Cleaning Your Home Naturally

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Walk up and down the aisles of a grocery store and you’ll see hundreds of companies promoting their finest cleaning products. These are all effective in their own way, but you may be unaware of the toxins you are releasing into your home. The chemicals found in most cleaning products have all been linked to various hazardous materials that can affect your health or that of your family. Believe it or not, there are hundreds of natural ways to clean your home using products you probably already have around the house. The following is a list of common natural products found in your home and their recommended uses:

To clean up oven or counter spills? Try table salt. Pour salt on the spill to let it soak up and then wipe it down with a sponge.  Polish that old silverware? Try using baking soda or toothpaste. How about that stubborn stain on glassware? Add 1 cup of vinegar to your rinse water. Cornstarch is a good tool to use to clean up grease stains on carpets or rugs. Pour some on the spot and let it sit for 15 to 30 minutes before vacuuming up. To dust that expensive oil painting above your mantel, gently dab a slice of white bread over the surface to pick up dirt and grime.

These are just some of the very helpful hints that are found in the following resourceful books:

The Naturally Clean Home: 150 Super-Easy Herbal Formulas for Green Cleaning

by Karyn Siegel-Maier

Effective, nontoxic alternatives can be mixed up easily from kitchen staples — baking soda, vinegar, lemon juice, herbs, and borax — plus a handful of easy-to-find essential oils. In the second edition of The Naturally Clean Home, Karyn Siegel-Maier offers 150 all-natural recipes for cleaning every area of the home — from bathrooms to bedding, and from carpets to cabinetry.

Super Natural Home: Improve Your Health, Home, and Planet–One Room at a Time

by Beth Greer

The straightforward, solutions-based approach of Super Natural Home—complete with quizzes to help identify and correct potential toxic hot zones—speaks directly to what environment-conscious consumers really need: ultra-practical advice on what they can do right now to limit exposure to the poisons that are endangering them and their children. At a time when impeccable scientific research points to an alarming correlation between common chemical compounds and cancers, allergies, psychiatric disorders, and birth defects, among other serious health concerns, Super Natural Home gives consumers the tools to start protecting themselves and their families.

Making Natural Liquid Soaps: Herbal Shower Gels / Conditioning Shampoos / Moisturizing Hand Soaps

by Catherine Failor

Finally, a book on making liquid soaps at home! Let expert soapmaker Catherine Failor introduce you to the luxurious world of all-natural liquid soaps — the easy way. Using a simple double-boiler technique, you can create inexpensive moisturizing hand soaps, revitalizing shampoos, invigorating shower gels, soothing bubble baths, and much more. And all tailored to your skin type, to your hair’s needs, or even to your mood!

Better Basics for the Home: Simple Solutions for Less Toxic Living

by Annie Berthold-Bond

These days, more and more people are saying no to “better living through chemistry” and yes to a lifestyle that is less toxic and more environmentally friendly. Taking her cue from an earlier time, Berthold-Bond, former editor in chief of Green Alternatives for Health and Environment, offers more than 800 simple and practical alternatives to common household toxins, covering everything from skin care to gardening. And the good news is that adopting her suggestions and formulas isn’t hard at all.

Vinegar: Over 400 Various, Versatile, and Very Good Uses You’ve Probably Never Thought Of

by Vicki Lansky

Vinegar is a health remedy, a neutralizer, a cleaner, a condiment, and a preservative. It can kill bacteria, mold, and germs, yet it is environmentally safe. This comprehensive guide covers all types and uses of vinegar, including how to make flavored varieties and using it as the basis for kids’ science projects. A full index and whimsical illustrations make the book informative and fun.

Baking Soda: Over 500 Fabulous,  Fun, and Frugal Uses You’ve Probably Never Thought Of

by Vicki Lansky

An incredible accumulation of recipes and other uses for baking soda, this book also contains an entertaining history of the baking soda industry and the story of how and why this wonderful substance came to be invented. Baking soda, Lansky says, is a wildly successful instance of a product developed to fill one specific need (i.e., “for an affordable, clean, consistent leavening agent”) being found to have myriad other uses. Charming as this background is, the promised 500-plus uses of baking soda constitute the book’s raison d’etre.

Homemade: How-to Make Hundreds of Everyday Products Fast, Fresh, and More Naturally

by Reader’s Digest Editors

Want to make your own dog food, laundry detergent, bbq sauce? This is the book for you.  This book is fantastic for anyone wanting to lower their monthly cleaning bills or wanting to make cleaning products more naturally. The book goes beyond cleaning, but that’s the section we’ve used the most. Six chapters on food products, three chapters on health and beauty care (including pets), and two chapters on household cleaning and garden stuffs. An awesome and easy do-it-yourself manual.

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