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Homemade Cleaners are Safe and Inexpensive

Ever thought about making your own homemade cleaners?  You should!  Many of today’s commercial cleaners are petroleum-based, which may have harmful effects on human  and environmental health. But have no fear! On the market today are many wonderful “green” cleaning products that are planet- (and you-) friendly and can be found alongside their more conventional  cousins in the cleaning aisle. These products are non-toxic, biodegradable, non-petroleum-based, and are just as effective at getting rid of grime.

Two common household ingredients used in homemade cleaners are baking soda and white vinegar. These ingredients are safe, inexpensive, and effective for all kinds of cleaning jobs. (Photo credit: Samantha Kennedy)

They do, however, tend to be more expensive. If spending extra money isn’t your thing, you can still  clean green” by taking advantage of a few everyday products you probably have in your pantry right now.

White vinegar and baking soda are two of the most effective cleaning products out there and cost just a fraction of what commercial cleaning products cost. Add a little warm water to either of these products and you have created a solution that can clean just about everything, from tile floors to coffee-stained mugs to sinks and showers.

Another great natural and inexpensive cleaning agent is borax.  Found in the laundry aisle, it is great as an all-purpose cleaner when mixed with water and can be used on floors, countertops, sinks, and toilets.  It is nonabrasive, has no toxic fumes, and is safe for the environment.  Borax also doubles as a safe insecticide, by slowly poisoning ants, cockroaches, silverfish, and termites to death.

Other common household products that make great cleaners are salt, lemon juice, and rubbing alcohol.  Hot water mixed with salt makes an excellent drain deodorizer.  Lemon juice makes a terrific mild bleaching agent and air freshener.  Rubbing alcohol makes a great sanitizer for countertops.  It is also good for cleaning minor wounds and will kill those annoying ghost ants (and others) that often try to make a home in your kitchen.

Making your own household cleaners is safer, healthier, and less expensive.  For some quick and easy cleaner recipes, please read the University of Florida IFAS publication, “Homemade Household Cleaners.”

For more information about this and other Family and Consumer Sciences topics, please contact Samantha Kennedy at 850.926.3931 or skennedy@ufl.edu.

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