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Cleaning

 

We do not use chemical cleaning products due to their toxicity and our own chemical sensitivities. The health hazards of chemical cleaners range from repiratory problems to kidney and liver damage. We have found natural alternatives that actually work better and are more effective.

Disinfectant - Vinegar & Hydrogen Peroxide. This combination, sprayed one directly over the other from separate bottles, is actually a better disinfectant than bleach.

“By itself, vinegar is not a disinfectant, but when used with hydrogen peroxide, it kills bacteria more effectively than any commercial cleaner. Susan Sumner, a food scientist at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (VPI) in Blacksburg, Virginia, published the following formula in Science News. Purchase a bottle of 3 percent hydrogen peroxide and a bottle of plain white or apple cider vinegar. Pour each liquid into its own spray bottle. Spritz the item to be disinfected with both the vinegar and the hydrogen peroxide, then rinse with water. Using one mist right after the other is ten times more effective than usually spray by itself and more effective than mixing the vinegar and hydrogen peroxide in one spray bottle. Tests at VPI found the two sprays used together killed virtually all Salmonella, Shigella, or E. coli bacteria on heavily contaminated food and surfaces; this spray combination is more effective than chlorine bleach. It doesn’t matter if you spray with the vinegar first, then the hydrogen peroxide, or vice versa. There is no lingering taste of vinegar or hydrogen peroxide, and neither is toxic if any reside remains. This combination works exceptionally well for sanitizing counters and other food preparation surfaces, including wood cutting boards.” - Natural Home magazine, Jan 2002

Surface Cleaners - Eco-Me is a great natural products brand with top ratings on the Eco Scale by Greenseal.org. Their products are made with food-grade plant-based ingredients (with all ingredients disclosed), contain no sulfates, ethoxylate, BPA, Phthalates, colorants, dyes, artificial preservatives or synthetic fragrances. All of their products work wonderfully and smell great.

Air Purifiers - To control dust and fur, we have air purifiers in every room. Our favorite is the 3M Filtrete Ultra Clean Air Purifier, FAP02-RS . We managed to get them for a low price on Woot.com and even found a new one at Goodwill, and wish we had gotten more for the price. They clean well, aren't too noisy, and are easy to clean. The filter is hidden behind a panel, so you don't need to worry about an unsightly furry filter.

Floor Cleaners - We have gotten rid of all carpet flooring and have tile and wood laminate throughout the house. We go through many floor cleaners, as we tend to wear them out with too much use. The Hoover Floormate and Bissell wet & dry floor cleaners are wonderful. They clean and dry the floor without leaving any dirty water behind. We use the Eco-Me Floor Cleaner diluted in the machines to clean the floors, which works great.

Laundry Detergent - Our favorite laundry detergent is GreenShield Organic. It gets the laundry clean and fresh without chemicals.

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Air Fresheners - Most perfumes, candles and air fresheners are made with unhealthy synthetic fragrances. Products made from natural sources are much healthier. Aura Cacia makes spray and plug-in air fresheners with 100% essential oils. Eco-Me makes natural air fresheners that have a wonderful fragrance. For candles, Aloha Bay has a line made with 100% essential oils.

Scrub - Baking Soda, Bon Ami, and Boric Acid both make great cleansing scrubs. Sprinkle on a surface and scrub with a wet sponge.

Drain Cleaner - Vinegar and baking soda. Pour 1/2 a cup of baking soda down the drain, followed by 1 cup of vinegar, then plug the drain. Leave it for about half an hour, then open the drain and pour hot water to wash it down. We have found that this works better that any toxic drain cleaner.