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Bleach is one of the most common household cleaners, but it poses some serious health risks. Everyone knows that bleach and ammonia make a deadly gas, and dish soap mixed with bleach can produce mustard gas, but did you know that in its room temperature, gaseous form bleach releases potentially cancerous dioxins into the air? Not to mention the asthma and allergy symptoms its use induces, it’s obvious that a natural alternative is preferable. But with it being such a staple in most household cleaning routines, what are our options?
Vinegar is an acidic water mixture that is incredibly potent and makes for an excellent cleaner in many situations. However, because of its acidity it has to be properly diluted in accordance with your recipe to get it just right. You should also never use it on granite or marble because that can result in scratches. However, it’s a great replacement for toilet cleaners, makes an excellent fruit spray, and can replace any smelly old can of Pledge that you’ve tucked away under the sink.
2. Baking Soda
Baking Soda (or sodium bicarbonate) is my favorite cleaning product! It’s an odor eliminator in my fridge, a carpet cleaner and deodorizer before I vacuum, and a homemade, natural soft scrub. Not only that, but boy is it cheap! If you want a brand name box (which you really, really don’t need) you’re looking at $1.50. If you want a generic box, it’s maybe a dollar. I buy mine in bulk at Winco so that I can avoid extra packaging, and I’ve found that there’s never a time where baking soda isn’t helpful.
3. Hydrogren Peroxide
Hydrogen Peroxide can usually be found in just about everybody’s medicine cabinet, and most people know it’s great for cuts and scrapes, but it also has a great deal of other uses. For instance, it can be mixed with a few basic ingredients to make homemade bleach (1 c. peroxide, 2 T. lemon juice, and 10 c. water), however it’s also an amazing toy sanitizer, disinfectant, and so many other things. There’s no specific brand of peroxide that works best as a green cleaner because, in my experience, all peroxide is the same, and you should be able to find it in your local grocery store or pharmacy somewhere near the bandaids.
4. Tea Tree Oil
Tea Tree Oil is an essential oil that is known for being particularly volatile and potent, but it’s an absolute must for anyone looking to go natural with their cleaning products. You can use it as a disinfectant, mold killer, floor cleaner, and so much more. It honestly has an unbelievable number of uses. I buy mine from Thrive Market, but you can buy it pretty much anywhere (including Ulta, Amazon, and Target).
5. Castile Soap
Castile Soap is an organic, vegetarian oil-based soap that originated in Spain. Now, it’s the foundation for tons of our homemade cleaners. There are a huge variety of brands (and natural scents) on the market, and you can experiment until you find the one you like best. My favorite brand by far is Dr. Bronner’s Peppermint Castile Soap. It’s fairly organic, vegan, and fairly inexpensive.
Take a look at One Good Thing by Jillee’s 15 Everyday Uses for Castile Soap if you want some recipes and examples!
What’s your bleach alternative?
Do you have any must have cleaning recipes or diy tips? I’m begging you to send me your recipes!