The Modern Mom
November 1, 2009
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As more and more housewives are becoming green, sales of environmentally friendly household cleaners ballooned.  this is not only because we want to help take care of the environment but also because of health threats associated with conventional cleaning products.  But be warned, experts caution that “eco-friendly” products can be just as toxic as their conventional counterparts.  The terms eco-friendly, green and natural used on product labels are not regulated by law, so products that sound safe can harbor chemicals known to trigger headaches, dizziness, respiratory problems, fatigue and more.  Natural homemade cleaners are still the best to slash exposure, and help you save $$$ as well.  Here are some ways to avoid the risk.

Baking soda for cleaning countertops, sinks and tubs.  The gentle abrasive particles in baking soda make this an excellent non-scratch agent for kitchen counters, sinks and other frequently sullied surfaces.  Plus, baking soda helps eliminate sour smells.  Just place open containers of baking soda in smelly areas to deodorize the air.  To get rid of grime, sprinkle it directly on surfaces and rub with a damp sponge.

White vinegar for glass.  The combination of white vinegar and water is better at cleaning glass.  That’s because the acetic acid in vinegar cuts through smudgy buildup (like oil) yet evaporates quickly to leave no visible residue.  To do:  Fill an empty spray bottle with 1 cup of white vinegar and 2 cups of water, use the solution as you would your usual glass cleaner.

Lemon juice and olive oil for wood furniture.  Use a mixture of 1 tablespoon lemon juice and 2 tablespoons olive oil.  This yields a wipe on, wipe off polish that leaves your wood furniture gleaming.  Lemon juice’s citric acid cuts through buildup and helps the oil penetrate the wood, and hydrate it to bring out its natural glow.  Plus, lemon juice is great at degreasing kitchen cabinets.  To do:  Add 1/4 cup of lemon juice to 1 quart of hot water, then rub on wood surfaces.

Borax for stubborn jobs.  When combined with water, borax forms a mild hydrogen peroxide solution that kills germs and cuts through even the nastiest gunk.  To Do:  Dissolve 1/4 cup of borax in 1 quart hot water, then transfer the needed amount to a spray bottle.  Wipe off any residue with a damp cloth.

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