Cleaning green has been all the rage for the last few years, but I’ve often felt it just wasn’t as efficient as good old store-bought cleaners that smell of chlorine and other chemicals. And then the kids came and those dangerous sounding labels on the bottles of my cleaning solutions started to frighten me. What would happen if one of my kids found the toilet cleaner bottle and decided to drink it? And more plausible – what if I don’t rinse enough after cleaning the bathtub and my kid takes a bath just after cleaning?
So I started to look into it more and after a few trials and errors I found it can be just as effective. Especially with the secret ingredient – a little elbow grease. So if you too have kids in your home than maybe you should at least think about the idea of cleaning with natural cleaners and thus having less toxins in your environment. And if you’re already wondering why and how to start with green cleaning, here why and how we do it at our place.
Why we use green cleaners?
1. Green Cleaners Save Money
All of the ingredients you will need cost way less compared to buying conventional cleaning products. Most of them are already in your home and you probably don’t think about them as cleaners. At what’s more – most of them are multi-purpose! The store-bought cleaning products are for one purpose only (or at least so they say) – you have to buy a window cleaner, a floor cleaner, a toiler cleaner, a bathtub cleaner… With natural cleaners we can ditch all of those and just mix the needed solution on the go.
2. Kids Can Help
Conventional cleaning products can cause skin infection or chemical burns to the skin or eyes – especially the sensitive kid skin. When it comes to green cleaners they don’t contain harsh chemicals and the ones we use the most are completely kid friendly – I certainly don’t worry about my kid drinking a bottle of vinegar or spilling it all over themselves. With natural cleaners scrubbing the bathtub can finally be added to your children’s chore list.
How to clean green?
1. Green Cleaning Kit
First you’ll have to gather all the ingredients you’ll need to create your own go-to cleaning kit. Note: even though next products are less toxic, some are not completely safe, so you should still store them away from kids and pets.
- Olive oil – use it to pick up dirt and polish wood and leather.
- Baking soda – a must have ingredient in every household. We’ve already written how you can use it for cleaning – click here for the whole article.
- Borax – you can use it as an all purpose cleaner, a laundry detergent, a toiler cleaner, a drain unclogger… It’s not kid safe though, but still less dangerous than commercial cleaners. You can use it in A LOT of ways, so I would recommend printing or pinning this awesome printable that CleanMama has created about borax.
- Sodium carbonate – perfect laundry supplement and stain remover. You can simply make it out of baking soda. All you have to do is to heat your oven to 400ºF, pour baking soda onto glass pan in a thin layer and place it in the oven. Wait for an hour to an hour and a half and stir occasionally with a wooden spoon. Lett it cool and you’re done!
- Lemon juice – make home-made bleach alternative, use it as a rust stain removal or to clean grease.
- Castille soap – use it as a hand soap, shampoo, dish soap or veggie wash.
- Vinegar – you can use it to sanitize baby bottles, freshen stinky shoes, deodorize or unclog a drain, remove bird droppings and clean the microwave. It also removes the lime-scale like nothing.
2. All-purpose Cleaners
An all purpose cleaner is something to close to your hand. It is something you can use on daily basis for every surface in your home, from kitchen to bedroom or bathroom. One of the simplest recipes is to mix 2 tbsp of white vinegar and 1 tsp of borax into a 16 oz. spray bottle. Fill in with hot water and shake it to blend until the borax is dissolved. Add 1/4 cup of liquid Castile soap and optional 12 drops of an essential oil into a mixture to make it smell amazing.
3. Fresh Air
Even though we all enjoy the sweet scented house, you should be careful when it comes to air fresheners. More than 80 % of household air fresheners contain the hormone-disrupting chemicals known as phthalates that are NOT GOOD for you or your family. Scented candles are often no better. You can make an air freshener on your own and you can even have your kids help you with it. Fill a mason jar with baking soda 1/4 full and add 7 drops of essential oil. Punch holes in the lid, and place the jar in any room that could use some freshening. Or go for a simple and fast solution – open up a window!
Cleaning green is hip right now – it’s healthy, cost-efficient, kid friendly and kind to the nature too. It’s also incredibly easy, so if you’re not fully convinced, than maybe just start by dipping your toe in. For instance, it’s really easy to start cleaning green in the bathroom – you’ll see the effects right away (I was seriously amazed by what I was able to do with a spray bottle of simple vinegar!) and you don’t even have to go to the store. And we still occasionally buy some things (like laundry detergent), but I’m not sceptical of choosing the more natural options in the store. And if you’re already a seasoned user of green cleaners, I would love to hear your tips! What is your favourite green cleaning solution?