8 Essential Household Items for a Cleaner Home and Planet

Brian Severin
Posted on Saturday 27th June 2009

If you think your home is a safe haven from pollution, then this is sure to be eye opening for you. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the level of pollutants in indoor air can be two to more than 100 times higher than outdoors. The indoor air pollution is due in large part to volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that evaporate, or "offgas," from home decorating and cleaning products. To help avoid the harmful effects some cleaning products have on your home’s indoor air quality, consider these eight essential household items for a cleaner home.

  1. Distilled white vinegar: This helps disinfect and break up dirt. – Tip: use white vinegar instead of apple cider or red vinegars, as these might stain surfaces.
  2. Baking soda: helps provide grit for scrubbing. Baking soda reacts when added to water, vinegar or lemon which will speed up cleaning times.
  3. Borax: This is very handy in laundry mixes as it will disinfect, bleach and deodorize.
  4. Hydrogen Peroxide: Similar to borax, this will help disinfect and bleach items during cleaning.
  5. Lemons: Not only does this fruit add flavor to food but it also helps cut grease. While bottled lemon juice will work, we recommend using fresh lemons since it will require less juice to get the job done.
  6. Olive oil: You already know the benefits of cooking with olive oil but did you know that it helps pick up dirt and will polish wood surfaces.
  7. Vegetable based (liquid castile) soap: This is the perfect solution for non-petroleum all-purpose cleaning.
  8. Washing soda: This is a great stain remover and general cleaner that will also help unclog pipes. - Note: Washing soda should be handled with cleaning gloves due to its caustic nature.

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