Axiom Health: Dr. Alana Berg, ND 778) (778 478- Kelowna, BC ● Phone: (778) 478-0647 Non-Toxic Household Cleaners When you make your own cleaning products, you avoid chemicals that are harmful to your family and the environment ... and save money too! There are many chemicals in commercial cleaning products that can harm you and your children. Many of the chemicals in household cleaners and pesticides are not adequately tested, regulated or controlled. Household cleaning products, such as furniture polish, oven cleaners, drain cleaners, even air fresheners, are considered hazardous waste potentially harmful to fish and wildlife, as well as humans. The recipes that follow are nontoxic, safe and just plain fun to use. Their ingredients also cost a lot less than store-bought cleaners and they really work. The Six Basics for Nontoxic Cleaning Baking Soda – A commonly available product that cleans and deodorizes. Sprinkled on a damp sponge or cloth, baking soda can be used as a gentle nonabrasive cleanser for kitchen counter tops, sinks, bathtubs, ovens, and fiberglass. It will eliminate perspiration odors and even neutralize the smell of many chemicals if you add up to a cup per load to the laundry. It is a useful air freshener, and a fine carpet deodorizer. Washing Soda – More alkaline than baking soda. Cuts grease, cleans petroleum oil, removes wax or lipstick, and neutralizes odors in the same way that baking soda does. Don’t use it on fiberglass, aluminum or waxed floors—unless you intend to remove the wax. Available in laundry section of grocery store or in pure form from chemical supply houses as "sodium carbonate." Wear gloves when using it because it is caustic. Borax - Cleans and deodorizes. Excellent disinfectant. Softens water. Available in the laundry section of the grocery store. Liquid Soaps and Detergent - Liquid soaps and detergents are necessary for cutting grease, and they are not the same thing. Soap is made from fats and lye. Detergents are synthetic materials discovered and synthesized early in this century. Unlike soap, detergents are designed specifically so that they don’t react with hard water minerals and cause soap scum. If you have hard water buy a biodegradable detergent without perfumes; if you have soft water you can use liquid soap (both are available in health food stores). Insist on soap without synthetic scents, colors or other additives. White Vinegar or Lemon Juice – Since they are acidic, they neutralize alkaline substances such as scale from hard water. Acids dissolve gummy buildup, eat away tarnish, and remove dirt from wood surfaces. Cuts grease and freshens. Mold Killers and Disinfectants - There are many essential oils, such as lavender, clove & tea tree oil (an excellent natural fungicide) that are very antiseptic, as is grapefruit seed extract, even though they aren’t registered as such. Use one teaspoon of essential oil to 2 cups of water in a spray bottle (make sure to avoid eyes). A grapefruit seed extract spray can be made by adding 20 drops of extract to a quart of water. All-Purpose Household Cleaner Recipe Mix together: 1 tsp. liquid soap (castile, peppermint) 1 tsp. borax Squeeze of lemon 1 qt. warm water OR ¼ c. baking soda ½ c. borax ½ c. vinegar 1 gal. water For surfaces that need scouring, try moist salt or baking soda and a green scouring pad. Window Cleaner Recipe Mix together: 2 tsp – ¼ cup vinegar 1 qt. warm water Pour vinegar and water into a bowl or container, or mix the ingredients in a spray bottle. Clean windows directly with a sponge dipped in the bowl of cleaner or spray on and wipe clean. Rub dry with newspaper to avoid streaking. Oven Cleaner Recipe Mix together: ¼ c. baking soda 2 tbsp. salt Hot water, as needed to make a paste. Let paste sit for 5 minutes. Caution: Keep off wires/heating elements. Sprinkle baking soda all over the bottom of the oven until it is covered completely with about ½ cm of baking soda. Then, using a clean spray bottle, spray that baking soda with water until it is thoroughly damp but not flooded. After that, you can go and do other things. Check the oven every hour and dampen the baking soda if it is drying out. Do it again before going to bed. In the morning, just scoop the baking soda out of the oven with a sponge, bringing all the grime with it. The only down side is that you have to rinse out the white residue left by the soda, but this certainly beats the fumes created by regular oven cleaners! Homemade Dust and Furniture Polish Recipe Mix together: 1 cup vegetable oil 1/2 cup lemon juice Pour oil and lemon juice into a squirt bottle or jar. Stir to combine. To use, dip dust cloth or rag into oil, blot the oil by folding the cloth together, and then dust your furniture. Leaves a beautiful finish!