AAA Supershine home services recommendations for 'GREEN' home cleaning
Should you use Commercial cleaners?
We believe that home cleaning requires little or no harsh commercial cleaners.We advocate reducing the use of toxic commercial cleaners. Commercial cleaners are far too strong, and are inclined to leave a residue on the surfaces you use them on. If you find it necessary to use a particular chemical cleaner; use only a scant amount, so as to at least minimize any toxic residue.
Dangerous chemicals not always listed on cleaning products
Not all ingredients in cleaning products are listed on the label (particularly chemicals added for fragrances), which make it difficult to avoid. If there are no toxic chemicals listed on the ingredients it is best to use them in a well ventilated area while wearing protective clothing, such as gloves. Corrosive chemicals (such as harsh bathroom, kitchen and laundry cleaning products) can cause severe burns on eyes, skin and, if ingested the can burn the throat and esophagus. Ingredients with high concentrated toxins include chlorine, bleach and ammonia, which produce fumes that are highly irritating to eyes, nose, throat and lungs, and should not be used by people with asthma, lung or heart problems.
Always wear gloves when using any harsh cleaning products, such as bleach, chlorine and ammonia. For killing mould, a safe and better alternative is white vinegar, as it kills the mould, whereas harsh chemicals have been found to feed the mould. Make sure that the bathroom and laundry are well ventilated when using cosmetic sprays, (such as deodorant and hairspray); as well as all cleaning products.
Continuing to use products that have irritated your skin, eyes, or those which have made it difficult for you to breathe, is a very bad idea. Cosmetics and cleaners have been found to have vast amounts of chemicals in them, which can lead to several forms of cancer. Combining chlorine bleach and ammonia is extremely dangerous, because this combo releases a toxic gas that can be damaging to your lungs
Try to always use plant-based alternatives!
You will be able to find this by looking at the labels; because continued use of the toxic commercial cleaning products is not only detrimental to you and your family members long term health and well being, but they also poison our environment; and surprisingly can actually make home cleaning less efficient and therefore time consuming
Vinegar a powerful alternative to toxic cleaners in the bathroom.
Polishing up ceramic tiles
If soap scum or water spots have dulled the ceramic tiles around your sink or bath, bring back the brightness by scrubbing them with 1/2 cup white vinegar, 1/2 cup ammonia, and 1/4 cup borax mixed in 1 gallon (3.7 litres) warm water. Rinse well with cool water and let air-dry.
Cleaning/whitening tile grout
If the grout between the tiles of your shower or bathtub enclosure has become stained or discoloured; restore it to its original shade of white by using a toothbrush dipped in undiluted white vinegar to help to scrub away the discolouration.
Another effective alternative for cleaning mouldy tile grout
Combine a mixture of 2 table spoons of Bi Carbonate of Soda; (baking powder); with 3 capfuls of T Tree oil in a cup of warm water, and stir until the powder is dissolved, and then pour this liquid into a 500ML spray bottle, spray the effected grout area, and leave this sit on the grout for at least 10 minutes. Spray again with the mixture, and then vigorously agitate the grout with either an old tooth brush, or a non scratchable bristle brush. Rinse over the surface with a very damp cloth, (preferably a Micro Fibre cloth); dry off with a towelling type absorbent cloth, and polish with a dry cotton, or micro fibre cloth. Repeat this procedure with if necessary, and add another capful or two, (to the original mixture), of T Tree oil to remove extra stubborn mould.
Sparkle up glass shower doors
To leave your glass shower doors sparkling clean -- and to remove all of those annoying water spots -- wipe them down with a cloth dipped in a solution of 1/2 cup white vinegar, 1 cup ammonia, and 1/4 cup baking soda mixed in 1 gallon (3.7 litres) warm water.
Other alternatives to using commercial cleaning products
Micro fibre cloths: Are brilliant for cleaning of all surfaces. Use with a half a bucket of warm to hot water, which has only a few drops of dishwashing detergent added. Take this bucket around to all of the wet areas, and use it to regularly rinse out the micro fibre cloths as you clean. It is important to wring these cloths out really well, so that the surface is not too wet, thus making the drying and. Polishing, quicker and easier. All you need for 'drying' off surfaces, are nappies, cut up old towels, or even paper towels.. Surfaces must be dried off quickly; and do so, just as the surface is beginning to dry from natural evaporation. If a part of the surface has dried before you dry it off with your drying cloth, there is a risk of leaving a smear. Polishing off, after drying off, is very important; and the cotton cloths you can purchase from Bunnings at $6.00 per bag are excellent for this purpose. Old cotton t-shirts, or tea towels, are also good for polishing surfaces. You can purchase inexpensive Micro Fibre clothe from 'Godfreys' the vacuum cleaner people; and they have shops in most major regional Shopping complexes in the Melbourne metro area. They sell packs of 6 large cloths for around $8.00. These can be cut in half, and you will have 12 cloths at a cost of 0.75 cents each. This compares very favourably to the same kind of cloths which are priced at around $3 to $5 at your local Supermarket..
Your health is in your habits
While it may be true that using natural cleaners requires a little more thought and effort, the tangible long term benefits for you and your family, (especially in respect of their health and well being); will far outweigh any small short term inconvenience. In addition to avoiding potential health problems, the other positives of changing your cleaning habits, is not only will you notice superior and faster household cleaning; you will be playing your part in the protection of our environment
The 'green' cleaners cleaning secret?
In conclusion the secret of 'green' and also efficient cleaning is this. Try to judge the appropriate amount of time and effort required to clean each surface thoroughly; (this can vary from week to week, and from surface to surface); and learn how to use the correct cleaning method for each surface using green cleaning processes as much as is possible. Using too much of any cleaning product or preparation is very wasteful and makes routine cleaning more laborious and more difficult than it should be. Why? Because using excessive or liberal quantities of cleaners, not only causes a gradual build up of chemical on surfaces, it almost always leaves a smeary and greasy kind of residue which is difficult to remove completely. In most cases; a few drops of cleaner added to a bucket of warm water, or added to a 500ML spray bottle is all you require for fast and effective household cleaning.
Remember this motto; 'LESS IS MORE' - the truth is; it's not how hard you work; but how SMART you work to achieve amazing toxic free cleaning.
John McAuliffe Director AAA Supershine Home services