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Replace These Household Cleaners

In honor of Water Quality Month, Mr. Rooter® is discussing which toxic cleaning products you can replace with healthier, more natural alternatives. Do your part to support cleaner water and a healthier home with these ideas!

Use Castile Soap, Not All-Purpose Cleaner

Castile soap is made of olive oil and sodium hydroxide. When you combine 1 to 3 teaspoons of liquid castile soap with a disinfecting essential oil (such as lemon, orange, clove or cinnamon) and two cups of water, you get a non-toxic, all-purpose cleaner for the counters, floors and toilets. The essential oil you choose leaves behind a wonderfully fresh scent.

Use Baking Soda and Vinegar, Not Drain Cleaner

Chemical drain cleaner has a direct effect on water quality because you pour it straight down the drain. Replace this toxic cleaning product with a tablespoon of baking soda and one-third cup white vinegar. Pour the baking soda down the drain first and chase it with the vinegar. Let the concoction fix and bubble to loosen the clog. Then pour a pot full of boiling water down the drain to wash the gunk away.

To maintain your drains and prevent future clogs, rinse all the sinks in your house with a pot of boiling water once a week. A mesh strainer over the drain also helps trap hair and other debris to prevent slow drains.

Use Baking Soda and Castile Soap, Not Laundry Detergent

Laundry is a necessary evil, but the chemical detergent you introduce into the water is not! Promote better water quality by making your own borax-free laundry detergent. All you need are one cup washing soda, one-half cup baking soda, one-half cup citric acid, one-fourth cup coarse sea salt and one bar of castile soap (in lavender scent, if you wish).

Grate the soap in a food processor and add it to a bowl with the other ingredients. Stir to combine. Store the soap in an airtight container. When it’s time to do laundry, use one tablespoon of soap per average-size load. Use more for large loads or extra dirty clothes.

Use Hydrogen Peroxide and Baking Soda, Not Bleach

Stop using headache-inducing bleach and make your own alternative for general cleaning and laundry use. Mix three-quarters cup 3% hydrogen peroxide, three-quarters cup baking soda, one-quarter cup lemon juice and seven cups water in a half-gallon container. Add 10 to 15 drops of lemon essential oil for a fresh citrus scent.

Use Baking Soda, Not Air Fresheners

All that air fresheners do is mask odors with chemical perfumes. If you find yourself lighting candles or spraying aerosol air freshener to eliminate nasty smells, get straight to the source with baking soda.

Sprinkle a cup on your carpet, mattress or other textiles to deodorize them. Let the baking soda sit for an hour and then vacuum it up. For an added scent boost, mix the baking soda with a few drops of essential oils.

Use Oil and Vinegar, Not Dusting Spray

Mix three-quarters cup olive or coconut oil and one-quarter cup distilled vinegar in a large spray bottle. Add 30 to 40 drops of your favorite essential oil – we suggest orange, lemon or clove – and give the bottle a good shake. You can also add two tablespoons of vodka for added cleaning power! Spray a conservative amount on your wood furniture and buff with a clean, dry cloth.

Clearly, you should keep vinegar, baking soda, castile soap and essential oils on hand to provide the foundation for a variety of homemade cleaning products. For more tips to preserve water quality, please contact Mr. Rooter today.


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