When we mention air pollution, the first things that come to mind are car exhaust and smog. According to the EPA, indoor air is typically 2-5 times more polluted than outdoor air. Winter is just around the corner, and with it comes closed windows and very little time outdoors in the fresh air. Now is the time to start using Landrum’s Services Top 10 Eco-Friendly Cleaning Ingredients to eliminate the harmful chemicals from the air in your workplace (and home).
Non-toxic ingredients are just as effective at cleaning, disinfecting, and deodorizing as harmful, toxic ingredients like chlorine bleach and triclosan.
1. Baking Soda- Works great as a deodorizer and non-abrasive cleanser. Try sprinkling it on your carpets before you vacuum, mixing it with water to use as a paste to clean your oven, and applying to a damp sponge to clean sinks and counters.
2. White Distilled Vinegar- Clean windows, remove soap scum, sanitize counters and refrigerators, and much more. Vinegar can be used full-strength in a bottle to be sprayed on virtually any surface that you want to deodorize. To use as a glass cleaner, we recommend using equal parts vinegar and water. For a streak-free, lint-free shine, wipe dry with crumpled newspaper.
3. Borax- Cleanse, deodorize, disinfect, soften your water, and remove stains with this wonder-product. Sprinkle borax on your carpet, let it settle in for about 30 minutes, then vacuum away your carpet odors. Add it to your laundry to increase the efficacy of your detergent, and sprinkle it along your walls to deter pests.
4. MonoFoil- Eliminate molds, mildews, and microbes for long periods of time with MonoFoil. Apply MonoFoil to all areas that are prone to mold, and it keeps the mold away for up to 30 days. Use it on all your frequently touched areas like doors, phones, bathroom surfaces, and the copy machine to prevent the spread of illness in the workplace.
5. Citrus Oils- These are nature’s stain removers. The acid in citrus fruits make them great cleansing agents, as well. A few small drops combined with water will work for most applications, including disinfecting, air freshening, cutting grease, and cleaning paint brushes. The wonderful scent left behind leaves everyone confident in the cleanliness of your building, as well.
6. Reusable microfiber cloths- Use these to dust. They pick up dust particles without needing any chemical help, and they leave no residue.
7. Tea Tree Oil- One of nature’s most powerful disinfectants, add 2 teaspoons to 2 cups of water and pour into a spray bottle. Spray it on anything that is musty or mildewy. Within a few days the smell will be gone. Tea tree oil is also great to use anywhere you need an antiseptic.
8. Hydrogen Peroxide- Commonly used as a disinfectant, it can be used to wash the pesticides from produce. Clean walls and countertops with 3% hydrogen peroxide by spraying on and wiping off like you would with any household cleaner. To clean floors, add 1 cup of 35% hydrogen peroxide to a gallon bucket of hot water. For everyday maintenance of floors, you can simply spray 3% hydrogen peroxide directly onto the floor and mop.
9. Washing soda- A relative of baking soda, washing soda cuts grease, cleans petroleum oil, removes wax and lipstick, and neutralizes odors.
10. Kosher salt- A little bit of kosher salt and some elbow grease make a terrific scouring powder. Stubborn coffee pot stains don’t stand a chance against kosher salt and ice cubes. Pour in 2 tablespoons of salt, add 6-8 ice cubes, and shake vigorously. Rinse it out, and you won’t believe your eyes.
These 10 items can be used as a replacement for just about any harsh cleaner you are currently using. Check out the Ecocycle website for recipes using these ingredients: http://www.ecocycle.org/hazwaste/recipes.cfm.
Breathe easier this fall and winter by using these great eco-friendly cleaning ingredients. Put a few plants in the office and let them clean the air for you. You will be surprised at how much better your workplace and home will smell, how much better you feel, and how much money you will save on sick days, tissue, and cough drops.