(Here is a guest post from a reader and fellow writer. These recipes are a good way to save money and use safer, green cleaners. Thanks, Jessica!)
While there are plenty of green cleaning products popping up on the market, many are costly alternatives to cleaning supplies that you can make using common household products. If you are concerned about your children's exposure to harsh chemicals and toxic products, consider saving yourself some money and making your own green cleaning products. You will feel comfortable with your children using the products and will have a sparkling clean house in no time flat.
Have children put on their wizard cleaning hats and take aim at windows and mirrors. By mixing a cup of club soda and a tablespoon of lemon juice in a spray bottle, you will have an easy solution to dirty, streaked glass. Be environmentally conscious while cleaning and use an old washcloth instead of paper towels while wiping down the surfaces. If you are worried about children spraying the mixture in their eyes, spray it on the glass for them and have them use the washcloth to wipe it clean. With little helpers the glass may still have fingerprints after a cleaning, but children enjoy helping and teaching them to be responsible around the house is a lesson that can never start to early.
All-Purpose Scrubby Cleaner
The staple of green household cleaners, baking soda is one of the most versatile products available. For mere pennies a box, you can create a paste that will clean away soap scum, eradicate surface marks and leave your house clean and fresh. Begin by sprinkling a small amount of baking soda on the surface and spraying it with water from a spray bottle. Use an old washcloth to mix the two together to form a paste. Scrub away dirt and grime with this extremely inexpensive combination that is safe for even young children to help clean with. For tough stains and for brightening dull sinks, pour a dollop of white vinegar onto the baking soda and let the bubbles clean the surface. It is best to limit children's use of vinegar unless they are old enough to be responsible with it or are closely supervised.
White Board Eraser
If your family relies on a white board for notes and shopping lists, chances are that it gets dirty quickly and often needs to be erased and cleaned. Instead of using dry erase board cleaners that are full of chemicals, use a simple toothpaste instead. Start by erasing the board as best as you can. Then, apply a small dollop of white toothpaste onto an old soft t-shirt and rub the board in small, circular motions. This will eliminate set -n dry erase marker stains and make your board smell minty fresh. Be sure to completely remove all the toothpaste residue, however, or the board will be difficult to write on.
If you have the time to use common household products instead of buying cleaners that are touted as green and all natural, do it. You will rest easy knowing that your home is clean thanks to products that are easy on the environment and on your budget.
Jessica Ackerman, author and staff designer at WallDecorandHomeAccents.com, specializes large outdoor wall clocks and affordable large wall crosses.