Uncomplicated Cleaners

One of my dear friends has survived cancer. Twice. Once she recovered, her beautiful hair returned and she regained some weight, she came for a visit. I wanted to know about the changes she had made in her lifestyle. Prior to being diagnosed, she was a vegetarian living what I thought to be a fairly clean lifestyle. I was expecting lots of tips on diet changes, one of my favorite subjects.

But the first thing she focused on was house cleaners. I had never considered that the solutions and sprays we use in our living space could be toxic.  I blindly trusted that whatever is available on the shelves for me to purchase would be safe. Here is a surprising list of some cleaners to avoid. In addition, when washed down the drains the chemicals are polluting our water sources and affecting wildlife. My advice is to take the time to read the label of cleaners. Red flags are the words “Danger” or “Poison.” Even worse is when the ingredients are not listed.

At first I purchased the natural cleaners at the health food store. But it really wasn’t simple and it was more expensive. My friend suggested just making your cleaners. It’s surprisingly simple and cheap. I just use white vinegar and baking soda for pretty much everything. Some folks use essential oils in their cleaners, but I skip that. I also don’t use lemons as they are pricey. But, since we use lemons for cooking and to put in our water, I put any citrus peel in a jar and cover it with the white vinegar and let it steep. After spraying and wiping, it leaves a nice citrus scent.

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Baking soda is used as a scrubbing agent added with a little water. Spray vinegar on surfaces and wipe clean. I made a spray bottle using an old Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar glass bottle with a reused spray top. Wood floors  and furniture can be cleaned with vinegar diluted with water and a few drops of olive oil. Be sure to mop floors with a reusable cloth mop that can be washed after each use. Or make your own by tucking a cloth rag over your Swiffer if you had one. I also stopped using paper towels several years ago. Switching to fabric is economical and better for the environment.

Be sure to take your old toxic cleaners to be disposed properly. When I made the switch I had over 25 different kinds of cleaners used for specific tasks in plastic bottles. Now I have two.