Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Fantastic Cleaning Products to Help You Create Your Own Chemical-Free Sanctuary

My last blog post was kind of a downer . . . SORRY!  I never like leaving the post without some positive info.  However that one was already so long I thought it was best to continue on today and give you the good news!

It's actually easier than you think to create. . .

There are actually several companies that produce cleaning products that are safe for the environment, for you, for your family and they really work well!

Plus, there are so many DIY mixes you can make that will save you tons of money while saving the environment at the same time!  

So today I'm going to start with some DIY products then move to some great pre-made products you can purchase and then end up with my all-time favorite ways to create your own chemical free sanctuary!

DIY to the clean and green rescue!

Some of my favorite, super inexpensive, low tech and very effective cleaners can be made from ordinary household products like white vinegar, salt, baking soda, lemon juice, essential oils, and even things like ketchup!  They can be used liberally with out worry because they can be spilled, can touch your skin and even swallowed without creating serious damage to your health!

Through the years I’ve used regular distilled white vinegar for everything from killing weeds to spot removal – and it was extremely effective!  In fact, white vinegar cleans, polishes and removes spots from almost anything and an entire gallon can be purchased for far less than a single 8 ounce cleaning product!  So be sure to keep this one in your cleaning line up!  Since you are not going to eat the stuff I just buy the inexpensive store brand.

In fact here is a wonderful website that provides 1001 Uses for White Distilled Vinegar.

And here are a few more basic tips to keep in mind when making your DIY cleaning products . . .
  • A mixture of baking soda and coarse salt makes a great abrasive and when you activate it with lemon juice the bubbles increase the action! 
  • Lemon juice and citrus oils are great grease cutters.
  •  Hydrogen peroxide, especially the food grade (available on line), is a great bleach alternative.  Just be cautious because the food grade is so strong it can cause chemical burns.  When I was running Fusion MediSpa, I actually used hydrogen peroxide in my hot tubs instead of chlorine. 
  • Rubbing alcohol is very drying so adding it to your floor cleaner or window cleaners will make them dry faster and with fewer streaks.  But a little goes a long way, so just 1 tsp per quart is sufficient.
  • Adding just 2-3 drops of your favorite essential oils to your cleaning products makes them smell even better than the toxic synthetic fragrances.  In fact, peppermint, lavender, tea tree and citrus oils are considered anti-microbial so they kill “germs” as well as smelling fresh and clean!
  • Olive oil is a great protector/moisturizer for your wooden surfaces and it leaves behind a lovely luster.

A few of my long time favorite DIY recipes . . .
  • To clean the tarnish from your copper pots and silver serving pieces, spread a layer of catsup on the entire surface and let stand for about 5 minutes.  Wash off and dry with a very soft, lint-free towel.
  • To clean the grease and grime (and even tarnish and rust) from your stainless or copper-bottomed pots, stainless steel sinks, as well as silver pieces, combine equal parts of coarse salt and baking soda together.  Sprinkle liberally on the surface and scrub with a lemon half. 
  • Try polishing your furniture with a mixture of 1/4 cup olive oil, 1 tsp white vinegar or pH 4 ionized water and 1 tsp lemon oil.  This will add moisture to your wood furniture, create a protective finish and leave your home smelling great.  Do not over apply or it will get sticky.  Rub very well.  Personally, I apply it to an old tube sock that I slip on my hand.  I can very easily dust even small crevices this way and I can be certain that I have rubbed it in well enough.
  • You can even make your own natural dishwasher detergent!  Thoroughly mix 1 cup washing soda (not baking soda) and 1 cup borax with a 15-20 drops of peppermint, tea tree or lavender essential oils (they are all anti-microbial) and fill your dishwasher’s soap dispenser.
  • For a great rinsing agent fill the dispenser designed for chemical rinsing formulas, with either white vinegar or pH 2.5 ionized water.  Both will reduce or eliminate water spots.  The ionized water is also antimicrobial so it’s a great way to eliminate any harmful “germs” from your dishes.
  • A simple all-purpose cleaner can be made from equal parts of vinegar and water.  Add a little rubbing alcohol to that combination, and you have a streak-free glass cleaner.
  • Oven cleaning can be quite a toxic ordeal with commercial cleaners but I’ve found that using a combination of baking soda, vinegar and course salt works quite well.  It works even better if you start with pH 11.5 ionized water to cut the grease!  I start by scraping off any spills, and vacuuming the “crumbs” up before heating the oven very slightly.  Then I apply the baking soda/salt mixture to cover the bottom of the oven, wet it thoroughly with white vinegar.  Close the door and let it sit overnight.  Then I wash it out, scrub it with a green scrubbing pad or a scrub brush and rinse it down thoroughly.
  • A great way to keep your drains clear is by using enzymes.  They destroy the soapy residue, hair and grease without releasing harmful chemicals into the air or environment.

Here is a list of the products I’ve used and liked that are also favorites of the Organic Consumers’ Association:
  • Ecover is a great company that makes a fairly wide variety of cleaning products including toilet bowl, cream cleaner, dishwashing and dishwasher detergents.  I do not prefer their laundry detergent.
  • 7th Generation is another company that offers a wide variety of cleaning products.  Again, their laundry detergent is not my favorite although many of my friends do like it.
  • ECOS makes several products I have found very effective.  Their toilet bowl cleaner and laundry detergent are among my favorites!
  • Earth Friendly Earth Enzymes Drain Opener is THE BEST drain cleaner I’ve ever used!
  • I also really like Mrs. Meyer’s brand cleaning products.  They are not on the OCA’s list, but the laundry and dishwashing products are fantastic!

Now on to my very favorite way to create my own cleaning products . . . some of you who do not own a high quality water ionizer may think this is completely implausible but I swear you can clean and disinfect virtually anything in your home, garden and yard using various pH levels of ionized water – you can even do your laundry without any added detergent!

So not only is it environmentally friendly, it is extremely cost effective!  In fact, I’ve actually written a booklet outlining all of the various uses of ionized water . . . from room sprays to cleaning windows, floors, the refrigerator, bathroom, your laundry, grimy outdoor furniture, wool rugs and so much more!

You can find it on Amazon.com – easier yet, simply click this link  and you can begin today creating your own chemical free sanctuary!  You can even get a preview of what's inside!

So whether you choose to use pre-made products, to create some DIY favorites or to use ionized water, your body, your family, your pets and the environment will thank you for it. 

And I will applaud your efforts!  :)

Dr. P

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