleaners that battle stains with chemicals, or because some 'green' cleaning products are priced higher than other cleaners.

The problem is that many of these cleaning products are actually worse than their natural counterparts. For one thing, breathing in harsh chemicals can make you sick, and if you mix the wrong things together, like bleach with ammonia, the combination can actually kill you. What many people don't know or realize is that there are actually many green cleaning products that can be found in the home already, or can be purchased rather cheaply.
For example, instead of using harsh cleaning products to revitalize your coffee pots, clean the coffee pot with simple white vinegar. Pour a pot full of vinegar into your maker and run it as you would when making your coffee. One run through and you will see how much has built up, and sometimes the vinegar that comes out can be as dark as your coffee would be. Once you have run a pot full through the first time, run a half pot of vinegar and water mixed through a second time. Then run just water through a couple of times to rinse it out.
Vinegar has a multitude of different green cleaning applications all around the home. It is an ideal cleaning product substitute for many things including window cleaning products, mold and mildew removers, as well as bathroom cleaners. Never use bleach for mold and mildew, all this does is remove it from the surface. Anyone who has used bleach for this knows that mold comes back, but why? Mold is a fungus that grows into the surface, and the only way to remove it permanently is to kill it with natural enzymes, like those found in vinegar.
Citric acid, like those found in lemon or orange juices, are also user and environmentally friendly cleaning products. Left to sit on tough stains, they can dissolve stains more easily than other harsh cleaners, and give off a nice pleasant scent. Another green cleaning agent that can be readily found in many households is baking soda. This natural abrasive is much safer for cleaning sink and counter tops, and also acts as a natural deodorizer. If you want to keep those odd smells out of your freezer or refrigerator, put a box of baking soda in, somewhere in the back where it can't get knocked over and is out of the way. Make sure that you change the box every few months or so for optimal protection.
You can find out more information on cleaning products that are all natural and safe for the environment online at many different web sites. You can learn what products are safe for the environment, as well as different applications for vinegar, citric acid, baking soda, as well as many other common house hold items.

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