Although traditional cleaning products that you can purchase at the store are effective, they do have one major drawback: most of them are full of harmful chemicals. If you already have everyday household cleaners in your home, spend a little bit of time reading the labels on the bottles. You most likely will see a lot of warnings about only using them in well-ventilated spaces, avoiding contact with your skin and eyes, and keeping them away from children or pets.
What if there was a way to get rid of these dangerous products and replace them with safe, natural products instead? As it turns out, you can. Some of the world’s most effective cleaning products are completely natural, meaning that they don’t contain any chemicals that could do major harm to your family or your pets. If you are ready to start making a change, here are the top five natural cleaning products for your home:
1. White Vinegar
Vinegar is good for more than just making pickles or creating a delicious vinaigrette. It can also be used to clean and disinfect your home. You can use it to clean everything from your windows to your countertops and floors. It is particularly effective at combating mold and mildew, making it an excellent bathroom cleaner.
Even though vinegar has a strong aroma, the smell quickly dissipates after it dries. Rather than using vinegar full strength, try diluting it with water. For a general purpose cleaning spray, try mixing one part vinegar to four parts water.
2. Baking Soda
Part of what makes baking soda such an effective cleaner is the fact that it is mildly abrasive. That means that you can use it for scrubbing dirty pots and pans, removing hard water stains, cleaning grout, and countless other challenging tasks around your home.
3. Lemon Juice
High in citric acid, lemon juice has natural antibacterial properties that make it an excellent disinfectant for your home. You can use this powerful natural cleaner on surfaces where germs and bacteria tend to accumulate. One word of caution, however: avoid using it on natural stone countertops or floors. The acidic nature of the lemon juice can sometimes etch the surface of natural stone. Always test lemon juice in an inconspicuous area before cleaning any surface to make sure that it won’t cause damage. For most surfaces, however, it is a highly effective way to kill germs.
4. Tea Tree Oil
This powerful essential oil has antibacterial, antiviral, antimicrobial, and antifungal properties, making it an excellent cleaner for your home. Always dilute it with water before applying it to the surfaces of your home. It is a particularly good choice for cleaning showers, sinks, and other areas where there is a lot of moisture since it does an excellent job of killing mold. One thing that you need to know, however, is that tea tree oil can be toxic to pets in high enough concentrations. Even though it is safe for people, you may want to opt for a different natural cleaner if you have animals in your home.
5. Olive Oil
Even though it may sound strange, you can actually use olive oil to clean your home. It does a good job of dissolving oily residue like leftover grease on cooking pans. It also can be used to polish wood furniture, providing an inexpensive alternative to traditional furniture polish.
These are the top five natural cleaning products for your home. Chances are, you probably already have a lot of these products laying around. If you haven’t already, try ditching traditional cleaners in favor of these safer natural alternatives. From a health and safety standpoint, you definitely will be glad that you did.
Does this sound familiar? You spill something on your carpet and immediately blot it up, spraying carpet cleaner on the area and dabbing at it until the stain is completely removed. You breathe a quick sigh of relief, happy that your carpet is saved.
A few days later, however, you are walking by the area and glance down, only to see that the stain has returned. Frustrated, you clean the area again, doing your best to make sure that all signs of the stain are gone. Unfortunately, a few days later, the stain magically reappears, resulting in an endless cycle of cleaning the same spot.
Dealing with carpet stains is challenging enough. However, when they keep coming back over and over again, it is extremely frustrating. Why do they keep reappearing? What can you do to stop the problem?
The key to dealing with stains like these is to figure out why they occur in the first place. What is it that makes a stain on your carpet reappear. As it turns out, there are two primary factors that can contribute to stains like these: soiling and wicking.
The first problem, soiling, has to do with the cleaning products that are used on the stain. If any soap or detergent remains in the carpet after cleaning the stain, it can act as a magnet for dirt. Even though the area might look clean once you are done working on the stain, the leftover cleaning products in the carpet fibers can attract and hold contaminants until the carpet eventually becomes discolored. This can make it look like the original stain has reappeared when in fact it is new dirt that has been attracted to the cleaning residue.
The best way to avoid this problem is to make sure that no cleaning residue is left behind in the carpet. This usually involves rinsing the area multiple times to remove all traces of soap or detergent. It is also important to use products that are specifically formulated for cleaning carpets. These products are designed to minimize the amount of residue that is left behind, preventing problems like these.
The second problem, which is known as wicking, occurs when the stain is extremely deep. For instance, imagine that you spill a glass of red wine on your carpet. The wine doesn’t just sit on the surface of the carpet. Instead, it seeps down through the fibers, through the carpet backing, and into the underlying carpet pad.
When you clean the carpet using everyday cleaning products, it usually only removes the stain from the carpet fibers themselves. Even though the area might look clean, the stain still remains in the underlying pad. Over time, the remaining contaminants can get wicked up through the carpet fibers to the surface of the carpet, causing the stain to become visible again. This process can occur over and over again until the underlying issue is addressed.
There are a couple of ways that you can correct this problem. The first option is to thoroughly soak the area where the stain is located. Blot or suck up all of the water until the area is nearly dry. In theory, this will help pull the stain up out of the underlying carpet, as well.
In severe cases, you may need to replace the carpet pad under the affected area. This is relatively easy if the stain is located near a wall. For reappearing stains in the middle of your carpet, however, you may need to contact a professional cleaner for help.
These strategies should help you effectively deal with carpet stains that keep coming back over and over again.
While many homeowners are opting for hardwood flooring, there is still a place for carpet in a modern home. Comfortable, cozy, and soft underfoot, carpet helps add texture and warmth to any space. It is especially popular for use in bedrooms, family rooms, nurseries, and play areas. Children, in particular, do well with carpeting since it provides a soft surface for them to play with toys, lay down, or simply roll around while they play.
Deciding on carpeting is far from easy. There are countless different styles out there, making it difficult to narrow in on the right selection for your home. As you shop, there are a couple of basic factors that you need to consider including the following:
The color that you choose not only plays a key role in how the finished room looks but also in how easy your carpeting is to care for. Ideally, you should opt for carpet in a neutral color like gray, beige, or tan. Bright colors tend to go out of style more quickly and limit your options when it comes to redecorating the space. Neutral shades, on the other hand, are always in style. Not only that but they also work with a variety of different color schemes, making it easy to change up your decor in the future.
If you have children or pets, avoid light-colored carpeting. Instead, opt for medium-toned shades. You may even want to look for carpeting with a mottled appearance since it will do a better job of hiding stains than carpet that is a solid color.
When you hear someone talk about the pile of a carpet, they are referring to the soft loops or fibers that make up the side of the carpet that you walk on. This is in contrast to the backing of the carpet, which is a stiff material that the carpet fibers are attached to.
When it comes to carpet pile, there are two basic options available. With loop pile, the carpet fibers form complete loops, with both ends of the fiber being attached to the backing. With cut pile, on the other hand, the loops are cut at the center point, creating fibers that stand up straight and are only attached at one end.
Cut pile carpet tends to have a smooth, even appearance. This creates an elegant look. At the same time, however, it is a little bit harder to care for. Stains are a lot easier to see on this type of carpeting, as are pieces of lint, hair, food, or other small items that find their way onto your floor. The smooth surface of the carpeting also has a tendency to show footprints after someone walks across it.
Loop pile, on the other hand, is a bit more casual looking. It isn’t quite as soft or plush as cut pile. However, it generally does a better job of hiding stains since it has more texture. Because of that, it is a good choice for family rooms or children’s bedrooms.
Most materials that are used to make modern carpeting are synthetic. The four most popular options include polyester, nylon, Olefin, and Triexta. For natural carpet fibers, wool is the top choice. There are pros and cons to all of these options. It is worth educating yourself about the care requirements and stain resistance capabilities of each type of fiber so that you can make the right choice for your home.
This guide should give you a basic idea of how to choose carpet for your home. If you have any lingering questions, the salesperson that you work with at the carpet store should be able to provide detailed answers so that you can make an informed choice.
Cleaning your home is about more than just making it look nice – it is also about creating a healthier space. Over time, contaminants like pollen, pet dander, and dust can build up inside your space, reducing indoor air quality and potentially making it harder to breathe. This is especially true for people who suffer from conditions like allergies or asthma.
Mold and mildew can also be problematic, contaminating your home and negatively impacting your health. If the surfaces in your home aren’t regularly cleaned, problems with potentially harmful bacteria and microbes can get out of hand, making it harder for you and your loved ones to stay healthy.
Fortunately, there are some simple strategies that you can use to create a healthier, cleaner home. Here are six tips to get you started:
1. Choose the right cleaning products. Avoid harsh, chemical-laden cleaning products. Instead, opt for cleaners that are made using safe, natural ingredients. Some cleaning products give off dangerous fumes and leave behind potentially harmful chemicals. These products can cause everything from minor skin irritation all the way up to organ damage, depending on the degree of exposure. By opting for natural products, you can maintain a clean home without putting your family’s health at risk.
2. Vacuum carpeting at least once a week to remove dust, pet hair, dander, pollen, and other contaminants. Invest in a high-quality vacuum with a HEPA filter to keep airborne contaminants to a minimum. Sweep and mop hard floors on a regular basis, as well, to keep them as free as possible from contaminants.
3. Get rid of old chemicals. If you are like most people, you probably have a lot of products that contain chemicals in your home. From leftover supplies from your last painting project to pesticides or herbicides that you used to create a beautiful yard, these products often find their way into basements, garages, or other storage areas. To create a healthier space, dispose of any chemical-based products that you no longer need. Don’t just throw them in the garbage. Instead, contact your local waste management company to find out how to safely dispose of them.
4. Use disinfecting wipes to keep your kitchen clean. At the end of each day, wipe down the handles on your stove, refrigerator, dishwasher, and other appliances with one of these wipes. Give your countertops a quick once-over, as well, to disinfect them for the following day. Do a more thorough cleaning once a week, moving all of the small appliances on your countertop to clean underneath and behind them.
5. Clean out your garbage can. Emptying the garbage and putting in a new bag isn’t enough. Your garbage can itself can also harbor a lot of germs. Each week, when you take out the garbage, wipe the outside of your garbage can down with a disinfecting wipe or cleaner. Clean the inside of the can on a monthly basis, soaking it with a mixture of vinegar and water to kill off any germs. Allow it to dry thoroughly before putting a new bag in.
6. Vacuum your furniture at least once a month to remove any dust, pet hair, or food debris. Consider washing your curtains every few months, as well, to get rid of any dust or allergens that accumulate in the fibers.
Creating a healthier, cleaner home is easy when you use these six tips. Making just a few simple changes to the way that you clean can have a positive impact on the health and well-being of both yourself and your loved ones. Nothing feels better than knowing that your home is not only clean but that it is also safe for your family.