THE BLOG
03/07/2014 09:56 am ET | Updated May 07, 2014

DIY Cleaning Products for a Safer Home

Adverse to the utilization of elbow grease, I am partial to cleaning products that suggest their powerful chemical compositions will reduce the need for waxing on and waxing off. I'm quite happy to never be a ninja if it means I can simply spray something on the dirt and then get back under the duvet.

Although it's true that commercial cleaning products contain enough chemical clout to vaporize small bacterial colonies, their astringent chemical compounds are harmful to you and your family and reduce the quality of your indoor air.

It's all about the volatile organic compounds (VOCs) you see. VOCs leach chemicals into the air that irritate lungs, skin and eyes. They can cause allergic reactions, skin irritations, heart conditions, bronchial complications and congestion. VOC reactions are most strongly evident in children and animals.

Although good old soap kills 99 percent of known bacteria, our need for the security that an antibacterial soap provides means that these substances are creating dangerous strains of super bacteria in much the same way as antibiotics have created super viruses. Antibacterial products also end up in rivers, streams and oceans where they play havoc with the natural ecosystems by eradicating the good bacteria as well as the bad. So stop using all this chemical crap.

Here are some green living, natural chemical-free spring cleaning products that are just as effective:

Kitchen and bathroom

Dust surfaces with baking soda and wipe down with a sponge. For stubborn stains and dirt, add a couple of drops of lemon juice or white vinegar. White vinegar and baking soda are excellent disinfectants.

Clogged drains

Pour down a 1/4 cup of baking soda followed by hot water and voila! It's clear. Pour 1/4 cup of baking soda down your drains periodically to ensure that they stay clean.

Oven

Make a paste with baking soda and water and smear it on. Leave overnight and wipe clean in the morning.

Windows

2 Tbsp. of white vinegar in a gallon of water is all you need. Spray onto the surfaces with a spray bottle and wipe down with newsprint for a smudge-free clean.

Floors

Up the vinegar content (about 1/4 cup of white vinegar to a 1/4 gallon of water) in your spray bottle. Spray on tile, linoleum, wood and parquet floors and mop as usual.

Carpet spills

Sprinkle with salt to soak up and disinfect. If the stain is still visible, douse with club soda.

Odors

Sprinkle baking soda over the offending area and leave for a couple of hours. Sweep or vacuum up.