Maintaining an eco-friendly apartment isn’t as difficult as it seems. There are little ways you can go about helping the environment–even when you’re cleaning. You may not know it, but some cleaners are toxic to the earth and to your health. Some cleaning solutions contain dangerous ingredients like carcinogens, endocrine disruptors, neurotoxins, pesticides, formaldehyde, styrene and more. But most of the time it’s hard to know that because the information on these products are presented in highly scientific language that may be difficult to interpret. Instead of using these in your apartment use your own homemade cleaners. Here are a few green cleaning products that you can make right at home:
To get your windows and mirrors sparkling around your apartment, you can mix together your own solution instead of damaging the environment with harmful chemicals.
2 tablespoons white vinegar
1 gallon of water
Mix the 2 tablespoons of white vinegar with a gallon of water and pour into a spray bottle. When you squirt the cleaner onto your window or mirror, use newspaper instead of paper towels to dry it off. Paper towels can leave streaks on the surface. If you’re out of vinegar, consider using undiluted lemon juice or club soda instead. Read more window cleaning tips >
When getting your bathroom clean, avoid store-bought tile cleaning solutions. They are often laced with contaminants, including chemicals that have been linked to cancer and reproductive damage. There may also be formaldehyde, benzene and toluene in most popular cleaners. Here’s how to make a homemade tile cleaner:
1/2 cup baking soda
5 to 10 drops pure essential oil or lavender or rosemary
Put the baking soda into a bowl, pour in the liquid soap and stir until it resembles frosting. Add optional essential oils and scoop onto a sponge. Scrub the tile and rinse.
Who wants to cook food in a dirty oven? Nobody. But don’t pollute your apartment’s air with harsh ingredients that are found in common store-bought oven cleaners. Save yourself some money by making your own with only three items:
1 tablespoon natural dish liquid
2 cups of hot water
1 teaspoon borax
Mix together all three ingredients and spray on a spill. Before wiping it up, let it sit for about 20 minutes to soak in, then use a clean cloth to wipe it down. If you’re dealing with a particularly greasy mess (like that pizza from the night before) take off as much of the excess grease as you can before using the spray. Find more homemade cleaners for the kitchen >