March Environmental Challenge: Green Cleaners

Homemade Cleaning SolutionsI’m launching a new monthly challenge feature. At the beginning of every month, I will feature a series of small lifestyle changes that we will all make together. There will be one challenge each for physical, financial, environmental, and spiritual wellness. You will find that in most circumstances, the challenges overlap. For instance, today’s challenge is environmental, but it certainly will improve your physical wellness, too. It will also save you money.

March ushers in spring. Yay! Unless you are a downhill skiier, you are probably happy. Spring also brings in the dreaded spring cleaning. Ick. I challenge you to change at least one of your cleaners over to an eco-friendly cleaner. You are certainly allowed to switch more than one, but you must switch at least one.

You will find that this will save you money and will save your health. No more headaches from the fumes. No more asthma attacks. No more opening the window to ventilate (unless it’s 70 degrees and you want the window open.). No more worrying about your dog walking on the floor after you wash it or your kids getting into the cabinet under the sink. Wouldn’t that be nice?

You save money because you can truly use one cleaner for almost everything. With the all-purpose disinfectant listed below, you can disinfect everything from tubs to toilets to countertops. But it’s safe enough to disinfect baby toys. Try that with bleach! (I hope you noted the sarcasm. Please do not disinfect your baby’s toys with bleach…)

All-Purpose Disinfecting Solution – 20 drops tea tree oil in 16 oz. water in a spray bottle

Tub Cleaner – Scrub the tub with baking soda and a scrub brush to remove dirt, then disinfect with All-Purpose Disinfectant

Window Cleaner – 1 tsp. distilled white vinegar to 16 oz. warm water in a spray bottle

Toilet Bowl Cleaner – pour 1/2 c. distilled white vinegar in the bowl and swish with brush and let stand

Dusting Spray – 1 c. distilled white vinegar, 1/2 tsp olive oil, 3 c. water

Daily Shower Spray – 1/2 c. rubbing alcohol, 1 1/2 c. water, 10-15 drops tea tree oil, 1 tsp of salt

Floor Cleaner (All Types) – Mix equal parts of distilled white vinegar and hot water and mop

Why tea tree oil and white vinegar? Tea tree oil (Melaleuca alternifolia) is a natural antiseptic, antibiotic, and anti-fungal. It can be used as a topical to heal wounds and prevent infection. Tea tree oil must be diluted if used orally. It has been shown to be effective in fighting MRSA (Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus).  Given all of these properties, why would you ever use bleach???

As for vinegar? It’s not just an old wives’ tale that it kills germs. In just the past couple of days, the medical field has brought forth information that shows vinegar kills drug-resistant mycobacteria – including the germ that causes tuberculosis. Medical professionals are studying whether it can be used in a clinical setting to replace bleach, which even they agree is “toxic and corrosive.”

Bleach and ammonia, the two active chemicals in most cleaning supplies, lead to respiratory problems, chemical burns, neurological issues, and headaches, just to name a few. Mixing bleach and ammonia creates a toxic gas that could cause loss of consciousness or even death. Ingesting these chemicals could lead to death. Bleach was used as a chemical weapon during World War I.

When bleach enters the water supply, the chlorine reacts with other minerals and elements to form dangerous toxins, including dioxin. These toxins linger in the water or soil for years. Dioxin contributes to endocrine disorders, low sperm count, testicular cancer, and breast cancer.

Why are you using these chemicals to clean the counters on which you put your food, on the floors where your pets and babies walk, and in tubs where your children bathe? Please agree to accept my challenge!

A gallon of vinegar will cost you about $2? You can buy tea tree oil for $3.60. Sounds like a money and health saver to me. You can help the environment and your health and save money at the same time. Note your participation in the challenge in the comment section. Hope you will join us!

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6 thoughts on “March Environmental Challenge: Green Cleaners

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