Contrary to popular belief, the air you breathe in your home can be more polluted than outside air. Nasty stuff can be found in furniture coverings, insulation, dust mites, household products and the CO2 we breathe. The air we inhale irritates our organs like our lungs and blood, which circulates in our brain and our muscles. The French Ministry of Health and Environment* lists symptoms such as headaches, fatigue, eye, nose, throat and skin irritation, dizziness, allergic manifestations and asthma from living daily in a polluted environment.
For a clean and healthier home, air out rooms regularly and use natural products without pollutants! It is very easy and very cheap.
10 environmentally-friendly cleaning tips to help you have a healthier home:
1. The winning trio
- white vinegar (vinaigre blanc, you can buy at the supermarket)
- lemon juice
- baking soda (bicarbonate de soude, you can also buy at the supermarket, pharmacy or at your local organic store in the food section)
2. Have a blast cleaning your toilets
Sprinkle some baking soda and white vinegar in your toilet, and get ready to be surprised by your first chemical experiment since high school! The slightly abrasive action of baking soda and its deodorizing qualities will give a shot of clean to your toilet!
3. Beauty treatment for the showerhead
Immerse your showerhead in white vinegar inside a plastic bag and fix it with an elastic band. Leave it to soak all night.
4. Could your oven need more love?
For conventional ovens, sprinkle vinegar and baking soda inside. Leave for a few hours. Scrape if necessary with a spatula, and wipe with a damp sponge or cloth. For your microwave, put a bowl containing water, a teaspoon of vinegar, and a toothpick inside, close the door and zap it on high for 5 minutes. Leave the door shut for 2 to 3 more minutes to let the steam continue to loosen caked-on bits of food. When you open the door, be careful, the bowl and tray will be hot. Take them out, wipe down the inside of the microwave with a sponge, and wash the tray in the sink. It’s easy, works great and only takes a few minutes!
5. Decalcify your coffee maker
To clean your coffee maker of the buildup inside, fill the tank with 4 tablespoons of vinegar, pass through the machine, empty the carafe and rinse! If you want to get rid of tea or coffee stains on your mugs, let them soak in white vinegar for a few hours. If that’s not enough, rub with baking soda. Vinegar can also replace the softener in your washing machine and the rinsing liquid in your dishwasher!
6. Eliminate an unpleasant smell
Need to eliminate a lingering bad smell, but don’t want to buy a toxic air freshener? To eliminate the smell of vomit, put a bowl of vinegar in the room. It works also for other smells like paint. To eliminate tobacco odors, add 1 teaspoon of baking soda to 3 glasses of warm water and the juice from the equivalent of 1/4 lemon. Put this mixture in a vaporizer and spray on all your fabrics.
7. Clean the surfaces of the kitchen and the bathroom
Find a sprayer. Try not to buy one — use the empty window washing product you just finished rather than tossing it away. Mix four tablespoons of white vinegar and a glass of water and place in the sprayer. Vinegar will not smell once it’s dry.
When I use lemon juice in a drink or for cooking, I always save the rind with the pulp to spread around the sink like a sponge, then rinse. The sink suddenly shines and is rid of any tartar.
With its slightly abrasive action and its natural deodorizing qualities, baking soda can replace your potentially toxic scouring powder or cream. Use it on a sponge or as a paste (a mixture of water and baking soda). When the dirt is more tenacious, leave the paste for 15 minutes in the bath or shower. For very scaled shower walls, heat the vinegar before you spray it on. Rub and rinse after 10 minutes
8. How to easily clean windows
Use a microfiber cloth and water to wipe dirty surface or spray the mix of white vinegar and water (see the paragraph above) and wipe the window clean.
9. Maintenance of the pipes
Dirt, soapsuds, and limestone are regularly deposited in our pipes. To avoid clogging and bad odors, pour 20g to 40g of baking soda and hot water down the drain. Leave for two hours or overnight to allow the product to pass through the pipes, then rinse with very hot water.
Give your dishwasher a facelift: place a bowl of vinegar in the top drawer of your empty machine and launch the cycle!
10. Keep le bouquet beautiful
To keep your cut flowers beautiful longer, add 1 tablespoon of vinegar and 1 tablespoon of sugar.