The Naturally Clean Home
Become a green clean machine.
Did you know that the commercial household cleaners you're using are polluting the air, water, environment, and even your body with a wide assortment of toxins and carcinogens? It's really frightening to learn about the damage we're causing by keeping clean. The good news is that you can make your own non-toxic, environmentally friendly household cleaners for less money than you're spending on commercial cleaner. Getting started is simpler than you may think!
I first started looking into natural alternatives to cleaning products a little over a year ago. My first step was research. I went to my local library and placed holds on every single book they had on the subject. There is a lot of literature out there on eco-friendly cleaning, but I wanted to find a book that was simple, straightforward, and used the most inexpensive, easy-to-find ingredients possible. After sifting through a huge pile of books, I found exactly what I was looking for in The Naturally Clean Home by Karyn Siegel-Maier.
The first chapter of this book goes over the toxins found in specific types of cleansers, so you can familiarizie yourself with those tongue-tying words that you find on commercial household cleanser ingredient lists. Siegel-Maier goes over words like diethanolamine and phenylphenol, and lets you know exactly how and why they are poisonous.
The next chapter goes over the benefits of cleaning with herbs and other natural products like baking soda and vinegar. The author also outlines helpful information on the ingredients she uses in the book, including their cleaning properties, where the ingredients are derived form, and why they are better for you and the environment.
The rest of the book is dedicated to providing easy-to-follow recipes for natural cleansing agents, divided into the following categories (chapters): The Kitchen, The Bath, The Laundry, Wood Care, Walls & Carpeting, Cleaning Metals, Cleaning the Air, and The Basement. Some of my favorite recipes from the book include: dishwashing soap, laundry detergent, all-purpose kitchen cleaner, and bathroom disinfectant. I also found the section on how to naturally remove various stains from clothing really helpful.
One of the best natural products I've come to love and rely on is liquid castile soap, a vegetable-oil soap that has almost an endless amount of uses. Many of the recipes in The Naturally Clean Home call for this product, but I've also used it to replace commercial body soaps. A few drops of your favorite essential oil added to some castile soap and water make a wonderful alternative to liquid hand soap and body wash.
I've also learned that a combination of white vinegar and baking soda can clean almost anything! I always make sure to keep plenty of these inexpensive ingredients on hand.
Having a book full of recipes in my personal library is really helpful, and I use the recipes in The Naturally Clean Home a lot. If you'd rather just get your feet wet right now, and do your own research, a quick internet search can provide you with enough simple natural cleaning recipes to get you started. I've included some of my favorite online resources below. Happy Spring Cleaning!
Online Resources for Green Cleaning/Living: care2.com, greenlivingideas.com, eco-chick.com & modcottage.com.
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