Even though most so-called “green” cleaners claim to be environmentally friendly and good for you, there really is no federal regulations of what “green” is (“green” is a subjective quality analogous to , not a regulated labeling term like “USDA certified organic”).
The same goes for “natural”. What is “100% natural”? I suppose it’s something that does not have additive metals obtained from an asteroid that crashed to the earth’s surface. But even then, can you be sure? Some marketing genius at a consumer packaged goods company would justify it by saying that the big bang was a natural event and that the asteroid was created via the big bang – henceforth, it’s “natural”.
Well, Asbestos is a set of six naturally occurring minerals, so I guess it is “natural”.
Uranium and plutonium – aka the stuff that goes in to nuclear reactors and atomic bombs? “100% natural”.
And remember happy fun play time with “all-natural” mercury? How could we or our nerves ever forget?
OK, natural means nothing, but certainly endearing terms like “eco friendly” and “earth friendly” do? How could you turn your back on the smiling, happy, playful “friendly” puppies or other animal mascots that grace the front of these products? Surely, they are harmless, right? Starting to get the idea here?
Any labeling with earth, eco, green, wise, friendly, smart, natural is clever marketing at it’s best, and deception at its worst.
And just because something does not have a skull and crossbones on it, does not mean it is safe to breathe, sniff, ingest, or spill on your skin.
So what kind of cleaning product do you purchase in a world of deceptive marketing labeling? Trick question – you don’t. You insource your cleaning products by manufacturing your own. When you do this, you not only save your lungs, nerves, eyes, skin, and other body parts – but you also save a lot of money.
Making your Own Non-Toxic Cleaner
What are the essential benefits of using a cleaning solution?
How about it killing bacteria without killing you, for starters?
Bonus points if it:
- doesn’t produce streaks or residue (which eliminates baking soda for many flat surface uses)
- smells fresh or clean
- is cheap, in large quantities (added benefit if larger quantity means less packaging to recycle)
- can have multiple uses (i.e. windows, floors, counter-tops, etc.)
The good news is, there are plenty of non-toxic products available that meet this criteria.
If you have water, lemon, white vinegar, rubbing alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, and witch hazel, you can make home-made cleaner combos that will clean just about anything, are safe, are more effective than the store-bought combinations, and are much cheaper.
Just make sure you don’t combine stuff that should not be combined (i.e. ammonia and bleach generally do not produce safe fumes when mixed with other stuff, and I’ve moved 100% away from bleach altogether). Better to research what you plan to mix together before you actually mix it.
Here are a few solutions you can try out:
Non-Toxic Glass and All-Purpose Cleaner:
- 1 cup white distilled vinegar
- 2 cups water
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
Directions: spray on, let sit for a few seconds, and wipe off.
Non-Toxic Shower Mold Cleaner:
- 1/2 cup hydrogen peroxide (3% mix)
- 1 cup water
Directions: spray on mold areas and let sit for an hour prior to rinsing off. If this doesn’t work, try scrubbing with 100% lemon juice.
Non-Toxic Floor Cleaner:
- 1 Cup white distilled vinegar
- 1 gallon water
Directions: mop or use a foam sponge across hard-surface floors. Spread out so water does not pool. Let air dry.
Non-Toxic Drain Cleaner:
- Pour 1/2 cup baking soda down drain
- Add 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
- Let sit for 5-10 minutes
- Flush with a pot of boiling water
The next time Target tries to sell you the elusive “eco green natural” as their Google ad so eloquently pitched me when researching this article – maybe, you shouldn’t be buying.
Make your own.
Non-Toxic Cleaner Recipe Discussion:
- Have you or someone you know ever been seriously harmed by so called “green”, “natural”, or “eco-friendly” cleaning products?
- What are your favorite home-made non-toxic cleaning solution recipes?