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Spotlight Natural Health: The natural approach to household cleaners
Natural Health by Lucie Sauvageau N.T.
When standing in the isle of household cleaners at your local grocery store, it’s amazing at how many different brands and types of cleaners there are for every job you need to get done.
The average Canadian home has over a dozen different cleaners in their cupboard. There’s a cleaner for kitchens, bathrooms, floors, furniture and windows.
They’ve graced the shelves with germ-fighting, and anti-bacterial, ranging with the choices of powders, liquids, aearosols, that come in different sizes and scents and claims that it will leave your home spotless, germless, shiny and so-clean-you-can-eat-off-the-floor clean .
While the companies cough out new cleaning products annually, in hopes of beating out the next competition, the cause of asthma and hay fever and other allergies are also on the rise.
Many cleaners contain harsh ingredients like chlorine bleach, ammonia and lye; which are the three main ingredients in most products.
If not handled properly, they can irritate the eyes and lungs. If spilled on the skin, it may cause chemical burns, rashes, and redness.
To reduce your exposure to harsh chemicals, shop for less toxic alternatives.
Nowadays, they have natural cleansers on the market.
Another way is to try to find a cleaner that will do more than just one job around the home.
One of my favorite sayings is: Less is more. And this is one area that this saying applies.
Unfortunately, companies are not always required to list all the ingredients on their labels. So you may not know what’s in the cleansers you buy.
One way you can avoid harsh chemicals is to make your own cleansers, using substitutes from your own kitchen.
Here is a list of homemade alternatives.
A natural laundry powder, which softens the water and is a great natural laundry soap.
This is a product made with the oil from orange peel, and the list of what it can do is endless.
It is great for cleaning a variety of different surfaces, and also great for removing oil and grease on fabrics, paint and stain on hands, odours, etc. Avoid direct contact with skin and eyes.
Scouring powder: Baking soda. It doesn’t scratch surfaces. It’s a natural disinfectant, and works great to clean bathrooms, coffee stains in cups, any ink or crayon drawings that your child might have done on any surface. Just add some water to baking soda on a wet cloth to form a paste and scrub. Rinse afterwards.
17 Per Cent Hydrogen Peroxide:
This is great for all household cleaning jobs.
2oz to your dishwasher for regular washing, 8 oz. to your wash to replace bleaches, 3 per cent peroxide to spray counters to disinfect. Pour 17 per cent strength to open up clogged drains.
Also can be sprayed on wooden cutting boards; leave sit for 10 minutes and wash with soap to remove bacteria.
Keep a spray bottle of 3 per cent peroxide in your shower and spray the shower to keep clean and disinfected. Avoid direct contact with skin and eyes.
Natural cleaning cloths:
You can purchase natural microfiber cloths that are excellent for cleaning windows and other surfaces, and only need water.
These cloths contain antibacterial silver- based agents, that destroy bacteria that it picks up in its fibers. They’re a great invention.
Although these are natural ingredients, they should be stored out of the reach of children and pets, preferably in a locked cabinet.
To avoid mistaking cleansers for something else, keep them in their original containers or write the name on the bottle if using your own container.