Probably the last thing that anyone thinks about when cleaning around the house is the environment. This is understandable, as cleaning around the house often just entails wiping things down, sweeping and mopping floors, perhaps even cleaning out gutters and mowing the lawn if your homeowner’s association has not hired their own staff to do these things.
In nearly all cases, house cleaning can result in doing certain things that harm the environment, whether it is using cleaning solutions that are not environmentally friendly or throwing things away where it could be donated or recycled.
There are many options that can be considered to be just a bit more environmentally friendly when doing housework while not spending a lot of time doing it. There are three common household items that can be used to make a powerful cleaning solution that is eco-friendly. These three things are lemon juice, baking soda and vinegar.
All three of these serve their own purpose when cleaning the house, and all three are as eco-friendly as anything else.
Lemon juice: the solution for kitchens and bathrooms
There are several reasons why these are so effective as eco-friendly cleaners. The natural acid contained in lemons are guaranteed to kill most bacteria and other kinds of germs that exist on any surface that is dirty or dusty.
There is a reason why a fair amount of cleaners (that contain chemicals and are not eco-friendly are lemon scented. It is because the power of lemons and lemon juice has when it comes to cleaning things is well known.
Lemon juice is perfect for almost any kind of cleaning where you need to wipe a counter or any kind of glass material down. It is also extremely effective when it comes to cleaning off soap scum and other kinds of buildup in bathrooms, as the natural acids from lemon juice will melt away most buildup in bathrooms that, because they involve soap (or soap like substances), are made up of alkaline. Acid eats through and absorbs alkaline.
Swapping out window cleaners and all purpose cleaners for spray bottles full of lemon juice is one method of making your own eco friendly cleaning solution. Baking soda: optimal, but eco-friendly carpet cleaning.
While lemon juice has a strong acid base which can eliminate any material with a strong alkaline base, baking soda has a mild alkaline base which can remove dirt easily when combined with water.
It is also made up of sodium carbonate and carbon dioxide, which are the organic compounds that make it so abrasive when mixed with water and especially vinegar. The uses of vinegar will be mentioned later on.
One of the best examples of using baking soda is when cleaning a carpet. When most people clean carpets, they use cleaning solutions that are extremely harmful to the environment. Most of the time, carpets can be cleaned really easily by sprinkling baking soda onto the carpet then vacuuming over the baking soda.
This will eliminate pet odors as well as clear out most stains on a carpet. It will also clean the vacuum somewhat. Carpet has more stains? Use more baking soda! Because baking soda is made up of organic compounds, it is impossible to damage a carpet.
Another use for baking soda is to clean tile grout. Mixing baking soda with vinegar (or water) will make the baking soda very abrasive. This is very helpful when cleaning tile grout, especially when a strong brush is used.
Vinegar as an eco-friendly cleaner and deodorizer can confuse a lot of people. On its own, vinegar appears like it should be the complete opposite of any kind of cleaner, let alone an eco-friendly one as it does not smell like a cleaner.
What many do not know about is that cleaners are made up of several different chemicals. At the base of all these chemicals is vinegar.
By itself, vinegar cannot really do much as a cleaner. But when combined with baking soda, it can create eco-free miracles. When properly mixed, white vinegar will easily clean any form of hard surfaces, especially glass and tile.
To make this ultimate all purpose cleaner, mix equal parts vinegar and water to an empty spray bottle and shake thoroughly.
The vinegar mixed with the water will instantly lift anything off of any glass or tile surface. To get the surface to smell nice, spray a little bit of lemon juice onto the surface and wipe it off. This is perfect for cleaning microwaves or ovens that do not self-clean.
Are antibacterial cleaners necessary?
Over the years, there has been a lot of hype surrounding antibacterial cleaners, such as antibacterial soaps and sprays. What has been discovered is that there is no real difference between antibacterial cleaning solutions and regular ones.
In fact, antibacterial cleaners, while they do eliminate bacteria, they eliminate too much bacteria, since most bacteria eliminate each other to prevent stronger bacteria from forming.
When an antibacterial cleaner is used, it also runs the risk of creating stronger bacteria since some bacteria is bound to survive, and when it does, it has now developed an immunity to the cleaner and can then breed new bacteria that will also be immune to the cleaner.
For this reason, it is much better to use regular soap and let bacteria eliminate breed and eliminate each other naturally, when doing home cleaning.