Spring clean your cleaning products

Many of our cleaning products have potentially harmful chemicals in them.  Here are just a few:-

Chlorine is the main constituent of bleach(which is usually a solution of sodium hypochlorite).  Breathing bleach can damage your lungs.  It is also linked to liver and kidney damage and breast cancer.  It is also added to our water supply to kill microbes.  In drinking water it has been linked to bladder, rectal and breast cancer.

Phthalates which are fragrances used in air fresheners etc which are endocrine disruptors.

PERC (perchloroethylene) is found in carpet and upholstery cleaners.  It can cause dizziness, headaches, respiratory problems and it is carcinogenic.

Triclosan is an antibacterial found in washing up liquids.  It is thought to be an endocrine disruptor and may be carcinogenic.

Ammonia is a common ingredient in multipurpose cleaners, oven and drain cleaners and toilet cleaners.  It can cause respiratory irritation, headaches, dizziness, skin and eye irritation.  

Sodium hydroxide is used in drain cleaners and oven cleaners.  It is extremely corrosive and can burn skin, and cause respiratory irritation.

Below are some suggestions for non-harmful alternatives which are much cheaper than manufactured cleaners:-

Essential oils are a good alternative to air fresheners. Using a diffuser you can change your essential oil to suit your needs. You can also purify the air in a room using a salt lamp. Please see http://40plusandalliswell.blogspot.co.uk/2016/01/salt-pipes-and-lamps.html

Lemon juice is a wonderful natural cleaner.  I have used it as an alternative to bleach on stainless steel sinks which have become stained.
You can use it to deodorise your microwave.  Simply place a few lemon slices in water in a microwave safe bowl. Run on high for one minute.  

You can use a mixture of lemon juice and salt to scrub grill and oven racks. The mixture also makes a good scrub to remove scum from shower curtains.  Rinse well.  

Remove scum from baths by rubbing with a cut lemon.

Baking powder and white distilled vinegar are great for unblocking drains. Make sure you put the baking powder down the plug hole first then the vinegar - expect foam!  A quarter of a cup of baking powder and a half a cup of vinegar should be sufficient.  Leave for a few minutes then rinse well with hot water.   

Baking powder can also be used to clean your oven.  Remove the oven racks (see above for how to clean these) Make a paste using baking powder and water and apply to the oven. Leave overnight.  Next day wipe the paste off and spray vinegar on any baking powder residue.  Wipe clean and leave to dry.

White distilled vinegar makes a great window cleaner.  Use equal parts distilled white vinegar and water in a spray bottle.  Use like a spray glass cleaner.  (Note - if your windows are really dirty wash with soapy water first and allow to dry).

White distilled vinegar is also good for cleaning worktops - antibacterial too!  Use 1 part vinegar to 4 parts water.

You may also like -'Spring clean your beauty products'-

Janet x

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