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A spring cleaning tip that can help decrease your indoor pollution

When it comes to cleaning, it's time to consider some "homemade" options. Like almost everyone else I have used quite a few different household cleaning products over the years. They all do a pretty good job but they also tend to be expensive because they're so specialized. At one point, I had five or six different cleaners I used in the kitchen alone. What's more of a concern than the cost, however, are the health risks related to inhaling or in a few cases, even touching some of the products.

bottlesAbout two years ago, I started making my own household cleaners using fairly inexpensive ingredients that didn't have any health risk associated with them. After a little online research I put together some ingredients I now use for carpet stains, drain openers, kitchen and laundry appliances, glass, sinks and tubs.

I've experimented with some different mixtures, but my go-to cleaner is equal parts of water and white vinegar in a spray bottle with a little lemon juice for a fresh, natural scent. You can spray it on most kitchen surfaces and it cleans and cuts grease while also working as a disinfectant. It smells a little vinegary at first but the smell goes away completely when it dries. The only thing you might want to avoid is grout and marble because they don't do well with the acid in the vinegar. If you need even more disinfecting power you can put in a little hydrogen peroxide, too.

For anything that needs scrubbed, I use a sponge with a little unscented soft soap and a tablespoon or two of baking soda to provide the non-abrasive cleansing. You can buy all these things already put together in commercial products but I prefer just making my own. I wouldn't say they clean better than the "non-green" products but I feel good about the fact that they are safer and healthier for my family.