We all have read the headlines about how terrible chemicals are for us. I know anyone that grew up in the 70’s or 80’s is wondering how we survived knowing now about the products that were used in our homes or consumed on a daily basis. Today I am going to highlight some natural, everyday products that can be used as a safe alternative to chemical cleaning agents. I don’t expect for you to banish dangerous chemicals from your homes but it’s a good idea to at least cut back. If not for you cut back on these chemicals for your children or anyone in your house with asthma or allergies. I know myself that cleaning with chemicals gives me a headache, stuffy nose or makes me cough. This alone is enough for me to know that my body is saying “this stuff is not good for me.”

Here are four inexpensive, all-natural items that you have in your house right now that can be used together or on their own to create effective cleaners for your home:

*White Vinegar- Vinegar is a natural disinfectant and deodorizer. The strong smell will disappear when it dries. Use to clean your windows, eliminate spots from glasses, wipe down mirrors, shine chrome, and one of my favorite uses, to wash your coffee pot. Another great use is on counters or tiles. It is wonderful to use to deodorize your garbage disposal. Vinegar is the best-kept secret to a clean microwave (see below for details).

*Baking soda- Baking soda is an abrasive cleanser that is excellent at dissolving dirt, mildew, grease, and even wax. It also acts as a natural deodorizer. Mix with water and you have found yourself an all-purpose cleaner perfect for scouring sinks and tubs. We all know that a box of baking soda in the fridge keeps odor at bay, but try using it on your carpets. Sprinkle lightly over carpets, wait 15 minutes and vacuum.

*Salt- Salt works as an abrasive. Add to vinegar for a multi use cleaner or to scrub pots, pans, and other cooking utensils.

*Lemon Juice- Lemons are acidic. Using lemons adds antibacterial and antiseptic properties to your cleaner. It is also a natural bleaching agent anda wonderful cleaner on its own. Use it in place of bleach for lighter stains. It can be used to clean counters, stovetops and the inside of your fridge.

Some Natural cleaning recipes:

*Clean the microwave by mixing ½ cup of white distilled vinegar and ½ cup of water in a microwave-safe bowl. Bring it to a rolling boil inside the microwave. Baked-on food will be loosened and odors will disappear. Wipe clean.

*Get rid of lime deposits in a teakettle by adding ½ cup of white distilled vinegar to the water and letting it sit overnight. If more drastic action is needed, boil full-strength white distilled vinegar in the kettle a few minutes, let cool and rinse with plain water. Make a super toilet cleaner with ¼ cup of baking soda and 1 cup vinegar; pour it into the toilet and let sit for 5 min before scrubbing with a brush.

*Chopping block cleaner: Rub a slice of lemon across your chopping block to disinfect the surface. For tougher stains, squeeze some of the lemon juice onto the spot and let sit for 10 minutes, then wipe.

As always I love hearing from you. If you have any comments or questions please email me at amylayne@damyhealth.com

Amy Layne CPT, CHN, Lifestyle Expert