I know it may seem unreasonable, but I’ve always had a short fuse for cleaning chemicals. Like those Scrubbing Bubbles commercials with the little animated bubbles clearing a bathtub of muck and grime, making it look safe and easy. Sure, that product will help remove the nasty stuff, but usually at a cost. That cost? Hazardous fumes and high prices. The fumes can do some horrendous things to your body, as well as the environment. In most cases, the top-brand stuff can be replicated with less harmful ingredients you probably already have in your cabinets.
Don’t Go For the Chemicals
There’s no reason to buy those nasty chemicals when you already have the right stuff in your kitchen. Regardless of fumes, buying specific cleaners for specific purposes can cost a lot of money, and it’s just not necessary. For most of your cleaning needs, you can assume that these two super-ingredients will do a pretty good job. And the best part? They’re going to be cheaper and less hazardous for any environment, inside or out.
This stuff is good in the kitchen, and out. It’s got a strong level of acidity, which is perfect for killing mold, bacteria, and most other germs. The best go-to is white distilled vinegar. There’s a good chance you already have some in your pantry. Even if you’ve run out of your super duty cleaner, you can grab the vinegar instead of running to the store (if time sensitivity is a factor). Here’s what you can do with it:
- Rub vinegar on cloudy glassware to restore shine
- Remove grime with a vinegar soaked cloth
- Clean surfaces by soaking a cloth in vinegar
- Remove odors from rooms by setting a bowl of vinegar in them overnight
- Clean metal kitchen and bathroom fixtures with a soaked cloth
- Clean windows (instead of Windex)
Use Baking Soda
Baking soda is another one of these super-hero home cleaners. I’m sure you’ve heard about keeping an open box in the fridge to neutralize odors (and you probably have one in your fridge right now). This stuff is a natural pH regulator, meaning that it keeps substances at an even pH, not too acidic and not too alkaline. In other words, baking soda makes for a perfect deodorizer as well as a natural home cleaner. There’s a long list of what baking soda can do, but here’s a sample of some of its many uses:
- Clean your car
- Vinyl seats
- Scrub surfaces by sprinkling baking soda on a wet sponge or cloth
- Polish silver with a paste of 3 parts baking soda to 1 part water
- Clean your oven by sprinkling bottom with baking soda, spraying with water, and leaving overnight
- Sprinkle over oil and grease stains, then scrub with a wet brush
Make Sure to Have Ventilation
Some top-brand cleaners will always take care of the problem better than home recipes. Sure, Tilex works wonders on your bathtub, but the bleach poses a threat to your safety. As it soaks onto the tub surfaces, it produces a poisonous gas. Breathe too much of that gas, and you can be in some big trouble.
If you’re going to use these heavy-duty solutions, it’s important that you keep the areas ventilated. It’s not enough to just stay away from that area until the smell goes away. Shutting a door can trap the fumes inside the room, adhering to the carpet and other surfaces, which will take longer for it to evaporate. Instead, you want to keep the area as breezy as possible by opening a window or at least giving it somewhere to spread out to. Your in-home ventilation system should always be up-to-par with clean, strong filters to help soak up the bad chemicals and keep your home safe.