Safe Cleaning Products for Children
Safe Cleaning Products for Children
Recent revelations involving potential negative effects that synthetic chemicals can have on health has led to a revolution. More and more people have begun turning to natural products to help clean their households, especially if they include small children. In addition to posing less of a health risk than commercial agents, natural cleaning products are inherently environmentally-friendly, very inexpensive, and can be commonly found in kitchens. With baking soda, vinegar, lemon juice, salt and cornstarch by your side, no stain, spill or clog is safe. If you must invest in a store-bought cleaning agent, be conscious of what to look for in products to ensure the safety and well-being of household members of all ages.
Readily available in most kitchens, baking soda remains at the top of any natural cleaner’s arsenal. Baking soda can instantly clean a wide variety of surfaces – ranging from counter tops to appliance faces – with a few sprinkles and a little rubbing. You can even use baking soda as a way to quickly soak up disagreeable odors in rooms. Simply sprinkle some baking soda onto your carpet and vacuum it up after letting it set for a few minutes. To maintain an odor-free space, pour some baking soda into an open, small container and place it in a room known to harbor funky smells. While tough enough to rid floors of scuff marks with just a damp towel to help, baking soda is gentle enough to let your floor’s paint and varnish keep its luster and shine. For tougher stains, consider making a paste out of baking soda and water before applying it to any marked surface. Take baking soda into the bathroom for a real show of its power: pour half a cup of it into a clogged drain, let it sit overnight and wash it out with boiling water to remove chunky buildups. Scrub your toilet bowl with baking soda to finally remove those water stains and give your bathroom a fragrance facelift.
Much like baking soda, white, distilled vinegar is a common resident of kitchens and can be employed to make home areas spic and span. Vinegar’s reputation as a powerful degreaser makes it appropriate to use when cleaning pots and pans that have fat or grease stuck onto them. If water spots on your dinnerware drive you crazy, clean them with vinegar to remove those pesky, cloudy dots. Vinegar can even be used to clean the interiors of appliances like irons and coffee makers. This process can involve pouring a bit of vinegar into the appliances and cycling them through their steam and regular settings, respectively. Trade your Windex in favor of vinegar to get a streak-free shine on windows and mirrors. Wipe your windows with a bit of apple cider vinegar for a long-lasting, fragrant kick.
Small lemons pack quite the cleaning punch. Squeeze lemon juice onto a cutting board and rub it or pour it down your garbage disposal as an easy means of disinfection. Remove stubborn odors from food storage containers and microwaves by cleaning them with this fruity liquid. Pour half a cup of lemon juice into your laundry machine to whiten clothes and give them a fresh, citrus smell. Remove stains associated with rust on your kitchen’s fixtures by mixing a bit of lemon juice with water and rubbing the coppery stains into oblivion.
The kitchen is an area with a large incidence of unexpected spills. Salt can significantly reduce the amount of time and effort that you have to take to clean up these unexpected messes. When a surprise spill occurs on top of an oven or in a stove, pour salt over the mess and wait for it to set. After it’s cooled off, wipe it away the hard clumps to achieve an easy clean-up.
Consider adding cornstarch to your cleaning toolbox. If you have little ones who’ve created art on your walls with crayons, make a paste out of cornstarch and a little water and start scrubbing their scribblings away. Sprinkling some cornstarch over your wood furniture and buffing it with a microfiber cloth can polish your furniture and leave it looking like new. Don’t worry about spilling some on the carpet – cornstarch can double as a great carpet deodorizer, as well!
While using organic products has its benefits, it’s important to remember that not all natural products are 100% safe to use. When using any type of product or naturally occurring substance to clean, be sure to minimize the exposure that children have to it. Instruct children to avoid touching soiled and recently cleaned areas until they’re dried and have been inspected by you. If you have to buy commercial cleaning products, consider purchasing those that have been certified as being environmentally-friendly. Look for green certificates on packaging, like the Green Seal or EcoLogo, or information about the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Design for the Environment partnership program. Other indications for environmentally-sound choices include citrus-based formulas, the ability for the solution to be diluted in water, and biodegradable packaging.
Visit the following links for more information about safe and green cleaning:
- Cleaning? Think Green!
- Ingredients for Less-Toxic Cleaners
- Natural Cleaning Products: Functions and Uses
- Green Cleaning Recipes (PDF)
- Do-It-Yourself Safe Cleaning Solutions (PDF)
- Green Cleaning: Recipes for a Healthy Home (PDF)
- Cleaning and Sanitizing the Kitchen Using Inexpensive Household Food-Safe Products (PDF)
- Green Cleaning Tips
- Natural Alternatives to Harmful Cleaning Products (PDF)
- Six Green Spring Cleaning Tips
- Household Cleaning Tips: Think Green While Cleaning (PDF)
- Natural Cleaning Solutions
- How to Make Your Own Cleaning Products