My wife likes a clean home. A clean home clears her mind and lifts her spirit. While some treat their bodies as temples, my wife treats her home as one. It’s her haven.
Every time after cleaning our home, we are impressed by the calm and silence that comes over us. It sets the stage for living in a proper manner that satisfies our needs. It gives us the pleasure of living in tranquility.
This attitude brings security into our home. It puts us in a state of being happy and healthy. A clean home produces a nice energy and generates more room for growth.
That’s why we use the right household cleaning agents.
When we adopted our cat, it became more important for us to use non-toxic cleaning solutions. Our concern for home safety increased with having our little beast around. Se relies on us for sufficiency.
While we were already concerned about the environment, we demanded a higher standard.
So my wife turned to this magic liquid that works wonders.
It’s not Seventh Generation. We already use this manufacturer’s products. Their household products are free of phosphates and chlorine, two scary cleaning chemicals to avoid.
In fact, it’s not an environmentally-safe cleaning product from any of the manufacturers who declare that they use “green” ingredients, and have “safe for the environment” on their labels. These days you really must do your research to determine which products are indeed green and safe.
What I am about to tell you is not new. It’s been around for 10,000 years. While it’s great as a cleaning solution, it’s one of the world’s oldest ingredients used for food preparation and cooking.
It’s used in salad dressings all over the world. It’s the secret ingredient in sauces such as mustard, ketchup and mayonnaise that make your burgers taste the way you like. You can even tenderize meat with it when slow cooking a tough piece of meat.
It’s not just used in our foods. There are some practical uses related to our health.
If you cut or scrape yourself, you can use it as an antiseptic. Studies have shown that 5% solution of this liquid alone kills 99% of bacteria. Unlike most antiseptic cleaners out in the marketplace, it is unique in its non-toxicity. It even stops insect bites from itching.
Not only does this liquid works wonders, but you save on money and much more.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the average American household spends over $600 per year on cleaning supplies alone. That’s $50 a month. We buy dozens of cleaning products for each area of the home. How much does this cost to your health and what is the real cost to the environment?
Common household products contain the following chemicals to stay away from:
- Perchloroethylene or “PERC”
- Quarternary Ammonium Compounds, or “QUATS”
- Sodium Hydroxide
These chemicals are linked to asthma, cancer and other disorders.
Let’s take a look at the total number of asthma cases in the existing population of the U.S. as a percentage of the total population in 2000.
Compare the 2000 map with the one drawn in 2010.
Both maps are sourced from the NationalCenter for Environmental Health.
As we are exposed to toxic chemicals routinely, the maps suggest that asthma cases are rising with repeated contact.
With so many household cleaning products out there, so many chemicals to choose from and so many areas to clean, it’s easy to buy them all.
If you can’t spell and pronounce the chemicals above or other ingredients on labels, chances are they are bad for you. After comparing the maps, buying just two or three organic products with a few rags and brushes look good right about now.
While shopping for cleaning products one day, my wife turned to me and asked, “If you must have only one product to clean our home, what would it be?”
The question had purpose if there was a true answer to it. I had no clue. I looked for a brand that was environmentally friendly and had the “all purpose cleaner” label on it.
She shook her head, turned around and came back with a bottle of distilled white vinegar!
This liquid ingredient only costs $1.76 per 32 ounce bottle on Amazon.com.
Since having distilled white vinegar as our primary household cleanser, we have been very effective against bacteria, mold and germs. The white vinegar is poured into a plastic sprayer bottle and is undiluted.
The cat’s litter box gets cleaned by spraying vinegar in it. It turns out to be a very eco-friendly urine cleaner for our cat. Cat litter odor is also removed.
Kitchen countertops and cabinets are sprayed and wiped down with a cloth. The oven and stove is cleaned by mixing vinegar with baking soda. Ever since we started, we’ve kept a bottle in the kitchen near our cutting boards. You can spray your cutting boards too.
In our bathrooms, straight vinegar is great for cleaning toilet rims. It’s as easy as spraying them and wiping off. We spray the moldy areas of our bath tubs. You can let it set without rinsing if you can put up with the smell.
Vinegar is great on grease-smeared windows and mirrors. It is widely known for its effectiveness on glass.
Vinegar can be used for polishing silver, copper, brass and bronze. It cleans stainless steel. Vinegar can also be used as a very effective rust remover from iron and steel components.
It is effective in removing clogs from drains.
It even kills weeds around your home.
I even spray my strawberries before eating them. It takes care of any mold spores and other bacteria that may be on the surface of the fruit. They can also last about two weeks before getting moldy and soft.
You might ask: why are we talking about vinegar so much? Isn’t this website about reducing our home’s carbon footprint?
Vinegar is natural, doesn’t pollute and saves you money. With it, my family’s health is protected. My body can rest at home, knowing I can do no harm using it. Energy is restored.
How we operate in our home plays a big role in making sure we are not hurting the environment. Using vinegar as an environmentally friendly ingredient is one part of our mission. And that is to find timeless ways to make our home last.
We’re using the word “home” here in the broadest sense.