Who doesn’t want a clean, fresh, germ-free home? And with spring right around the corner, now is the time to take stock of your cleaning arsenal. Unfortunately, many of today’s cleaning products, personal care items, and deodorizers are doing more harm than good to us and to our environment. It turns out that old-fashioned, tried and true cleaning methods can do the job just as well.
Soap & Water, Not Hand Sanitizer
If you grab the hand sanitizer at every turn, stop! Or choose one that is alcohol-based and doesn’t list triclosan or triclocarban on the label. These chemicals are believed to effect thyroid function and hormone levels in people; and if it mixes into wastewater, it can cause anatomical changes in aquatic life. So, just grab old-fashioned soap and warm water to kill germs. Studies show that thoroughly washing your hands is the best practice for hand cleaning and won’t kill any of the good bacteria that our bodies need.
Use Unscented Products
Experts tell us that fragrances in our deodorizers, air fresheners, shampoo, laundry soap, and many other products are chemicals that should be avoided, as well. If you see “parfum” or “fragrance” on your personal care product label, you could be using a harmful chemical that could be a carcinogen, endocrine disrupter, or reproductive toxin. So, what do you use? Try going the unscented route when possible, especially with soaps and detergents. Improving your home’s ventilation and setting out a bowl of baking soda or white vinegar, will freshen up a room.
No Harsh Ammonia
Speaking of vinegar… try using distilled white vinegar mixed with water as an all-purpose cleaning product rather than harsh ammonia or other chemicals. Use one part white vinegar with nine parts water. Spray it on the surface to be cleaned and let it dry to a nice shine. This mixture will kill up to 90 percent of bacteria. When you’re finished with the vinegar cleaning solution, pour it down your garbage disposal or toilet for extra odor control. The homemade vinegar mixture will save you money and save your lungs from breathing in the strong chemicals from typical cleaning products, some of which are known to cause cancer.
Baking soda and water is also a great cleaning solution if you have mugs stained with tea or coffee. Mix the two ingredients in the mug and let sit overnight. Pour out the water and use a paper towel or sponge to wipe the inside. No more stains!
Looks like Grandma’s old-fashioned concoctions have stood the test of time. Regular soap, baking soda, & white vinegar can keep you and your home clean, germ-free, and all-around healthier. Thanks, Grandma!