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Greener Cleaning for Holidays

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As the holidays approach, we want to make sure that our homes are prepared for visitors and family.  It brings to mind the spring cleaning frenzy we participate in once winter is over.  Now, we are cleaning out the house to make way for holiday decorations, smells, and warm feelings.  Here are a few ideas to use when deciding how you will clean your home this year.

Chemicals used to clean our homes are harming our health and many don’t even know it.  The cleaning agents rub out soap scum and degrease grime on the stove but they also give off fumes that hamper our breathing and fill our home with unhealthy things.  This year, get back to basics with some natural cleaning alternatives that still do the job.

We underestimate the power of the simple things.  If it doesn’t have ten different unpronounceable chemicals on the label, we think it may not be effective.  Natural chemicals and stain fighters take a bit more elbow grease but they do work.

Try baking soda for instance.  Baking soda can be used as an abrasive to clean the tub and shower.  When combined with water, it begins to eat away at the dirt.  Use a scrub brush to remove the softened dirt and wash it away.

What about vinegar?  Vinegar is an all-purpose cleaner that most people don’t think about using.  Vinegar can be used to clean windows, mirrors, other glass surfaces and to unclog the drain. 

For windows, clean them with a bucket of hot water.  This softens anything on the surface so the vinegar can do its work.  Clean the window with some pure white vinegar.  Afterwards, wipe dry with some newspaper.

Vinegar in combination with baking soda will unclog the drain.  The bubbling action removes hair and other scum from the drain.  Pour the baking soda inside the drain using a funnel or other instrument.  Slowly pour the vinegar down the drain.

You will hear and smell as the two come in contact with each other.  Wait about fifteen minutes and then flush with hot water.  Repeat as often as needed to get rid of the clog.

Lemon is a good bleach alternative.  Rub half a lemon on discolored grout between ceramic tiles to return it to its natural color.  It also works on shower tiles and shower doors.  Lemon is added to most household cleaners so why not cut out the chemicals and use pure lemon?  Natural cleaning brushes can be purchased to use in conjunction with natural cleaners. 

The chemical load of your home will be greatly reduced and the air will be cleaner.  Speaking of cleaner air, give up those spray air fresheners in favor of beeswax candles.  They provide a pleasant natural scent as they burn.  Beeswax candles also trap odors in the air and neutralize them. 

Don’t worry stocking up on chemical cleaners to get the house ready for visitors.  Use all natural agents instead, most of which are already around the house.

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