Green Alternatives for Cleaning Your Home

green living tips from Aveda salons DenverAre Conventional Cleaners Safe? Looking at Green Alternatives

At Namaste Aveda Salons in Denver we’ve always been a leader in introducing green alternatives in beauty care long before “going green” was all the rage. Nowadays many people are consciously making choices to move towards a more natural and holistic lifestyle. We don’t think it’s just a fad but believe it is here to stay.

While using natural products and methods for skin care is great, what about your home? Particularly when it comes to the products you use to clean your home.

Home cleaning products sold in the grocery store are made to get the job done. Scientists have created liquids, powders, gels and sprays that remove stains, get out grease, kill germs, bleach out discolorations, eliminate pests and unclog drains.

The cost of clean

They make our lives easier, but it comes with a price. Many of the chemicals used are toxic and the effects can be cumulative. Exposure to harsh pesticides and chemicals routinely found in products around the home has been implicated in a number of health problems. These include:

  • increased risk, a whopping 650%, of childhood leukemia from exposure to harmful chemicals
  • higher incidences of bronchitis, asthma and other diseases of the lung from inhaling vapors
  • mild eye burn, indicated by a watery or painful sensation from harsh ingredients
  • skin rashes and burns from chemicals or from allergies
  • poisoning from the effects on the skin to extended contact toxic ingredients

Make it yourself

Our foremothers made all of their own cleaning products out of ingredients found around the house and farm and out in nature. Buying store-bought gradually replaced this practice, both because of convenience and because chemical based products often worked better and more quickly.

But over the last few decades, with the growing concern about damage to the environment, more householders have returned to recipes for natural products. By sharing information and results, the old recipes have been improved upon. Many do as good a job or better than store bought products.

Other advantages to making your own, include:

  • they often cost less
  • most are safer and all are non-toxic
  • you know exactly what is in each cleaner you use
  • many are gentler on countertops, stovetops and other furnishings

Three effective home cleaners

There are a host of recipes for homemade cleaners online and in the library. Here are three basics that every home should stock.

An all-purpose cleaner does just what its name suggests. It works on just about any type of dirt or grime around your home, whether it is on wood, fabric, linoleum, stainless steel or glass. Mix a half cup of vinegar with one quarter cup of baking soda with half a gallon of water. Put in a spray bottle for use in bathrooms, kitchens and the laundry room.

Coffee and tea stains can be particularly hard to get out. Try this formula: two cups of water and one quarter cup of vinegar. Put into a tea kettle or coffeepot, bring to a boil and let it sit for one hour. Just wipe with a cloth. For teacups, simply pour it into the cup and let it sit for two hours, then wash in soap and water.

Save money with this safe alternative to grocery store dishwasher powder or gel. Simply mix borax and washing soda in equal amounts. It is effective and much less expensive.

These three are just to get you started. There are an amazing number of time-tested recipes online for all types of cleaners. Experimenting with them is worth your time and energy. You will help the health of your family and save money at the same time.

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