Posts Tagged ‘green cleaning tips’

Common Products That You Should Ban from Your Home – Today

Monday, April 4th, 2011

Many of the products we use in our homes are not particularly eco friendly and we owe it to ourselves and our planet to make some changes. Some products though are not only bad for the environment but bad for your health as well, even though you may not realize it. Here are some common household products that you should bin right now:

Non-Stick Pans – When they were first introduced a couple of decades ago, non stick pans were considered by many to be the best thing since sliced bread. No more scrubbing away with little wire sponges no more overnight soaking. The difficulty is that all the cooking and clean up convenience that non stick pans offer comes with a price.

Teflon – the stuff that stops the stick -is a polytetrafluoroethylene, or PTFE for short. When PTFE heats up, it releases toxic gasses that various researchers have linked to cancer, organ failure and reproductive damage. Sorry that put you off your fry up didn’t it? Next time your cook use an old fashioned “stick” pan instead. More effort at washing up time, but a lot healthier for you and the planet.

Antibacterial Products – OK, you probably think we are crazy on this one. Throw out all your antibacterial wipes and soaps and gels? And expose yourself to who knows what kind of germs that all that gunk is working so hard to protect you from?

The problem is that all those antibacterial products are, say no less venerable organization than the CDC , a large part of the reason that so many “superbugs” are appearing. These new strains are resistant to the antibiotics we have and new ones take quite a while to create. In addition the CDC says antibacterials may also interfere with immune system development in children.

You and your household need to be clean, not bacteria free. People who are exposed to household germs typically develop strong immune systems and are healthier overall. Really, simple soap and water is all you need.

Supermarket Cleaning Supplies – Modern, common household cleaning supplies are some of the nastiest, and most dangerous, things you have in your home. Those oh- so -useful all purpose cleaners often contain plenty of ammonia, a strong irritant that has been linked to liver and kidney damage. Bleach is a powerful oxidizer, which can burn the skin and eyes. Oven cleaners are baddies too, they can cause chemical burns and emit toxic fumes that harm the respiratory system.

Need more convincing to chuck them all? If there are children in the house you should know that over 100,000 instances of poisoning by household chemicals in children under five are reported in the US every year.

Instead of loading your kitchen cupboards full of dangerous chemicals try some of the green cleaning techniques listed here.

The Many Great Green Uses for White Vinegar

Friday, February 4th, 2011

It was about 10,000 years ago now that some clever soul stumbled across a discovery that would change lives forever. Wine was already a big hit all over the world, but then someone let some of it oxidize – and bingo, vinegar was born. The ancient Greeks and Romans used copious amounts of the stuff as a preservative and the Ancient Chinese drank it as a health tonic (must have had quite the strong stomachs those Ancient Chinese)

The magic ingredient in vinegar is acetic acid. And while there are lots of different types of vinegar available these days for purposes other than adding to food white vinegar is by far the most useful. White vinegar has dozens of household applications, and the best part is that it’s green. Here are just a few of the ways you can put a $1 bottle of white vinegar to great, green use:

Cleaning Uses – There are plenty of ways white vinegar can be used around the house as a great cleaning agent. This is something that appeals to many people as they look for a way to not only save on the cost of cleaning products but use less chemicals around their home. Here are some of them:

  • You can clean and deodorize a garbage disposal by mixing one part white vinegar with one part baking soda and just putting it down the drain. Simply then let the fizzy mixture sit for about 15 minutes before flushing with plain warm water.
  • The steam created by boiling a bowl filled with water and a few teaspoons of white vinegar can loosen caked on food stains and get rid of lingering food odors.
  • If accidental water condensation marks are marring your wood table you can use equal parts of white vinegar and vegetable oil. Just make sure you rub in the direction of the grain and that next time you remember to use coasters!
  • Why use bleach on grimy grout when a little white vinegar scrubbed in with old toothbrush does a much better job?

Clothes – White vinegar can also work wonders on laundry day to:

  • If you spray white vinegar on an item of clothing stained with antiperspirant before you wash it then the stain will come right off.
  • Just adding a cup full of white vinegar to the rinse cycle of the wash can brighten and freshen your laundry better than any bleach.
  • If chewing gum has been accidentally stuck onto clothing or upholstery you can remove it quickly and easily by dabbing with white vinegar until it loosens.

Outdoor Use

  • You can keep your car windshield virtually frost free all winter long just by wiping them down occasionally with a three-to-one vinegar-water mixture.
  • If you have a years old bumper sticker that is refusing to budge spray it with neat white vinegar,leave it to sit for an hour or so and you should then find that the bumper sticker peels right off (and about time. The NKOTB are all over 40 already!)

Know of any more use for white vinegar that have not been detailed here? Share them with is at Tip the Planet, the fastest growing green wiki in the world.