The average American spends 90% of their time indoors, making indoor air pollution one of the top five risks to one’s health, according to the EPA. A lot of factors contribute to indoor air pollution, including ventilation, dirt, traffic on nearby roads, and even local flora. But you might not expect cleaning chemicals to be on that list as well.
Ideally, cleaning chemical fumes would be ventilated out before you get the chance to inhale a harmful amount. However, not all homes are created equal in terms of ventilation. To avoid running the risk of inhalation, it’s advisable to use as few artificial chemicals as possible, and instead go for natural solutions. Here’s how you can do that for the areas in the house that need cleaning most often.
Living Room, Hallways, And Bedrooms
Make vinegar the star of the show, unless you’re going to clean wooden sections like floorboards or door frames. For those areas, use gentler acids such as lemon juice. Walnuts are also great furniture polish if you have some on hand. Different areas would need different concentrations of vinegar. A good rule of thumb would be to use less vinegar for more sensitive surfaces, such as glass or the paint on walls.
Another similar ratio as the mixture mentioned for bathrooms would work here too. Reduce the vinegar content in the mixture according to the material being cleaned. For stubborn marks, simply scrub baking soda on the area and brush. However, some might not want to buy that much vinegar and essential oils for cleaning every month. If you’re one of those people, Household Advice recommends using a steam cleaner. These devices essentially blast-clean surfaces. Since they rely on heat for cleaning, they’re also great for ensuring that your home is bacteria-free, no chemicals required.
Kitchen Surfaces, Ovens, And Microwaves
Kitchen surfaces are usually made out of more sensitive materials such as plastic, wood, or marble. Vinegar can be harmful to such surfaces. If that’s the case, use natural acids such as lemon juice. You can also use those to clean up cutting boards, with a little rock salt for extra scrubbing potential.
Bathroom Tiles And Fixtures
Bathrooms can be host to unpleasant odors as well as dirt. So, you’ll mostly need white vinegar for your main scrubbing agent. Add in some potent essential oils to get rid of odors and add fragrance to the vinegar. A good mixture would be ½ cup of vinegar and ½ cup of water.
Next, put in 3 tablespoons of baking soda, and as many drops of essential oil as you need to achieve the fragrance you want. Pour this in a spray bottle, and you’ll have a competent all-purpose cleaner for your entire bathroom. Spray it all over, wait 30 minutes, and scrub it all off. Don’t be afraid to experiment with the mixture if you need some added potency, fragrance, or quantity.
Don’t take the risk of exposing your family to toxic chemicals in the home. Experiment with natural cleaning implements and mixtures. Eventually, you’ll hit your stride in making your home spotless without having to rely on artificial chemicals. Not to mention, play your role in saving the environment.