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What's in Your
ingredients found in household cleaners are bleach and ammonia. Not only
can their fumes cause lung problems, but when combined together, they form a new
gas called "chloramine," which releases free radicals in the lungs.
Currently, 90% of all shampoos, soaps, conditioners,
and body creams contain one of the following four harmful chemicals:
diethanolamine (DEA), sodium lauryl sulphate (SLS), sodium laureth sulphate (SLES),
and propylene glycol (PG).
The dangers of
DEA, a potential carcinogen even in small doses, were reported by Dr. Samuel
Epstein, a well-known expert in environmental medicine at the University of
Illinois - Chicago.
SLS and SLES are used
as inexpensive detergents that produce a lot of foam and bubbles (misconception:
healthy soaps that clean well do not need to lather, although some do).
They have not been proven to be toxic, but they can irritate both the skin and
PG is used as a humectant ingredient
to keep the product from drying out. Research at the American Academy of
Dermatologists connects PG with rashes and dermatitis.
Read labels carefully and avoid unnatural products
with these ingredients or other ingredients you don't understand. Try to
locate more natural, home-made soaps with herbal extract bases that use aromatic
oils as fragrances. You can also of course make your own.
If you don't have the
time, please visit your local health store, farm market,
or order your
natural and organic personal and household products
online. There are a wide variety of products
available today with aromatherapy scents, skin
conditioning ingredients like olive oil and oatmeal, and
healing properties, and the prices are coming down as
consumer demand increases.
Do It Yourself -- Make Your Own Healthy Cleaning,
Household, and Personal Products|
has been estimated to be 100 times more polluted than outdoor
air. You can not only become more self-sufficient, but transform your home
into a healthier and more healing place by making your own safe and inexpensive
alternatives to toxic chemical household and personal products. Any of the
natural ingredients listed below can be safely mixed together. Store
mixtures in spray bottles and clearly label them for future use. If you
don't have the time, ingredients, or the initiative to make your own products, we recommend and sell
variety of affordable
and healthy cleaning products, along with other natural personal care, home, and
Abrasive for Scrubbing Pots & Pans -- Add
salt when cleaning.
-- The simplest air fresheners are baking soda and vinegar. Baking soda
neutralizes acid odors and vinegar neutralizes alkaline odors. You can
make a more fragrant antibacterial air freshener by combining one cup of water
and 20 drops of an essential oil, such as lavender in a spray bottle.
Another option is to simmer spices in a pan on your stove such as a few cinnamon
sticks and cloves in water or apple cider to release the aromatic oils and fill
your home with a wonderful scent (remember to replace the liquid as it
evaporates -- about 1 cup every hour). You can also strain out the spices
and enjoy a healthy beverage with the leftover liquid.
All-Purpose Cleaner -- Combine 1/2 tsp.
washing soda, 2 tsp. borax, and 1/2 tsp. of natural liquid soap in a spray
bottle. Pour in 2 cups of hot water to dissolve the minerals. Shake
to completely blend and during use, spray surfaces, and wipe clean. For
tough dirt, leave the cleanser on for several minutes before wiping it off.
Polish -- Use a paste of lemon juice and cream of tartar, and rinse with
warm water. For harsh stains, apply and let paste sit overnight before
Ant Repellent -- Find where ants are
entering the home and spread cream of tartar, cinnamon, red chili pepper, or
perfume to block the trail. Water your yard more -- ants come in when they
are thirsty. Spray cayenne powder in
holes or cracks in areas where ants are seen. Also, potted mint plants
discourage ants from entering the house (Although mint is a great food and
medicinal herb, if you intend to plant mint in the ground around the outside of
your home, be aware that it is a quick spreading ground cover plant, can
overcome other plants, and can be difficult to control).
Bleach -- Use 1/2 cup of lemon as a bleach in
the laundry rinse cycle and to bleach kitchen surfaces. Also, you can wash
white clothing in borax and lemon juice, and then lay flat out on the dewy lawn
on a sunny morning or hang on a clothesline and let the sun help naturally dry
and bleach your garments. The minerals in
hard water can gray clothes. If you have very hard water, add Ĺ cup of vinegar
to your rinse water.
Brass Polish -- Rub with Worcestershire
sauce. Also, can make a paste of lemon juice
and cream of tartar. Most commonly used
kitchen ingredients that contain a natural acid, such as vinegar, Tabasco Sauce,
ketchup, tomatoes, milk, and lemon or lime juice, will remove tarnish. Let sit
tarnish washes away with an acid rub or soak. You might have to remove the
lacquer cover if the brass is new. Do this by submerging the brass in boiling
water with a few teaspoons each of baking soda and washing soda (available in
the laundry section of the supermarket). Once the lacquer has peeled off, polish
dry. Wear gloves when using washing soda because it is caustic, and don't
use it on fiberglass, aluminum, or waxed floors unless you want to remove the
Carpet Deodorizer -- Sprinkle a little baking
soda or cornstarch. To make an aromatic carpet freshener, mix 25 drops of
any pure essential oil with a scent you enjoy into two cups of borax and give
the carpet a dusting of the powder.
Carpet Spot Remover -- Sprinkle spot with
cornflour and let sit, then wash with natural soapy water and vacuum.
Cleaner -- Rub with white vinegar, or with wet newspapers, or rub with
baby oil or mineral oil and a soft cloth.
Copper Cleaner -- Lemon juice. To
polish copper, use a paste of lemon juice and cream of tartar, or lemon juice
and salt. Ketchup is
also a good copper cleaner.
on Wallpaper or Vinyl Paint
-- Blow dry until the wax melts, and wipe with a paper towel or dry sponge.
Deodorizer for Drains/Garbage Disposals --
-- Sea salt, lemon juice, hot water, and a few drops of orange essential oil.
You can also add a tablespoon of baking soda to your soapy
dishwater -- it will softens hands while cutting through grease!
Disinfectant -- Use a compound of 3% hydrogen
peroxide and vinegar for disinfecting areas where there is a concern about
bacteria. Also use to clean areas of suspected mold, fungus, and mildew
instead of unhealthy chlorine bleach.
-- First try tossing a bar of soap into the standing water and let it sit for 15
minutes to a couple of hours depending on the severity of the clog, and
frequently this will clear out the clog. It may need to be repeated a
couple of times. If water
hasn't yet backed up in your drain, you can pour 1
cup of baking soda, followed by 1/2 cup of vinegar, cover until stops fizzing,
and then flush with 3 cups of boiling water. The boiling water will
change the chemical composition of baking soda, making it more alkaline. Repeat
a few times if necessary until the drain is clear. For clogs where the water isn't
going down the drain, you can also try pouring a cup of washing soda (don't use washing soda if you
recently used a commercial acid drain cleaner -- they will react strongly with
each other, and wear gloves while working with washing soda) over the drain area
and let it set for a while to work its way down to the clog. Once the clog is
loosened, use the baking soda method, above. You also shouldn't overuse
washing soda if you have PVC pipes, as the high pH of 11 and caustic nature of
washing soda can slowly damage the plastic. Another
method is using a flexible metal snake if you have one, a plunger, and salt.
Fabric Softener -- Add baking soda during the
rinse cycle. According to an Anderson
Labs study of airborne emissions published in the Journal of Toxicology and
Environmental Health in May of 2000, commercial fabric softeners emit toluene,
styrene, phenol, thymol, xylene, and trimethylbenzene, among other chemicals.
Flea, Fly, and
Insect Repellents -- Plant several pots with basil to repel insects.
Apply rubbing alcohol to the skin to repel mosquitos and other insects. Add
chopped garlic or brewer's yeast to pet's food for fleas. Make an aromatic insect
repellent by mixing 1 cup of water with a tablespoon of pure vanilla (not
extract) and apply to skin. Vacuum area and make flea traps by putting
water on plates mixed with dish soap, and sitting the plates on the floor under
lights. (You can also order a natural insect
repellent formula, or non-toxic Bug
Arrest to kill fleas, lice, and other insects
using natural enzymes. Can spray directly on plants, humans, or pets)
Floor Cleaner -- Combine white vinegar and a
few drops of eucalyptus
oil, or add 1/2 cup of baking soda to a bucket
of warm water for an effective floor cleaner.
Furniture Polish -- Mix a tablespoon of olive
oil into every 1/2 cup of apple cider vinegar (use white distilled vinegar if
risk of staining a light wood), shake well in a spray bottle and apply.
The vinegar pulls the dirt out of the wood and the oil lubricates it, which is
also healthy for the wood because indoor air is often dry and damaging.
You can substitute lemon juice for the vinegar, which leaves behind a refreshing
and pleasing aroma. An old recycled flannel piece of cloth is great for
polishing. Also, rub in olive or almond oil.
Cleaner -- Shake 2 cups of water with 1/4 cup of white vinegar and 1/2
teaspoon of natural liquid soap or detergent in a spray bottle.
Unfortunately, plain vinegar with water doesn't usually work well anymore.
It often leaves streaks because it can't remove the waxy residue left behind
from commercial cleaners. You can also use the mixture on porcelain,
countertops, and tile.
Coffee Pot Stains -- Use lots of salt, ice cubes, and a little
water. Swirl around in coffee pot until marks are gone.
Removal -- Rub with ice. The gum will flake off.
Insect Repellent -- Plant several pots
of plants that repels different insects such as basil, marigolds, coriander,
thyme, yarrow, rue, and tansy. Introduce natural predators such as
ladybugs. Spray garden plants with a natural soap and water solution that can be
washed off later.
Mold, Fungus, and Mildew Cleaner -- Use a
compound of 3% hydrogen peroxide and vinegar, and use borax to inhibit future
Repellent -- Spray pure vanilla (not extract - often available at health
stores) around areas where mosquitos breed and on your skin. After
raining, repellent may need to be re-applied to mosquito breeding grounds.
You can also apply rubbing alcohol to your skin to deter mosquitos.
Brewer's yeast taken daily repels mosquitoes (and this is also very healthy!)
Use cedar chips, cedar spray, or bay leaves.
or Grease on Driveways -- Sprinkle with cat litter, allow the oil or
grease to absorb, and then shovel or sweep away.
Oven Cleaner -- Sprinkle a thick layer of
baking soda (1/4") and salt on the areas of the oven that need cleaned (if walls, spray
water first and shake on as much baking soda as will stick), then spray the
baking soda on the flat surfaces and walls with water until it is thoroughly dampened, but
not flooded. Let it sit overnight, occasionally re-damping the surfaces if
it starts to dry out, then remove the baking soda with the grime on it using a
sponge the following day. Scour if necessary with steel wool pads for
heavy buildup/tough spots.
Brush Softener -- Hot vinegar will soften up a stiff paint brush.
If you are painting with a latex paint and need to take a break, but don't want
your roller or brush to dry out, wrap the paint-covered part in a plastic baggy
and it will stay moist for a long time.
Indoors -- Grind or blend one garlic clove and one onion. Add 1
Tablespoon of cayenne paper and 1 quart of water. Add 1 Tablespoon of
liquid natural soap. Spray into cracks or around areas where pests enter
Scouring Cleanser -- Mix baking soda with
water and use for scouring sinks and tubs.
on Wood Furniture -- Mix 1 teaspoon of instant coffee with 2 teaspoons
of water to make a paste. Apply with a cotton ball.
-- Rub shoes with a banana peel.
Silver Polish -- Polish with a paste of
baking soda, water, and sea salt. Scoop the paste onto a sponge and rub
the paste into the silver. Rinse with hot water and polish with a soft,
clean clother. For badly tarnished silver, let the paste sit on the silver
for about an hour before rinsing and polishing.
Marks on Linoleum Floor
-- Scrub with toothpaste.
Stainless Steel Cleaner -- White
vinegar to remove spots. Baking soda or mineral oil for shining, or rub
with olive oil or club soda.
Stain Remover -- Borax and water. For
grass stains use 1 tsp. of digestive enzymes from the health store (powder or
ground up pill) with enough water to make a paste. Apply and let it sit
for an hour before laundering.
Starch for Laundry -- Mix cornstarch with
water and use a spray bottle.
Whitener -- Lemon juice whitens teeth. Cut a sliver of fresh lemon and
rub it on your teeth for 5 minutes three times a day until whitened to the
desired level. Brushing your teeth with sage also helps whiten teeth. (You
may also wish to order a Naturally
Whitening Dental Gel)
Cleaner -- Clean stains with club soda.
Washing machine cleaner -- Add vinegar to the
final rinse in your washing machine to eliminate residues (don't use if bleach
in washer or bleach in detergent).
Weed killer -- To safely get rid of weeds,
spray them directly with a mixture of one small bottle of orange oil extract and
vinegar. Preferably is should be applied when rain is not in the forecast
and it is going to get a full day of warm sunshine. If you accidentally
spray surrounding grass, it may also die, but after the brown spot where you
sprayed appears, dark lush healthier green grass usually regrows in the place
where this natural weed killer was applied.
Window Cleaner -- Shake 2 cups of water with
1/4 cup of white vinegar and 1/2 teaspoon of natural liquid soap or detergent in
a spray bottle. Unfortunately, plain vinegar with water doesn't usually
work well anymore. It often leaves streaks because it can't remove the
waxy residue left behind from commercial cleaners. You can also use the
mixture on porcelain, countertops, and tile.