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Non-Toxic DIY household cleaner recipes

May 17, 2016
Woman with cleaning supplies

Spring has officially sprung. As the weather warms up, it's the perfect time for the yearly ritual of spring cleaning your home. However, many over-the-counter cleaning products contain harsh chemicals that are toxic to children and can irritate airways for those with allergies and asthma. While many believe a good cleaning requires harsh chemicals, there is a safe way to get your house spic and span without the potent and chemical-heavy cleaning products found in stores.

Dr. Matthew Sadof, a Baystate Children’s Hospital pediatrician specializing in asthma and complex care at Baystate High Street Health Center/Pediatrics, says non-toxic cleaners are a great way to tidy up without all the fumes. He offers a few easy, non-polluting and inexpensive cleaner recipes for you to make on your own:

All-Purpose Cleaner

Ingredients:                                                                           

• 1 ⅔ cups baking soda

• ½ cup liquid castile soap

• ½ cup water

• 2 tablespoons vinegar

• 16-oz bottle with flip cap

Mix baking soda and liquid soap in a bowl. Add water, and then add vinegar. Pour into a squeeze bottle. If too thick, add water. Shake well. Squirt in tub, sink, toilet, counter, etc. Scrub and rinse.

Toilet Cleaner 

Bucket of cleaning supplies

Ingredients:

• Baking soda

• Liquid castile soap

Sprinkle baking soda inside the bowl. Add a couple of drops of soap. Scrub with a toilet brush.

 

Tub and Sink Cleaner 

Ingredients:

• Baking soda

• Liquid castile soap

Use baking soda in place of your scouring powder. Sprinkle it on porcelain and rub with a wet rag. Add a little soap to the rag for more cleaning power. Rinse well.

Drain Cleaner

Ingredients:

• Baking soda

• Vinegar

• Boiling Water

This recipe will free minor clogs. Pour ½-cup baking soda down the drain, then ½-cup of vinegar. Let it fizz for a few minutes. Then, very carefully to avoid getting burned, pour a teakettle full of boiling water down the drain. Repeat if needed.

 

Scouring Powder SubstituteCleaning supplies

Ingredients:

• Baking soda

• Liquid castile soap

Use baking soda instead of scouring powder. Wet the area. Sprinkle with baking soda and rub with a wet rag. Add a little soap to the rag for more cleaning power.

Rinse well. For toilets, sprinkle baking soda into bowl, add a few drops of castile soap, then scrub.

 

Window and Mirror Cleaner

Ingredients:

• Vinegar

• Water

Pour ¼-cup vinegar into a spray bottle, then fill with water. Spray on surface. Rub with lint-free rag or newspaper. For outdoor windows, use a sponge and wash with warm water with a few drops of liquid castile soap. Rinse well and squeegee dry.

 

Oven Cleaner

Ingredients:

• Baking soda

• Water

• Scouring pad

Mix 1 cup of baking soda with water to make a paste. Apply to oven surfaces, and let stand 5-10 minutes. Use a scouring pad for scrubbing most surfaces. A spatula or bread knife is effective to get under large food deposits. This recipe will require “elbow grease.” Try spot cleaning your oven regularly.

Do not use this cleaner on self-cleaning ovens.

Dr. Sadof serves as chair of the Pioneer Valley Asthma Coalition. He advises those who have children with asthma and other respiratory diseases to use microfiber cloths for more effective cleaning, and clean the house when family members with asthma aren’t home.