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natural ingredients for cleaning green

With the availability of a different cleaning product for nearly every surface in the home, it’s no surprise Americans spend approximately $42 per month each on cleaning supplies. But it’s not just the expense that’s problematic. It’s also the fact that many cleaning products contain chemical ingredients that can be toxic to people and pets, especially if anyone in your home suffers from allergies or asthma.    natural ingredients for cleaning green

Fortunately, there are a number of highly effective, natural ways you can keep your home looking, feeling and smelling clean — and many of them are items you probably already have.

Take a look at these natural alternatives and get ready to start cleaning green!

The Basics

These are the ingredients you’ll use to mix and match depending on your cleaning project. They include:

All-purpose Spray Cleaner

Mix a solution of nine parts water with one part white vinegar in a spray bottle and you’ve got a cleaner for countertops, appliances, tile and other hard, non-porous surfaces. Simply spray on and wipe. If you need a little extra antibacterial oomph, follow with a spritz and wipe of straight hydrogen peroxide to kill germs. (Be sure to test a small area first to ensure it’s not reactive).

Toilet Bowl Cleaner

Typically one of the most caustic, toxic cleaners around, you can make a version that’s 100% safe, non-toxic and effective. Simply flush the toilet, sprinkle in a generous amount of baking soda, follow with a few liberal splashes of white vinegar, then wait for the ‘volcano’ effect. Once it’s done bubbling, let the mixture sit for about 10 minutes then brush all interior bowl surfaces and flush. You’ll be amazed at how clean and sparkling it is.

Glass Cleaner

Ditch the blue bottle and make your own by mixing ¼ cup of vinegar, ½ teaspoon of liquid soap and two cups of water in a spray bottle. Use as you would any commercial glass cleaner to keep windows and mirrors sparkling. For added savings, wipe with washable cloth towels or rags, rather than paper towels.

Oven Cleaner

If you’ve ever used aerosol oven cleaner, you know how strong those fumes can be. Try this mix instead: one tablespoon liquid soap, one teaspoon borax and two cups of hot water. Combine  in a spray bottle and spray directly on the mess, wait 20 minutes, then wipe. It helps to remove as much of the solid mess as possible prior to treating the area (crumpled newspaper works great for that).

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