Moving to a new home requires a lot of cleaning, both in your old home and your new one. But before you start buying huge supplies of commercial detergents and cleaning agents, pause for a moment and think how you can save money – and the planet – by making your own cleaners at home.
In order to get started, you will need the following environmentally-friendly and natural products. In fact, you might even have some of these items at home. Or you could choose the best home products on BestHomeSupplies.com.
Baking Soda: Effectively cuts through grease and grime and has proven virus-killing abilities. Its texture makes it useful as a mild abrasive and it cleans, deodorizes, and brightens surfaces.
Castile Soap: Made from 100 percent plant oils such as hemp, palm or olive, it uses no animal products or chemical detergents. It cuts through grease and is a versatile cleaner that works well alone and with other ingredients.
Vinegar: Distilled vinegar is great for deodorizing, degreasing and general cleaning as it effectively and gently eliminates grease, mildew, odors, some stains and wax build-up, soap scum, and grime. Vinegar kills 99 % of bacteria, 80 % of viruses (germs) and 82 % of mold.
If you really dislike the smell of vinegar, try scenting it. Add 75 drops of lavender or tea tree oil to a 5-liter jug of white vinegar.
Lemon Juice: Natural lemon juice, one of the strongest edible acids, works well against nearly all household bacteria. It annihilates mildew, mold and grease, and makes hard surfaces shiny. It also has a pleasant fragrance.
Cornstarch/corn flour: A carbohydrate extracted from corn is used for many culinary, household, and industrial purposes. It can be used to clean windows, polish furniture, shampoo carpets and rugs.
Olive Oil: This healthy cooking oil also works as a cleaner and polisher.
Essential Oils: These come from plant compounds that are found in nature. They make great scent additions to homemade cleaning products. They contain powerful properties that fight bacteria, viruses, and fungi. The most popular essential oils for cleaning are: tea tree, lemon, peppermint, orange, and lavender.
Although generally considered safe, be aware of any allergy problems that might arise.
Hydrogen peroxide: This is the only germicidal agent composed only of water and oxygen and is considered one of the safest and most effective all-natural sanitizers. When Hydrogen Peroxide reacts with organic material it transforms into oxygen and water, so it is not toxic.
Sodium borate cleans, deodorizes, and disinfects. It is a non-toxic alternative to mainstream cleaning products.
Note: some research suggests Borax can act as a skin and eye irritant and that it disrupts hormones.
Now that we know what ingredients are needed to create the cleaning agents, let’s have a look at some of the most effective uses and recipes:
Glass Cleaner for Windows and Mirrors
For an easy to prepare, very effective, all-purpose window cleaner, combine 4-parts water with 1-part white vinegar (add some lemon juice for fragrance), then scrub or wipe with a sponge or rag.
Wood floor cleaners
Spray a solution of 2 tablespoons of olive oil, 1 tablespoon of white vinegar, and a little bit more than 1 quart of warm water on the wood floor and then dry with a soft cloth. Be aware that the floor may initially be slippery immediately after cleaning.
Brick and stone tile flooring
Combine 2-parts warm water with 1-part white vinegar in a bucket. Scrub down the floors using a mop or rag with the solution. For more strength Increase the quantity of vinegar. Add a fragrance with about 15 drops of pure peppermint essential oil.
For wood furniture, combine ¼ cup lemon juice with ½ cup olive oil and use a soft cloth to spread the mixture evenly over furniture. If you would like to make an all-purpose furniture polish, you can mix ¼ cup vinegar with ¾ cup olive oil, and follow the same procedure.
For a heavy-duty toilet scrub that deodorizes while it cleans, pour ½ cup of baking soda and about 10 drops of tea tree oil into the toilet. Add ¼ cup of vinegar to the bowl and scrub while the mixture fizzes.
Vinegar comes to the rescue once again to move some really tough grease and grime. For mildew, spray it with pure white vinegar, let it sit for at least 30 minutes, and then rinse with warm water. Another option is to mix baking soda together with a touch of liquid castile soap, then scrub and rinse.
For powerful, eco-friendly bleach disinfectant, mix ½ cup baking soda, 1 teaspoon castile soap, and ½ teaspoon hydrogen peroxide. Use a cloth to apply the solution to a damp surface, scrub, and then rinse well.
Remove grease and grime from one of the most difficult-to-clean kitchen appliances with about ½ cup of baking soda in a bucket of hot water (approx. 1 gallon). Use a clean rag dipped in the solution to wipe down the inside of the fridge.
Make your own carpet cleaner by combining 2 cups Borax; 1 cup Baking Soda and around 10 drops of your favorite essential oils in a mixing bowl. Sprinkle by hand over the carpet. Let it sit for half an hour and then vacuum.
Using a sponge and water, get the oven surfaces a bit wet. Use ¾ cup baking soda, ¼ cup salt and ¼ cup water to make a thick paste, and spread it throughout the oven interior. Let the solution sit overnight. Then, wipe the oven clean. If there are some tough spots in the oven, rub them gently with fine steel wool before wiping it clean.
A mixture of ½ cup vinegar and ¼ cup baking soda (or 2 teaspoons borax) in ½ gallon of water can be stored and used as needed as a general cleaner. This is really effective for the removal of water deposit stains in showers, on windows, on bathroom mirrors, etc.
Here’s to an eco-friendly move! Happy cleaning!
Einat Mazafi is the owner of NY International Shipping, an International moving company based in New York. She is also a specialist in providing the best relocation solutions to clients worldwide.
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