Allergies affect up to 40 percent of American children and contribute to around two million lost school days every year. While there’s not much parents can do to limit exposure to allergens outside the home, keeping harmful household chemicals to a minimum can help reduce further exposure to illness-causing pollutants. Here are some natural remedies and tricks you can use to keep your home clean and fresh.
Make Your Own Household Cleaning Products
Most natural cleaning remedies include the following ingredients:
- Baking soda
- Washing soda
- White vinegar
- Liquid castile soap
- Hydrogen peroxide
- Isopropyl alcohol
These few basic ingredients, most of which you buy with your monthly household shopping anyway, can be combined in a staggering number of ways to clean just about anything in your home.
For instance, mixing two cups of borax, one cup of baking soda, and 10 drops of your favorite essential oil makes the perfect carpet freshener. Sprinkle onto the carpet and leave for about an hour and then vacuum. It has the added benefit of killing fleas and their eggs and acting as a rodent deterrent.
Image via Flickr by newlivinghouston
Replace or Clean Your HVAC Filter
An alarming fact is that toxic household dust contains a host of chemicals and pollutants that are linked to cancer, infertility, and developmental problems in babies. Household dust consists of only not skin, dust mites, and pet dander, but also chemicals from floors, electrical goods, and beauty and cleaning products that find their way into the air.
A lot of this toxic dust circulates through your home’s HVAC system. While the system’s filter helps trap dust, after a while, these filters become too dirty to effectively do their job. To avoid the system clogging up and blowing out dust-filled air, make sure you regularly change the filter or wash a reusable one. This will maintain healthy air quality through the home, extend the life of HVAC system, and keep electricity costs down.
Shine Furniture and Floors Naturally
Beeswax makes a wonderful all-natural way to shine up furniture. So does olive oil and it’s a great way to condition wood. If you like that freshly polished aroma wafting through the house, try combining three-quarter cups of olive oil, a quarter-cup of white vinegar, and 30 drops of lemon, orange, or lavender essential oil. For wood floors, pine oil cleans and conditions wood floors beautifully, plus it smells great.
Use Microfiber Cleaning Cloths
The wonders of microfiber cannot be praised enough; in fact, some call it the most significant cleaning innovation of the century. They are, as the name suggests, ultra-fine pieces of synthetic fiber bundled together.Dirt clings to them very effectively and these magical cloths are now used to clean the home and the car. Some floor mops are now made from microfiber.
Once you dump all the toxic cleaning products and switch to natural ways to clean your home, not only is it safer for your family but also so much cheaper than expensive and harmful chemical cleaners.