I don’t use bleach, furniture polish, or glass cleaner. A few years ago I sought to reduce unnecessary exposure to products containing toxic fumes and chemicals. Today, I rely on homemade cleaning products to keep my home clean and safe—even with two large-breed dogs leaving nose prints on the windows and muddy paw prints on the wood floors.
I want to stay healthy, and there’s no need to expose my pets to harmful fumes either. Because some commercial cleaning supplies release volatile organic compounds (VOCs), they can irritate the eyes and throat, produce allergic reactions, cause headaches, and contribute to chronic respiratory problems. The American Lung Association (ALA) suggests staying away from ammonia, bleach, oven-cleaning products, and cleansers in aerosol cans because they contain VOCs as well.
Instead, rely on soap and water for everyday cleaning and baking soda when scrubbing surfaces like tile floors and bathtubs. My favorite green cleaning product is a natural vinegar-based cleanser, which can be used to sanitize sinks and toilets, wipe windows and mirrors until they shine, and scrub away spills and stains from the floor.
The best part? It’s so simple to make and you probably have the ingredients on hand.
Three-Ingredient Sanitizing Spray
- 1 lemon or lime.
- distilled white vinegar.
Chop a whole lemon into four wedges. Gently squeeze the juice from each wedge as you place them into an old pasta or pickle jar that has been washed. If you don’t care for lemon, you can also use lime.
Top your citrus fruit with distilled white vinegar until the jar is full. Replace the cap and refrigerate for at least an hour, or for several months if you plan on making more down the line. This allows the lemon or lime to permeate the vinegar, making the solution smell as fresh as you want your home to be.
Mix the homemade cleanser by pouring the vinegar-citrus mixture through a strainer, then into an empty spray bottle using a funnel. Add an equal amount of water to create a one-to-one dilution and replace the top of the spray bottle.
Give the bottle a quick shake to mix its contents, then use the cleanser wherever it may be needed. I spray it on a variety of surfaces, including laminate countertops, wooden cutting boards, wood floors, porcelain sinks, glass windows, and the metal stove. Because the cleanser is acidic, it’s best to avoid marble and tiled areas with grout; the cleanser may break down these stone-based surfaces.
Do you make your own homemade cleaning products? I’d love to learn how. Tell me in the comments below!
Image sources: Angela Tague
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