Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Cleaning the environmentally safe way

Have you ever looked at the label on common household cleansers?

I recently looked at the label on a popular brand and the active ingredient is sodium dichloro-s-triazinetrione dihydrate ... a fancy name for chlorine bleach. That accounted for 1.2% of the ingredients. The other ingredients, 98.8% of them ... were left nameless (hm ... curious).

The label also included lovely words like "scratch free", "disinfects and cleans tough stains" and "club size" (don't we just love anything that's larger than life). There were words on how to use the product ... everything from brightening the kitchen sink to disinfecting the toilet bowl. There were even a few words on how "green" this company is ... "package contains at least 7% recycled material" and "contains no phosphate".

And then ... there was a block of warnings ... "do not use on painted surfaces" ... "do not mix with other products". At the bottom of the label ... "HAZARDS TO HUMANS AND DOMESTIC ANIMALS". This section included cautions and first aid instructions if one were to come in contact with the product ... and even included a hot line for emergency medical information.

Wow ... who knew that cleaning a house could be so dangerous? And if this product has the ability to hurt us ... is it hurting the environment when it's washed down the drain and into the water system? I'm guessing that it is.

While I'd love to use this information to forgo cleaning forever ... it turns out that there is a product ... an inexpensive, environmentally friendly, easy to find product that does the job perfectly. Vinegar! Yep ... white distilled vinegar. Because of it's level of acidity, it does a great job killing most molds, bacteria and germs. It's scratch-free and can be purchased in larger than life quantities. And guess what ... it brightens the kitchen sink and disinfects the toilet bowl.

Here are few ways to use it:

  • To Clean Windows: Combine 1/2 cup non-sudsy ammonia, 1 cup white distilled vinegar, and 2 tablespoons cornstarch in a gallon of water.
  • To Remove Pet Stains on Carpets: Blot up the area and then add a solution of white distilled vinegar and water. Blot until almost dry ... then sprinkle baking soda over the area and let it dry. Once completely dry, vacuum the residue.
  • To Mop No-Wax Vinyl or Linoleum Floors: Use a solution of one cup white distilled vinegar for every gallon of water.
  • To Clean the Toilet Bowl: Pour at least one cup of white distilled vinegar into the bowl and let it sit several hours or overnight. Scrub with a toilet brush and flush.
  • To Remove Bathtub Film: Wipe it with white distilled vinegar and then scrub with baking soda.
  • To Remove Grime, Mildew, and Scum from the Tub, Tile, Shower Curtain or Door: Wipe with undiluted white distilled vinegar. Rinse with water.
  • To Kill Germs on Kitchen and/or Bathroom Surfaces: Spray full-strength white distilled vinegar on surface and wipe with a damp cloth.
  • To Kill Germs and Eliminate Odors in Sponges and Dish Clothes: Cover with water then add 1/4 cup white distilled vinegar. Soak overnight.
  • To Clean the Refrigerator: Use a 50/50 percent solution of water and white distilled vinegar. Wipe down all areas and dry.
These are just a few of the many cleaning uses for vinegar. For more, click HERE.

What could be better ... an industrial strength cleaner which is inexpensive and earth friendly ... not to mention friendly to our bodies.

As always, I would love to hear from you.

The Breast Cancer Site