Spring Cleaning with Healthy Alternatives

Spring is a perfect time to clear out some of the toxic chemicals in your home and replace them with natural, healthy alternatives.

According to an article titled Green Cleaning vs. Conventional Cleaning:

• Manufacturers of conventional household cleaners are not required by law to disclose the noxious ingredients in their products.

• Do not be fooled by the words "non-toxic" on labels. The government does not define it so it CAN be used on toxic products.

• Only a minute fraction of the 75,000+ chemicals registered have been tested for human health concerns. (EPA)

• The typical American household is the number one violator of chemical waste per capita. (EPA)

• The average American home has 3-10 gallons of hazardous materials. (Children's Health Environmental Coalition)

• Children are especially at risk to toxin exposure:
    - Pound for pound, they breathe more air, drink more water, eat
      more food.
    - At play, they crawl and put things in the mouth (which is true
      also of our pets).

The article includes a comprehensive list of natural cleaning alternatives:

Baking Soda: All-purpose cleaner, effective on glass, coffee pots. Eliminates red-wine stains from carpet. When made into a paste with water shines stainless steel and silver, removes tea stains from cups. For cleaning sinks, counters, toilets and tubs, make a paste with castile and a drop of essential oil (tea tree or lavender). To clear clogged drains, pour 1 cup down the sink followed by 3 cups of boiling water.

Boiling Water: Use weekly to flush drains and avoid clogs.

Coarse Salt: Cleans copper pans and scours cookware. Sprinkle onto fresh spills in the oven then wipe off. To remove rust stains sprinkle on salt then squeeze lemon or lime over them and let sit for several hours and wipe off.

• Essential Oils: Mix lavender or tea tree essential oils with water and use as an antibacterial spray for kitchen and bathroom surfaces.

Grapefruit Seed Extract: To kill mold and mildew, add a few drops to water and spray onto affected surfaces.

• Lemon Juice: Acts as a bleaching agent on clothing. Use to remove grease from stove and countertops. Add 2 Tbsp lemon juice to 10 drops of real lemon oil and a few drops jojoba oil to clean and polish wood furniture.

• Olive Oil: Lubricates and polishes wood furniture. Mix 3 parts olive oil to 1 part vinegar, or 2 parts olive oil with 1 part lemon juice.

• Tea Tree Oil: Antibacterial properties, kills mold and mildew. Add 50 drops to a bucket of water to clean countertops and tile floors.

• Toothpaste (plain white): Cleans silver, can remove water stains on wood furniture; dab on, allow to dry, then wipe off.

• White Vinegar: Cleans linoleum floors and glass when mixed with water and a small amount of castile. Cuts grease and removes stains, removes soap scum and cleans toilets (you can also add baking soda). Can be poured down drains weekly for antibacterial cleaning. Add to water in a spray bottle to kill mold and mildew.

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