Green Cleaning

With an arsenal of cleaning supplies handily available on aisle seven, plus the fact that I abhor cleaning, it hadn’t crossed my mind to make my own natural products. Yet when my wobbly nephew recently chewed the edge of the coffee table, freshly smeared with jelly, I raced to the rescue. I want him to be able to lick every surface in the house in a gross-yet-worry-free spree of toddlerness. But I’ve used commercial cleaning agents throughout my home with unspellable and potent—even poisonous—components. What residues have I—and others—been unintentionally inhaling, absorbing through the skin, or even eating?
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Non-toxic Products—Worth the Scrub?

With spring around the corner, I find myself stuck aboard the cleaning wagon. When I first started making homemade cleaning products, I’d occasionally find it challenging to get an area completely spotless. It can be frustrating to scrub twice as hard, when a chemical-laden spray used to eat through the grime in seconds. Using all the tips I’d learned, I was always able to get it clean, but not without some effort.

The good news is that there’s an easy way to spare myself the intense, muscled scrubbing:  the monthly onceover. When I stay on top of things, revisiting each room weekly, the cleaning isn’t more than a basic wipe. Such a relief.
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More Cleaning Essentials

Nontoxic recipes for home-cleaning come together easily for daily use. You may already have most of the ingredients on hand, as well as various re-usable bottes, spray-top bottles, glass jars with screw-top lids, salvaged old t-shirts and sponges. Add a little elbow grease, and your home is sure to shine.

Some newer ingredients now available to homemakers are tea tree and essential oils, both used in the disinfectant spray recipe below. Many local co-ops, apothecaries, and organic foods stores are now selling a variety of these strongly-scented oils for both homeopathic and everyday use. Tea tree oil is a natural disinfectant with antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal properties. Essential oils are costly, but just a drop or two adds a lovely scent to any cleaning supply recipes, entirely masking the use of vinegar. Oils range in scent from classic lemon to cinnamon to summer berry.
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