The pungent smell of bleach and anti-bacterial sprays once signalled a sparkling clean abode. Today, home cleaning methods hark back to the days when industrious housekeepers made their own home cleaning solutions. As families seek safer, more environmentally-friendly ways of living, green cleaning solutions are becoming more and more prevalent.

While they might leave your home looking clean, home cleaning products are riddled with toxins.

In fact, the average household contains approximately 62 toxic chemicals, according to this article from Experience.com – a healthy lifestyle webzine.  Routine exposure to these dangerous substances can lead to illnesses ranging from cancer, asthma, hormone disruption, neurotoxicity and reproductive disorders. Scary stuff indeed.

The worst home cleaning culprits, in no particular order:

Offender: Phthalates Modus Operandi: Found in all fragranced products like air-fresheners, soaps and even scented tissues. Crime: Endocrine disruptor Offender: Triclosan Modus Operandi: Found in anything labelled “antibacterial”. Crime: Encourages the growth of disease-resistant bacteria; carcinogenic Offender: 2-Butoxethanol Modus Operandi: Found in window, kitchen and multi-purpose cleaners Crime: Causes respiratory problems; severe damage to kidneys and the liver; pulmonary edema Offender: Ammonia Modus Operandi: Found in polishing agents Crime: Causes chronic bronchitis; asthma

While store-bought green cleaning products abound, DIY green solutions are just as effective, and a whole lot cheaper too.

DIY green home cleaning methods might seem like more effort than they’re worth. In fact, they’re easy to make, affordable and safe alternatives to harmful chemicals like bleach and ammonia. Besides being kind to the environment, green cleaning products made from scratch are free from the toxic ingredients found in common household cleaning products. What’s more, making your own green home cleaning products requires only a few, cheap ingredients that you’re bound to have already.
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Stock up on these essential ingredients to keep your home sparkling, and free from harmful toxins:

  • Baking soda
Baking soda isn’t only good for baking. This green powerhouse of an ingredient cleans, deodorizes and scours. To clean sinks and toilet bowls, mix it with vinegar. Stubborn food build up on your stove? Add a bit of water and voila!
  • White vinegar
One of the most effective green ingredients, white vinegar is an all-round green cleaning superhero. It cuts grease and soap scum, and reportedly  kills 99% of bacteria and 82% of mould.
  • Borax
This alkaline ingredient cleans, deodorizes and disinfects. What’s more, it also kills mould and fungus - making it a winning all-round green home cleaning ingredient.
  • Tea tree, lemon and peppermint essential oils
Besides smelling great (without any nasty chemicals) these essential oils come with a whole host of beneficial properties. They’re anti-septic, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal – leaving your home thoroughly cleansed, the natural way.
  • Vegetable oil-based soap (also known as Castile soap)
Predominantly made out of olive oil, this all natural soap is available at health shops or pharmacies. Eco-friendly and made out of all-natural ingredients, vegetable oil-based soap is gentler than its synthetic equivalents. Ditch the commercial cleaning products and make these green home cleaning products instead.
  • Toilet bowl cleaner:
Mix 1/4 cup of either borax or baking soda with 1 cup vinegar in the toilet bowl. Leave it for approximately 15 minutes (as you would bleach), then scrub and flush.
  • Bath and tile cleaner
Get your hands on a spray bottle or jar, and mix 1 and 2/3 of a cup of baking soda with 1/2 cup vegetable oil-based liquid soap. Add in 1/2 cup water and 2 tablespoons of vinegar. Shake well (don’t forget the lid) and you’re ready to go. Use a cloth or sponge, wipe, and then rinse.
  • Floor sanitiser:
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For a green-cleaned floor, mix 1/2 cup of borax with 7 ½ liters of hot water and mop as you usually would.
  • All-Purpose Cleaner
This all-natural cleaner packs a punch. Mix 1 teaspoon of baking soda, 1/2 teaspoon of vegetable-oil based soap and 2 tablespoons vinegar in a spray bottle. Stir well and leave it for a minute or two. Fill up the rest of the bottle with warm water and shake. Wait another few minutes, and add the essential oil of your choice (lemon or lavender smell heavenly). If your home is still in need of a green once-over, contact us to chat about our brand new range of green cleaning products. [hs_action id="938"] Image Credit: My Genie