Green House Cleaning with Home-Made Cleaners!
Clean Green With Home Made, All Natural Cleaners
Enviropure is Ottawa’s leading green cleaning service, specializing in the use of green methods and materials for house cleaning. You can’t always call us for a house cleaning, but you can take measures to ensure that the cleaning you do is as environmentally friendly as possible with our list of DIY green cleaning products. All of them can be made by yourself using materials you likely already have lying around the house, and will perform the job as well as, or better than, store-bought alternatives.
1) Vinegar – The Ultimate All-Purpose Cleaner
Acetic Acid, or white vinegar, is a powerful cleaner and disinfectant. Used properly, it can out-clean the best store-bought cleaners, and also destroys household bacteria like salmonella and e.coli. While any off-the shelf white vinegar will get the job done, keep an eye out for Heinz 6% cleaning vinegar. The difference in acid content is only 1%, but that 1% makes your cleaning solution approximately 20% more effective.
Vinegar is generally used on household surfaces, and in the right concentration can easily cut through the worst household messes like stovetops and ovens, but the uses of vinegar can go much further. You can try using vinegar:
- In the rinse-agent dispenser of your dishwasher
- As a stain removing pre-treatment on clothes
- De-rustifier. Let your rusty tools soak for 24 hours, and brush the rust away.
2) Natural Disinfectants
There are two substances that are best for all-natural disinfecting. Vinegar and Hydrogen Peroxide.
White Vinegar, as mentioned, is available in supermarkets, but for proper disinfectant you’ll want to keep an eye out for 7% pickling vinegar. This is amongst the strongest vinegar available, and is able to kill approximately 80% of household germs. The lower your concentration, the less germs you can expect to disinfect, so always keep an eye out for 7%!
Hydrogen Peroxide is available at pharmacies, and ought to be diluted to about 3% concentration. You’ll generally find that this is the way it comes in the bottle, but sometimes can be sold in higher or lower concentration’s, so you’ll want to keep aware. In too high a concentration, hydrogen peroxide can be dangerous to your health, not to mention the surfaces you’re trying to clean. Too low, and it won’t work at all.
The only thing better than vinegar or hydrogen peroxide for all-natural household cleaning is vinegar AND hydrogen peroxide. All the germs vinegar can’t kill, hydrogen peroxide can. Pairing them together creates a disinfectant that is 10 times more effective than bleach! NEVER mix these together in the same container however, as the resulting chemical, peracetic acid, is highly corrosive. What you want to do instead is wash a surface with vinegar, and then spray it with your 3% hydrogen peroxide solution, allowing it to evaporate.
3) Drain Cleaner
Store bought drain cleaners are an environmental nightmare. The product of industrial chemical factories, drain cleaners filled with corrosive agents like sodium hydroxide, they are meant to eat away at the hair, grease, food scraps, and anything else they come in contact with. While extremely effective, once they’ve done their job, the become a corrosive, disgusting mess that contaminates water and soil. There are far less environmentally harmful alternatives to keep drains clear.
The best way to keep drains clear is to prevent them from getting clogged in the first place. A simple drain screen is only a couple dollars, and will go a long way to ensuring that your drain never gets clogged. A screen will catch the hair, food, and general detritus known to clog drains before it happens, ensuring you never have to rely on nasty chemical drain cleaners. The only thing a drain screen won’t prevent is grease accumulation, and for that we remind you to never pour grease down the drain.
If you haven’t been using a drain screen, and have to deal with a clog, there are environmentally-friendly alternatives to harmful drain cleaners. The first, as you might expect, is a simple pipe cleaner. These are a great solution for clogs that are relatively close to the opening of a drain. Keep in mind you’ll want to go for actual pipe cleaner from a hardware store, not an arts-and-crafts pipe cleaner.
If the clog isn’t accessible by a pipe cleaner, you might want to dry creating a DIY drain-cleaning solution with natural, home-based ingredients instead of opting for harmful drain cleaners. All you need is vinegar, baking soda, and boiling water. You’ll want to pour a significant amount of baking soda down the problem drain, and follow that up with a slow and steady stream of vinegar. Keep in mind that if you pour too fast you’ll get bubbles coming back up the drain, so slow and steady wins the race. If you see the vinegar coming up the pipe, stop pouring and allow it to settle, and start again. After you’ve poured about a cup and a half of vinegar, you’ll want to follow it with boiling water. Be careful not to scald yourself as you follow the same process of slowly pouring water down the drain.
This technique works best when performed regularly and in conjunction with a pipe cleaner and drain screen. Your pipe cleaner will release large bit of detritus, and the baking soda and vinegar solution will work away at the sticky mess that coats your pipes. Regularly cleaning them out will prevent buildup, and your drain screen will ensure the problem never occurs again.
4) Eco-Friendly Abrasive Cleaners
Sometimes, vinegar alone just isn’t strong enough to deal with certain messes. When the time comes to scrub bathtubs, sinks, or tiles, you need an abrasive product that will scrub them clean. Instead of turning to products like Clorox or Borax, you can make your own abrasive cleaners that work just as well, cost significantly less, and are non-harmful.
Baking Soda, water, vinegar, and castile soap are all you need to make this cleaner. Castile Soap is something you’ll likely have to head to your closest Wal-Mart to pick up, but everything else can generally be found in the average home.
Simply put a cup or two of baking soda into a bowl, adding approximately a cup of water and half a cup of castile soap, followed by two tablespoons or so of vinegar. Stir this mixture up and you should get a goopy, fizzy cleaner that you can use all over the house to scour hard surfaces. Depending on how you plan to use it, you can add more water to put it in a spray bottle, or use less water for a more concentrated abrasive depending on your needs. It’s generally not recommended to store this mixture for too long, as its prone to separation and works best when the vinegar and baking soda reaction is occurring. Fortunately it takes less than 5 minutes to make, so it’s easy to produce as needed.
Never Buy Harmful Cleaners Again!
All of these home-made products work as well, or better than, store-bought alternatives. They are considerably more friendly to the environment, cost significantly less to use, and are generally safe to ingest (not that we’d recommend it!)
Enviropure recommends buying these materials in bulk whenever possible, especially cleaning vinegar. One large jug of vinegar and a bucket of baking soda can last a family an entire year or more, cleans just as well as anything off the shelf, is environmentally friendly, and non-toxic!
When it comes to more intensive jobs like carpet cleaning, you’ll want to call in the professionals at Enviropure. We have invested in the necessary equipment and materials to provide our services with environmental protection in mind, and can provide you the greenest clean available on the market. When the job requires cleaners and equipment you cant make yourself, get in touch with Enviropure to ensure that your home cleaning is always as green as possible.