Earth Day 2012: 5 Homespun Holistic Cleaning Recipes

We have been quite lucky here in Ontario as
Spring has been in the air for nearly a month. Chances are you have or you'll start feeling the urge to purge and clean your home this time of year (also known as "Spring Cleaning"). But before you take out the chemical-based cleaning products think twice.

There are many negative effects of cleaning your home with harsh chemical-based household cleaners: Free radical damage; which can cause DNA mutations, speed up aging process, damage to collagen, increase toxicity level in body which can lead to increase risk of heart disease, cataracts, cancer and the harmful effects on the environment.

My mother was great at finding natural and inexpensive ways to clean the house. Here are some safe, effective, easy and inexpensive recipes that she passed on to me and some that I have come up with over the years.

Cleaning tiles and shower enclosures 
Apply lemon oil with a scouring pad to surface area. When clean, wash will hot water and dry with clean towel.

Removing white rings in furniture 
Apply a thin layer of mayonnaise to stain. Cover mayonnaise with plastic wrap. Allow to sit for one hour. Remove the plastic wrap and work the mayonnaise into the finish. Ta da! White ring all gone!

Removing hard water spots
Soak cleaning rag in white vinegar that way it is super saturated. Grab rag and start scrubbing!

Clearing drains 
Pour 1 cup of salt into drain, followed by 1 cup of baking soda and 1 cup of white vinegar. Allow the vinegar to react with the salt and baking soda for about 30 seconds (foaming occurs). Then add two quarts of boiling water.

Multi-surface cleaning 
Probably my most favourite homemade cleaner. Fill up a spray bottle with cold tap water and add 10 drops of tea tree oil. I use this mixture to clean everything from the kitchen counter, my son's placemat and toys to my Yoga mat and exercise equipment. A small bottle of tea tree oil will cost you a pretty penny $15-$20, but it will last for up to a year. White Vinegar and water also works well....if you can stand the smell.

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