Things are easier said than done, or so the old adage goes, and we couldn't agree more. That's why we do 30 Days of GOOD (#30DaysofGOOD), a monthly attempt to live better. Our challenge for July? Do It Yourself.
In our never-ending quest to conquer germs, dust balls, and soap scum, we have an arsenal of cleaning products at our disposal. We see the gleaming mirrors, spic-and-span floors and smell mint in the air and think, we did good. But did we?
These products may eradicate messes with extreme prejudice, but they also leave a slew of chemicals inside your house. This might be hard to remember when we’re basking in an immaculate room, but ingredients like ammonia and formaldehyde are basking along with you. You might not see them, but they can still be harmful to people, pets and the environment.
In fact, the EPA has found that indoor air is generally 2-5 times more polluted than outdoor air due in large part to the chemicals found in household cleaners and air fresheners.
A great way to avoid these chemicals is to start making cleaning products yourself.
With a few simple ingredients that you probably already own—such as baking soda, white vinegar and lemon juice—it’s easy to substitute many store-bought cleaners with safe, eco-friendly options.
Don’t think these natural items can compete with chemicals? Get this: Lemons contain more acid than any other food, making them lean, mean, bacteria-fighting machines. Properties like this make common household items extremely effective cleaning products.
For today’s project, take a stab at making this simple and safe DIY drain cleaner or substitute your aerosol air freshener with this eco-friendly, lemon-scented option. If you’re feeling really ambitious, we have recipes for dish soap, wood polish and more here: DIY Cleaning Products.
BrightNest is a free online service that provides people with the tools, tips, and motivation they need to keep their home in great shape and save money. Sign up for personalized tips and weekly reminders and visit our blog for more ideas and inspiration on home decor, cleaning, organizing, DIY projects, and much more.
We're giving away $1000 for you to share your own DIY skills with others. Participate in our Host a GOOD Workshop challenge.