Sparkle & Smile

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Green Cleaning Tips and Tricks

Top 3 Green Cleaning Disinfectants

Essential oils offer powerful cleaning properties yet are safe for people, pets and the planet.

Essential oils offer powerful cleaning properties yet are safe for people, pets and the planet.

As families prepare for fall weather and trick-or-treating, who wants to clean and disinfect their home? To help make your cleaning and disinfecting go smoothly and quickly this Fall, use these three healthy, non-toxic and green ingredients to make your home shine and keep your family germ-free!

1. Apple cider vinegar is a non-toxic, odor-absorbing, antibacterial alternative to harsh cleaning chemicals. Apple Cider Vinegar also knocks out cooking smells and musky odors from your home.

For a great multi-purpose cleaner, mix one part apple cider vinegar with one part water. Mix. Pour into a spray bottle. Spray and then wipe with a microfiber cloth. Your home will smell like fresh apples from the farm!

To keep your furry friends flea-free, dilute one part apple cider vinegar with one part water. Rub the mixture into your pets’ fur and work it into their skin to repel the fleas. Always remember to check with your vet FIRST to make sure it is safe for your pet.

2. Hydrogen peroxide 3% is one of the best natural disinfectants you can find. Even the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency agrees, stating that they have approved hydrogen peroxide as a sanitizer.

Grab an empty spray bottle and add a 50/50 solution of water and hydrogen peroxide. Start cleaning  from top to bottom, left to right! Hydrogen peroxide mixed with water can be used all around the home. Use it in the bathroom to clean mold from the shower. Use it in the laundry to clean and sanitize your clothes. Use it on floors, countertops and walls.

3. Essential oils are a great addition to non-scented, green cleaning products and homemade, natural cleaning recipes. Made by cold pressing or steaming raw plant material, essential oils are the biodegradable, liquid essence of the plant. Essential oils are filled with powerful antiseptic, antifungal, antibacterial, and antiviral properties, all of which can get and keep a home real clean. Essential oils can purify, disinfect and remove stains. Many of them are antibacterial and antimicrobial.

Use essential oils in your homemade cleaning products alone or mix a few different oils together. Some oils that seem to complement each other are lavender and rosemary, tea tree and orange, peppermint and tea tree, and grapefruit, lemon, and lavender.

Some of my favorite essential oils for sanitizing and disinfecting:

Lavender, filled with antiviral, bactericidal, fungicidal, and antiseptic properties, is my “go to” essential oil for evening cleaning. It’s a great smelling relaxer to add to your nighttime cleaning solutions.

Lemon, this citrus mood lifter also has antimicrobial, antiseptic, and bactericidal properties. Lemon brightens colors and removes stains and also cuts through grease and grime.

Peppermint essential oil is a revitalizing and stimulating oil. It’s minty scent not only wakes you up, but it is an antibacterial AND a natural pest deterrent.

Tea tree oil is a powerful cleaning oil with antimicrobial, antifungal, antiseptic, bactericidal, and insecticidal properties. It is the perfect oil to add to your homemade bathroom and kitchen cleaning solutions. It is the perfect essential oil for the upcoming fall flu season!

Orange essential oil is a refreshing oil with antiseptic, antibacterial, and antifungal properties. It is a degreaser and also helps to remove Salmonella and E. Coli from kitchen items like cutting boards and countertops. Add a few drops to a spray bottle filled with water and clean away!

Essential oils are found in health food stores. Be sure to look for pure, undiluted or organic essential oils.

When disinfecting your home, don’t forget to clean first! Most germs attach to dirt but dirt can reduce the effectiveness of many disinfectants and sanitizers. Thoroughly clean all countertops and surfaces before sanitizing or disinfecting. If your cleaning regime only calls for one step, be sure to use a cleaning solution with sanitizing or disinfecting ingredients. Be sure to follow all cleaning instructions on store bought cleaners regarding proper dilution, dwell time, application and rinsing, so your sanitizing and disinfecting works.


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