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Improve Indoor Air Quality by Making Natural Cleaning Sprays

by Sárka-Jonae Miller
See more articles by Sarka_Jonae Miller

(The Best Years in Life) Research by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has found that indoor air quality is two to five times as bad as the air outdoors. In some instances, it has been shown to be more than 100 times worse. Air pollutants indoors is considered one of the top five public health threats. These findings indicate that once released into your home, air pollutants mostly hang around where they can make you sick. You can improve your air quality with items such as houseplants, air purifiers, and crystal salt lamps, but these things only filter out some of the toxins and pollutants. Introducing fewer contaminants into your home in the first place could help improve indoor air quality. Ironically, the cleaning products you use, particularly sprays, introduce toxic chemicals into your air. By ditching the commercially-made cleaning sprays and filling new spray bottles with homemade solutions you can keep your surfaces clean without sacrificing air quality.

Natural All-Purpose Cleaner

What better place to start than the convenient all-purpose cleaner that you'll use the most. Grab a clean spray bottle and pour in 2 tablespoons of vinegar, 1 teaspoon of Borax, and three drops of a natural dish cleaner. Twenty or so drops of tea tree oil adds a pleasant aroma and disinfectant properties. Fill the rest of the bottle with hot water and you have a chemical-free, all-purpose cleaner ready to go. If you have kids and want to ensure they don't mistake the solution for regular water, add a drop of food coloring.

If you've got a spot that's stained or extra dirty, or perhaps some tile in need of a shine, try sprinkling kosher salt or baking soda on the area first. Then, scrub it with a sponge before using the all-purpose cleaner.

Natural Glass Cleaner

Clean your windows, glass dining room table or coffee table, and other glass surfaces with a simple glass cleaning solution. Instead of spritzing your way to poor health with Windex, add water and vinegar in equal amounts into a spray bottle for a simple glass cleaner. It's effective and cheap. If you want something a little less vinegary, combine 1 tablespoon of vinegar with 3 tablespoons of ammonia in the spray bottle instead and then add water. Vinegar is excellent for getting icky film and grease off glass. When you wipe off these glass cleaners, you won't get annoying streaks.

If you really can't stand vinegar or you're all out, lemon juice works well too. Use a little natural toothpaste to buff out any scratches you discover under all that dirt. 

   

Natural Oven Cleaner

After you've used your all-purpose cleaner on your floors, counters, and bathroom surfaces, and went to town on your windows with the glass cleaner, you'll probably find yourself staring at your oven skeptically, thinking “that nasty area is going to need more than a natural solution.” Wrong. Get a spray bottle of regular water this time and spritz a nice amount of moisture all over the inside of your oven. Then, generously pour baking soda everywhere. Give any dry spots another spray with the water bottle and then take a few hours to do something fun, like exercise or volunteer at a soup kitchen (and don't forget to bring your baking soda). When you come back, just wipe up the baking soda and water combination.

This may all sound too good to be true, but your lungs will thank you for spraying only natural products into the air. Your children and pets, who are more vulnerable to chemicals, will benefit as well.

See also:

Clean Your Air and Brighten Your Day with Houseplants

How to Make Your Home a Haven

Making Your Home Safe in the 21st Century

References

http://www.epa.gov/region1/communities/indoorair.html
http://www.thefamilyhomestead.com/homemadehouseholdcleaners.htm
http://frugalliving.about.com/od/cleaningtipsandrecipes/qt/Glass_Cleaner.htm
http://homeguides.sfgate.com/natural-homemade-streakfree-window-cleaners-78848.html
http://wellnessmama.com/211/natural-oven-cleaning/
http://www.thedailygreen.com/green-homes/latest/green-cleaning-spring-cleaning-460303#slide-2

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About the Author

Sárka-Jonae Miller is a health and fitness expert. She began working in the fitness industry in 2000 while pursuing a BS in journalism at Syracuse University. She became certified as a personal fitness trainer and group exercise instructor in 2003. She has also received training in massage therapy. Sárka also writes fiction. She is the author of the chick lit novel, Between Boyfriends. Get more health and wellness tips on Sárka's Natural Healing Tips blog or join her on Facebook and Twitter.

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