The cleaner your home is, the unhealthier it may be, because of toxic cleaning products made from petroleum-based chemicals and fragrances. Inhaling these fumes is unhealthy.
Many cleaning products contain dangerous chemicals that are not listed on the label. A manufacturer can omit any ingredient that is considered a secret formula from its label, and many of these secret ingredients are toxic and carcinogenic.
Vinegar and Water for Floors– one of the best and most powerful cleaning solutions for wood and tile floors is using 1/2 cup white vinegar in 1 gallon of water. Besides being a natural and inexpensive cleaner, vinegar is natural antibacterial solution that has been shown in studies to kill the Escherichia coli (e coli) bacteria, salmonella, mold and other harmful bacteria, while preserving beneficial bacteria. You can add a few drops of essential oil (like lemon) to the mixture. Use this solution directly on the surface (no need to rinse). It is best to wash all floors by hand with soft cloths (like old t-shirts or towels). Using a mop tends to just push the dirt around.
Noroviruses, colds, flu viruses spread directly via contact with infected persons or indirectly through contaminated objects, foods, or surfaces. These viruses can last 4 to 8 days on a surface. Bleach is one of the few cleaners that has been proven effective against this, however it is not really the safest option.
When disinfectants are used in low levels, researchers have found that they actually make certain bacteria stronger and resistant to antibiotic treatment. This is true even in hospital settings, and certainly applies to the low-level disinfectants many use around their homes.
Using hydrogen peroxide is a safe and better alliterative instead of bleach as a disinfectant. Mix 1/2 of 3% hydrogen peroxide to 1/2 water and place this in a brown spray bottle. You can also use straight 3% hydrogen peroxide which is sold in bottles with a spray top. You can use this to spray down some of these areas that tend to accumulate a lot of germs:
faucet handles, light switches, doorknobs, remote controls, keyboards, inside of garbage/recycling cans, inside of sink drains and refrigerator handles and salt shakers.
Hydrogen Peroxide Wipes
These are convenient to use (although I prefer to use the spray when I can at home). I highly recommend using the peroxide wipes when traveling on airplanes, wiping down: arm rests, monitor, tray table and head rest. Bacteria can travel as far as 10 feet from a person and can last as long as 8 days on surfaces.
Bar Keeper’s Friend-this is a very inexpensive, safe and effective (baking soda based) cleaner. I use it on all of my All Clad stainless pans- it even cleans burned pans. I also use it on my Le Creueset pots, stainless steel appliances, stainless steel sink and the interior of my enamel coated Wolf oven. It also works really well at the baked on grime on oven windows. For stainless steel sinks I use barkeepers friend and then finish with the hydrogen peroxide spray. Baking Soda is a natural disinfectant.
Amazing Uses of Baking Soda
- Use it as a natural deodorizer leaving an open container in the fridge and freezer. Sprinkle in the bottom of garbage cans.
- Sprinkle on carpet, let it sit and then vacuum for a natural deodorizer
- Helps to remove oil or grease- sprinkle on top and scrub
- Mix with vinegar to unclog drains
- Make a paste with water to clean the inside of your oven and oven window
- Put 1/2 cup in the toilet, let sit for 30 minutes then flush- natural deodorizer
- Sprinkle on your hands to remove strong odors from garlic and onions- it really works!
- Make a paste with water and put in grout. Use white vinegar- as it fizzes- scrub with toothbrush to clean.
- Make a paste with water- use the back of a teaspoon and dab the paste under your eyes. Let it sit until it completely dries- remove gently with warm water. This is very effective for puffy eyes
- Mix occasionally with your toothpaste for a natural tooth whitener.
- Make a paste with water and apply to insect bites.