Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Natural Laundry Cleaning Solutions

A lot of consumers use off-the-shelf commercial products to clean their laundry. Sometimes the choice is made based on the least expensive laundry product, or the product offering a coupon for the week.

Laundry is listed as one of the least favorite chores, and the fact is that no one really likes to do laundry, but everyone loves to have clean, fresh smelling clothes. But by using laundry solutions that contain synthetic ingredients, you’re cleaning your clothes in harmful chemicals.

These chemicals don’t always come out in the rinse cycle. Then if you toss the clothes into the dryer and add a chemically treated dryer sheet or you use a liquid fabric softener, you’re adding even more chemicals! Laundry cleaning solutions are one of the top causes of skin allergies and eye irritants.

This is probably the world's biggest laundry m...
Clean laundry drying in the sun. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
But by choosing to go the more natural way and use organic or natural products, you won’t miss out on that freshly laundered smell and appearance. You’re still going to have clothes that look their best and smell great, too. What you will miss out on are the things that aren’t healthy for your body or the environment.

You can use laundry cleaning solutions you make at home, but this is time consuming and if you’re just getting started with using natural cleaners, it’ll take some time before you get the hang of making the mixture.

An easy way to go natural and save time is to use a ready-made natural or organic laundry cleaner. Not all laundry cleaners that claim to be natural really are, so you’ll have to check the ingredients carefully. The natural or organic cleaners that are best for both you and your clothes will say that they’re without any synthetic dyes, and they won’t contain any phosphates.

Look for laundry detergents that say that they’re free from chlorine chemicals. Also look for labels that say the product is hypoallergenic, and the ingredients are based on plants and not on synthetics. You can buy concentrated natural laundry detergents in larger containers to save money. Many have great, natural scents. (My favorite is Earth Friendly Products Ecos Lemongrass - I've been using it for years and it works wonderfully and smells great!)

To whiten clothes, especially clothes that have stains, you can use Borax to treat them. If you have sweat stains on shirts, put some vinegar in a spray bottle and cover the stain with the vinegar. Let sit a few minutes, then launder.

For clothing that needs to be pretreated for stains like an ink stain, you can put the clothing in vinegar. The smell isn’t all that great while it’s soaking, but it does come out in the wash and the vinegar will remove the ink stain. Vinegar is also an excellent stain remover to rid clothes of tomato-based stains.

Once you’ve pretreated any stains, just wash the clothes in a natural or organic detergent for a healthier way to clean your laundry that’s better for your health and safer for the environment!

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

A Safer, Healthier Way to Clean Your Dishes

Food is the center of many of life’s celebrations, but at the end of the celebrating, when all the guests are heading home, the clean up has to begin. Doing the dishes, whether you put them in a dishwasher or wash them by hand, takes up a lot of time. And depending on what you use to aid in the cleaning up, the products you use may be environmentally unfriendly and unsafe for your skin.

Natural and organic cleaners are safe and effective for every task you need to do - so that means you don’t have to skip using natural substances to clean your dishes, regardless of whether you choose to wash them by hand or load them in a dishwasher.

There are a lot of natural dish cleaners that can give your dishes sparkle and get them shiny clean. If you use a dishwasher, you can buy natural cleaning pods that come with delightful fragrances like lemon or thyme. This scent can give your entire kitchen a fresh smell - while still being safe for everyone.

A dishwasher containing clean dishes
A dishwasher load of clean dishes. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Because natural ingredients are often better at cleaning than chemicals, you might not need to use as much of the product when you do your dishes. Look for organic dishwashing detergents that don’t have any chlorine or phosphate in them.

Organic and naturally based cleaners can make a greasy clean up job a lot easier by cutting through the grease. And if you get the pre-measured dishwasher pods, this even cuts back on time spent in the kitchen, too. All you have to do is stick one into the dishwasher - no time needed to measure and no chance of accidentally overfilling the soap dish.

If you want to hand wash the dishes, then using natural soap won’t just clean your dishes without unsightly spots, but the soap is often better for your hands, too. Find one that contains aloe vera or chamomile to soothe your skin.

Instead of using dishwasher detergent that has synthetic scents and colors, use ones that have citrus extracts like lemon so that your kitchen is instantly refreshed after you cook a meal with strong odors.

You can even make an effective cleaner yourself just by using a mix of borax and baking soda with an essential oil scent of your choice. This may not have the beautiful color and suds that you had when you used store-bought dishwasher detergent, but you also won’t be putting anything harmful down your drain.

Make sure you play around with the do-it-yourself recipes for organic cleaners to find a formulation that works, because we all have different levels of hardness to our water. And watch how your skin reacts to the ingredients, too. Just because it's all-natural doesn't mean you can't have an allergic reaction. Depending on the ingredients, and your personal sensitivities, you still might need to wear gloves while cleaning.

Natural Dishwashing Soaps:

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Safe & Natural Oven Cleaning Methods

Cleaning the oven isn’t high on anyone’s joy list, but it’s a task that has to be done in order to have a clean oven, and get rid of any spillage so you don’t run the risk of starting an oven fire.

There are many oven cleaners on the market that advertise how quickly they cut through grease and clean your oven. While they do clean the appliance, it’s what these cleaners don’t tell you that matters.

You won’t hear that the fumes from these cleaners can permeate your entire home and can cause coughing and watery eyes - and even more serious side effects for some people. You also won’t hear that the ingredients are caustic. Caustic means that the ingredients can cause painful skin burns.

Interior of a modern oven
Dirty oven. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Natural oven cleaning methods are safer to use in your home and you won’t have to worry about damaging your skin or breathing in a caustic substance. If you need to clean your oven and want to use what you have around the house to do it, then you can use citrus fruits like lemons.

But this is more of a time consuming task because even using lemons, you’ll still have to scrub - and if you have a stuck on mess, you may end up needing something to scrape off burned on food spills.

You can also use white vinegar to clean an oven, but for the scrubbing action, you’ll need to use it in conjunction with baking soda. Even then, depending on the shape your oven is in, you’ll still have to put some effort into scrubbing it clean.

Both of these methods will work to get your oven clean, but they do take up a lot of time and since time is a precious commodity to most of us, you may prefer to look for faster, just as effective methods.

To do that, you can use a natural oven cleaner that’s designed to break apart food spills and cut through grease. You can find these natural oven cleaners in handy spray bottles available through online suppliers such as and many others.

Because they’re natural or organic, they’re safe to use in all types of ovens, including countertop versions. By using only the natural ingredients in these formulas to clean your oven, you won’t be dealing with any of the dangerous fumes, either.

Unlike the other chemical based cleaners that require you to saturate the oven and then wait half an hour before cleaning, with a natural cleaner, you can spray the oven - and because the cleaner works fast, you can wipe it down in minutes without having to wait as long. These natural oven cleaners are also great for cleaning barbecue grills, too!

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Environmentally Friendly Floor Cleaning Solutions

The floors in your home handle a lot of foot traffic, and if you have pets, you can also add paw traffic. It’s no wonder that floors can be tough to keep clean.

Besides foot traffic, there’s human hair, pet hair, dust and anything tracked in from the outside that can build up. Plus, you also have to take care of any accidental spills, and make sure you get up liquids that stain the floor. Some stains get ground in and can be tougher to get out if you didn’t know they had occurred.

English: Bamboo flooring(http://www.floorprodu...
Bamboo flooring.  (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
It’s easy to buy into the belief that using a steam cleaner is the only way to truly clean carpets. And you might also think that chemical cleaners are the best product to use on wood or tile flooring, but you would be wrong.

Many commercial floor cleaners have too many dangerous chemicals to use in your home, and the water used after a chemical steam cleaning ends up in the sewer system, while the non-biodegradable containers end up in the landfill. Not only are these chemicals bad for you and the earth, they don’t do the best job at cleaning, either.

You want floors that are safe and clean enough to walk on barefoot, and you also want floors clean enough for your children to be able to sit on or crawl on - especially if you have little infants learning how to navigate the world.

Luckily, there are a number of natural floor cleaning products available that are much safer for you and your family.

Starting with carpets, you’ll first want to use a natural stain remover. You can find organic stain removers that don’t have any fumes, so there’s no chemical odors, and they don’t contain toxins so they’re great for the environment, too.

Once you’ve gone over any stains on the carpet, you can apply the carpet cleaner. Most organic cleaners are concentrated so a little bit can keep your carpets looking new all year long.

Even if you use a carpet-cleaning machine that doesn’t use heat, organic carpet cleaners will still work for you. Some of the carpet cleaners can be specially mixed in a small dish and used as a stain remover, so you can even skip the pretreatment of stains depending on the brand you get. Look for cleaners that have soap bark and great smelling natural scents like sage.

For tile floors, get a cleaner that’s multi-purpose and contains linseed oil. This is safe to use on marble flooring as well. If you have hardwood flooring, make sure the organic cleaner you buy specifically lists hardwood flooring, because not all organic ingredients are suitable for hardwood.

Some organic cleaners will contain vinegar and an essential oil, which are good for cleaning and shining wood floors. For any floor polishes that you use, make sure they’re vegetable based. 

Some Healthy & Safe Natural Floor Cleaners: