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This non-toxic method was developed by Susan Sumner, from Virginia Polytechnic Institute, as a way of sanitizing food. Not only does it work great for that but I have found it useful elsewhere around the home.
It's that time of the year to spring clean. It's better to make your own cleaners; no harsh chemicals, cheaper, and it's better for the environment. To clean my kitchen and bathroom counters, I sprinkle baking soda on them and then scrub with a cleaning brush. To clean windows, I use 2 tablespoons of white vinegar with a gallon of water. Put in a spray bottle and you're all set. You can also use lemon juice instead of vinegar which smells good.
Instead of buying expensive drain cleaner for clogged drains, I use 2 cups of baking soda. Pour into the drain and then pour hot water from the teapot in. It works really well.
Over the years, I have tried to use less commercial products and make more of my own products for myself, my family, and my home-naturally, simply, and economically! I saw how many I bought and how much these products cost in both my grocery bill and our health when I worked for an organization that helps people deal with lung diseases.
Many allergies, asthma, other respiratory and even skin issues are caused by unhealthy chemicals in products that we come into contact every day! I make my own natural and economical products including: toothpastes, mouthwashes, deodorant, healthy room scents, dish and laundry detergents, dryer sheets, floor cleaner, cleaning sheets, shampoo and conditioner, hair spray, sink, tub and toilet cleaner, just to name a few! They work just as good and smell wonderful, but are not toxic to family, pets, or the environment!
Studies says that women in particular potentially use at least 25 chemically produced products a day (which contain hundreds of individual ingredients). That may not be in our best interest for health and some have even been proven to be hazardous to our health!
They include: hand soap, toothpaste, mouthwash, liquid shower soap, shampoo, conditioner, hair spray/mousse or gel, deodorant, perfume, sink cleaner, toilet cleaner, tub/shower cleaner, floor cleaners (both vinyl and/or wood), wood polish, counter cleaners, dish detergents, clothes detergents, dishwasher cleaner, laundry softener, laundry dryer sheets, wrinkle release, air fresheners, make up, and hair dye or coloring.
Pictured are just a few of the products that I make myself. In future months, I will be sharing some of these individual cleaning projects and their ingredients on Thrifty Fun, when I get time to take some photos while making them.
Living simply with gentle, non toxic products make me and my family's life healthier, wealthier, and happier!
There have been multiple studies over the years on the chemicals in products. One resource you can to check out is:
(physicians for social responsibility) a non-profit educational website.
Here is a excerpt from their website under:
Toxic Chemicals and Cosmetics..
Personal care is big business in the US. The $50 billion beauty industry produces such products as shampoo, deodorant, makeup, moisturizer, diaper cream, perfume, and toothpaste, and these products literally touch almost every American every day. According to the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, the average American uses about 10 personal care products each day, and is exposed to more than 100 unique chemicals from those products.
Some of the toxic or potentially toxic chemicals that have been found in cosmetics include formaldehyde (in nail polish, hair straightening formulations, and other products), lead and other heavy metals (in lipstick, eyeliner, and other products), hydroquinone (in skin lighteners), and 1,4-dioxane (as a contaminant in shampoo and other sudsing products).
These products are regulated by the Food and Drug Administration under a 70-year-old statute that does not assess ingredients for safety before allowing them on the market. It is legal to formulate cosmetics with chemicals linked to cancer, infertility, birth defects, endocrine disruption, and other adverse health effects. An industry-funded panel, the Cosmetic Ingredient Review Panel, issues non-binding recommendations on the safety of cosmetic ingredients, and assesses the safety of only a fraction of the ingredients used in beauty products.
An overhaul of cosmetics regulation is long overdue.
The Safe Cosmetics Act would effectively address the shortcomings of the Food, Drug, and Cosmetics Act of 1938, and protect Americans from toxic chemicals in beauty products. Provisions of the Safe Cosmetics Act would include:
Phase-out of ingredients linked to cancer, birth defects and developmental harm;
Creation of a health-based safety standard that includes protections for children, the elderly, workers and other vulnerable populations;
Elimination of labeling loopholes by requiring full ingredient disclosure on product labels and company websites, including salon products and the constituent ingredients of fragrance;
Worker access to information about unsafe chemicals in personal care products;
Required data-sharing to avoid duplicative testing and encourage the development of alternatives to animal testing; and
Adequate funding to the FDA Office of Cosmetics and Colors so it has the resources it needs to provide effective oversight of the cosmetics industry.
The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics
The Story of Cosmetics
EWGs Skin Deep Database
I have worked for both the American Heart Association and the American Lung Association for over 17 years and spent many hours in educational symposiums/programs regarding various health issues including the chemicals we use in our everyday life. As a matter of fact, I just attended a seminar on creating these healthier home cleaners that had a local physician (Asthma and Allergist specialist) give part of the presentation, but I invite you to just count how many products you have used already today..I count 8 already and it's still early!
Now if you'd just check all those products you've used and google the ingredients. How safe they are?
A drop of lemon, say citrus-fruit experts who have been meeting here in annual conference, can: remove tea spots from table linens, remove rust, especially from clothing
Don't throw away those lemons after you've used them. They are great for scrubbing the kitchen sink. Simply take half a squeezed or unsqueezed lemon, dip it in some baking soda and scrub away.
This green cleaning method is a great way to sanitize those yucky places in your home. Check out this video and learn how easy it is to clean green.
Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.
I like to make homemade cleaners to save money, but are they any better for the environment? For example, the one I make the most is basically a little lemon ammonia and water with a squirt of Dawn in it. I make a whole bottle for pennies, but is the ammonia bad? Do you have any cleaner recipes that would be better? I have not had good luck with just vinegar and water. Thanks.
Cindy from Lorain, OH
Go to diynetwork. look for advice from the queen of clean and go to dollarstretcher.com One cleaner I know of that is environmentally friendly is to mix 1 tbsp. of baking soda in a quart of warm water, and yes, ammonia is bad for the environment.
I personally don't think homemade cleaners are any better for the environment. Ammonia is not any more harmful than baking soda, as long as you are only using small amounts of it. It is a stronger base, but sometimes you need something stronger. If you use a small amount mixed with water, it is not harmful to use it as a cleaning product. Ammonia can be neurtralized by mixing with vinegar, and it then turns into salt, water, and carbon dioxide.
Homemade is better for our environs because the mileage is so small. Once baking soda is in your hands, all those thousands of miles of travel for the exotics in cleaners is saved, along with dollars.
Debra Dadd's columns online are reliable sources of environmental as well as personal safety at home.
She is tough on petrochemicals.
I can't use ammonia since I am allergic to it. My favorite cleaner is homemade and I use it on everything but glass.
1 cup borax (found in laundry section)
1/2 cup baking soda
When I mix this up I use 2 teaspoons to 2 cups of water. If I want to have a sudsy cleaner I add a small squirt of hand washing dish soap to it. I put it in a sports type of bottle to use. I also use it as an abrasive cleaner bu putting it in a shaker, like an empty spice bottle. I use it as as laundry booster too.
How many and which herbs can be substituted for the traditional rather toxic store bought cleaners, i.e. rug cleaners, laundry bleach, fabric softeners, window cleaners, etc.?