As a parent, keeping your family safe is your top priority. You teach your kids about strangers, encourage your partner to drive carefully to work and pack healthy lunches for everyone, but what about the products that you use to clean your home? Are the cleaning products that you use every day safe for you and your family?
The Bleach Debate
You’ve probably heard that if you want to sanitize your home, really get it germ-free and disinfected, then you need to use bleach to do the job effectively. While it’s true that bleach will get a surface more disinfected than most other cleaners, it’s also true that it is the subject of controversy. Studies show that bleach is terrible for your lungs and respiratory system, plus can corrode pipes over time when poured down the sink, but the argument continues. Others claim that bleach is only bad for you when you don’t use it properly.
No matter where you stand on the bleach debate, you have the option to go the natural route. Some essential oil companies like doTerra discourage the use of chemicals and claim that their products will sanitize without the adverse effects. Some of the best germ-killing essential oils include rosemary oil, tea tree oil and oregano oil. It’s easy enough to mix up your own concoction of a bleach alternative, which you can use in the laundry as well as for all-purpose cleaning.
Room Refresher Without Additions
Every time you spray a can of aerosol into the air, you’re putting out a small amount of toxins into the air. If refreshing the smell of a room is your goal, you can achieve the same effect by combining two tablespoons of baking soda and ⅛ cup fabric softener in a spray bottle, filling the rest with water. Shake, spray and eliminate odors without polluting the air.
Put Some Windex On It
Smudges and tiny fingerprints are everywhere when you have kids. If you are also a pet owner then nose prints and paw prints are probably present on the lower half of your windows and glass doors. Reaching for a bottle of ammonia-filled Windex might seem tempting, but remember that ammonia is not good for you; your lungs and skin might react to the chemical.
Instead, try making your own all-natural window cleaner for pennies on the dollar by combining two cups of water with two tablespoons of white vinegar in a spray bottle. Spritz the mixture over any glass that needs a good polish for a non-toxic alternative.
Prim and Polished
Baking soda is one of the best household cleaners you will ever meet: It’s a natural scourer, deodorizer and polisher, among so many other things. Ditch the harmful can of kitchen cleaning chemicals and mix one quart of water with four tablespoons of warm water. You can use this solution everywhere in your kitchen, from scrubbing countertops and sinks to the inside of your refrigerator to eliminate any nasty lingering odors. You can also use it to shine stainless steel, let it sit on gunky stovetops to easily wipe off residue and even sprinkle a little in your dishwasher to freshen up its inside.
The Nastiest Room In The House
Cleaning the bathroom is no picnic, and it’s tempting to grab the can of Comet and bottle of Drano for clogged sinks for quick and easy cleaning. Instead of pouring such harsh chemicals into your plumbing and risk damaging the pipes (not to mention the environment), try sanitizing your toilet with a non-chemical scrub: ½ cup baking soda, ¼ vinegar and about ten 10 drops of tea tree essential oil.
If you’ve got a clogged-up sink that just won’t drain, bring back your baking soda and vinegar. Sprinkle about ¼ cup baking soda down your drain and pour ½ cup of vinegar over it. While that fizzes, set a full kettle of water to boil. Carefully pour the boiling water down the sink and your sink should be unclogged.
Protecting your family might mean changing your cleaning habits, but your loved ones are worth it. Plus, doing your part to help the earth, no matter how small, is never wasted.