The natural cleaners available to those of us who are concerned about an ethical environment didn't exist not too long ago. Sure, there were some really effective cleaners – but they are and were dangerous to both humans and the earth. I can remember my mom being sick for days after using some powerful chemicals on her closed-in shower. She inhaled the darned stuff into lungs that were already weakened by years of smoking cigarettes. What madness!
Then, of course, these caustic chemicals were washed down into the sewer systems to merge into our water supply.
Now, there are 'green' products that are labeled as safe cleaners – and some of them are. Just be careful not to believe everything you read on a label because some of them are nothing of the sort. It's important to read labels and know what you're looking at because that simple green cleaner may contain some really caustic ingredients. One clue: always choose plant-based ingredients over those that are made from petroleum. There are some truly sinister chemicals out there, chemicals that are made to sound innocent.
Actually, our grandmothers knew a lot about earth friendly cleaning products simply because there weren't any shelves groaning with the latest and greatest triumph from the world of chemistry. Elbow grease was the #1 component, but there are two tried and true natural cleaners that have been around for a long, long time: vinegar and baking soda.
Natural Cleaner #1: Vinegar
Vinegar has a ton of uses and here are a few of them
* Vinegar is great for bad smells
* Use on any laundry that is the least bit "mildewy" (is there such a word? :-)
* Cleans all kinds of floors – in fact, it's the only recommended cleaner for my wonderful Prego floor
* It's famous as a glass cleaner
* Cleans metal like brass, silver, pewter and copper (although I like catsup better for this one metal)
* Gets rid of soap scum in the bath and shower
* Keeps ants out of the kitchen, which is really excellent since we don't want vile chemicals around our food
* Cleans paneling, tile – even painted walls – although care is advised with that last one
Natural Cleaner #2: Baking Soda
Baking soda has many of the same uses as vinegar and together they're dynamite.
* It cleans the surface of most anything
* Once a year (Christmas time) I polish silver with it
* Great for odors, like in the frig or the cat litter box
* Works pretty well on grease
* Clean grills, stoves, etc.
* Gets rid of mildew
* Sprinkle some in water to clean combs and brushes
* Great outdoors – like patio furniture, bikes, picnic tables
Natural cleaners sometimes cost more than the chemicals horrors – but not necessarily. As time goes by they will definitely become more competitive. If these safe cleaners will do the job – and not cost anymore – why wouldn't everyone use them? Or just go to the grocery and buy some vinegar and baking soda. These simple earth-friendly cleaning products are tops.