(NaturalNews) Synthetic household products contain harmful chemicals that react with ozone from the air, creating toxins like formaldehyde. The inside of homes contain around two to five times as many of common chemical pollutants than areas outside of homes, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Considering people spend around 90 percent of their time inside, the denser concentration of chemicals is significant. Indoor pollutants can cause headaches, flu-like symptoms, neurological issues and possibly increase the risk of respiratory disease. Natural products for cleaning are therefore better for health. Using green cleaning products is also better for the environment. Buying natural cleaning products helps to support green companies, but if cost is an issue people can still participate in eco-friendly cleaning practices by making homemade cleaners.
Natural products for cleaning and disinfecting
Make homemade cleaners with simple ingredients such as vinegar, club soda and baking soda. Make an all-purpose cleaner by combining:
• 1/4 cup baking soda • 1/2 cup vinegar • 1/2 gallon water
A spray bottle filled with club soda makes a perfectly efficient glass cleaner.
Homemade cleaners for floors are also simple. To clean linoleum or vinyl, combine:
• 1 cup vinegar • 3 drops of baby oil • 1 gallon of warm water
People can still get tough jobs done and stick to natural cleaning solutions by adding 1/4 cup of borax to the floor cleaner.
Wooden floors are easy to clean with a mixture of equal parts vinegar and vegetable oil.
Most homes do not need strong, chemical disinfectants. A natural disinfectant can be made by mixing:
• 4 tablespoons vinegar • 2 teaspoons borax • 1/4 teaspoon liquid castile soap • 3 cups hot water
Homemade cleaners for bathrooms
Natural cleaning products keep toilets, bathtubs and showers sparkling without harsh chemicals and unpleasant bleach smells. To clean a toilet, add 10 drops tea tree oil and 3 cups white vinegar into the toilet bowl and let sit for 15 minutes.
Vinegar is an excellent ingredient for homemade cleaners used in bathtubs and showers because unlike soap, vinegar does not leave a residue. Fill a spray bottle with half water and half vinegar for a basic shower cleaner. Add liquid detergent for extra strength. Leave the spray for 30 minutes before rinsing off.
Remove rust stains with a paste made from water and cream of tartar.
Eco-friendly cleaning products for kitchens
Most commercial dishwasher soaps have bleach or phosphates. Some manufacturers do sell low-phosphate detergents, but homemade cleaners work just as well for dishes and dishwashers as they do for other items.
Make a natural dishwasher soap by combining equal parts washing soda and borax.
To hand wash dishes, use a liquid soap and add 3 tablespoons of vinegar to the soapy water.
There is also a natural cleaning solution to a dirty oven. Make a paste by combining:
• 1 1/2 cups baking soda • 1/2 cup salt • 1/2 cup water
Spread the paste inside the oven, but not on the metal areas. Leave the paste in the oven overnight. When morning comes, add 1/4 cup of vinegar with 1/4 cup of water in a spray bottle and spray inside the oven. The solution must be rinsed off well to avoid a residue.
Houses maintained with natural cleaning products are less toxic and even smell better, which is beneficial because synthetic air fresheners can trigger asthma and allergies. A natural way to make the house smell sweeter is to dip cotton balls in vanilla extract and place them around the home. Houseplants help to freshen air too.
About the author: Sarka-Jonae Miller is a published novelist and MARSocial Author of the Year runner-up. She's also a former personal trainer and massage therapist. SJ's published work includes the #3 bestseller "Between Boyfriends" and the just released sequel"Between the Sheets". The chick lit series was recently featured in the San Diego Reader, the largest alternative newsweekly in the United States.