With the wide array of commercial cleaning products available, cleaning is a part of life that can become confusing. Most cleaning products available today have harsh chemicals added, which makes choosing truly natural cleaning products a better choice. Many very effective natural cleaners are items you already have in your home.
If you purchased all the cleaning products recommended for your bathroom alone, you couldn’t carry them all. One for the toilet, one for the mirror, and another for the floor; the list goes on and on with each one costing an average of $3.00 to $5.00. The simple truth is that this just isn’t necessary. Lemon juice, cornstarch, baking soda, and vinegar, are examples of inexpensive natural cleaners that you probably have in your kitchen. They can perform a variety of cleaning duties just as effectively as any commercial product for a fraction of the cost.
Each year, the average American uses almost 40 pounds of household products containing chemicals considered toxic by the USEPA (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency). Toxic chemicals can be especially hazardous to people with asthma, small children and infants. The long term effects of these chemicals are not good. Some are carcinogens (cancer causing). Others leach into your blood stream leaving traces in your organs, including your heart. Conversely, ingesting an organic cleaner is more likely to result in a bad taste in the mouth, rather than a trip to the emergency room.
Formaldehyde, phosphates, arsenic, ammonia, phosphoric acid , hydrochloric acid, naphthalene, lye and sulfuric acid are just a few of the toxic substances found in commercial cleaning products today. Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are released by some of these cleaners, making the air inside of your home toxic. The EPA has found the levels of 12 common toxic pollutants to be 2 to 5 times higher inside the average home than outside. Not one of those chemicals is found in organic cleaners, making them safer for the environment as well.
Many consumers feel that household cleaners containing harsh chemicals are the most effective option. A Purdue University study tested the effectiveness of various natural cleaners such as lemon juice, baking soda and vinegar on both bathroom and kitchen dirt. The results showed natural cleaners as effective as chemical cleaners in disinfecting and reducing bacteria. Doctors are quick to point out that antibacterial products are actually hazardous to your health. Organic cleaning products allow your body to build defenses against bacteria resulting in a healthier immune system.
Baking soda can polish plastics and metals and be used as a deodorizer and fabric softener. Vinegar can be used as an organic all purpose cleaner in addition to deodorizing and removing mildew. Lemon juice can be used as a stain remover, glass cleaner and deodorizer. Cornstarch is another natural cleaner of windows and carpets, and makes a great furniture polish. Isopropyl alcohol is an inexpensive but excellent disinfectant. Mixed together as a paste, baking soda and vinegar is a foaming agent that will attack stubborn stains and stuck-on grime.
Homemade cleaners give complete control over the home. Knowing what is in the products used means control of the outcome when using them. They are inexpensive, biodegradable, non-toxic, sustainable, environmentally friendly and effective. Organic cleaners are a great first step for a healthier and safer lifestyle.