Cleaning products aren’t clean, says Today. Common all-purpose solutions are chock-full of toxic chemicals like ammonia, naphtha, sulfuric acid, and formaldehyde. Fortunately, you don’t need to rely on dangerous cleaning products to spruce up your home. There are natural alternatives that do as good a – if not better – job. More importantly, they’re not detrimental to your family’s health!
SOL+ SPIRIT brings you handpicked eco-friendly, trustworthy solutions to make your home a tidier and more nurturing environment:
Use lemons and other citrus fruits as deep cleaners
Citrus fruits like lemons, grapefruits, and tangerines are naturally antibacterial and antiseptic. When combined with vinegar, you have a powerful solution with multiple cleaning properties. First, it works as a general-purpose cleaner for microwaves, ovens, cutting boards, and utensils. Second, it can polish materials like wood and copper, perfect for rusted old countertops and stained pots and pans. Finally, it even acts as a deodorizer – use it on smelly containers or garbage disposal.
Add baking soda to your laundry for fresher clothes
Baking soda is good for more than delicious chocolate chip cookies. This everyday pantry item makes for a wonderfully gentle abrasive and deodorizer. While it works as an all-purpose cleaner and stain remover, it’s arguably best used as an addition to your laundry detergent. A cup of soda can soften the water and balances the pH levels. Further, you won’t need as much liquid detergent as usual. Your clothes will come out smelling better-than-ever and almost as bright as the day you bought them.
Get a houseplant for a better environment
If you don’t have houseplants already, it’s time to get some – NBC News reports they boost your mood, enhance productivity and concentration, and reduce stress levels. Additionally, they’re eye-catching and can enhance the décor of any room they are in. Finally, they clean and recycle the air inside, making it more breathable, airy, and fresh. Indoor plants like cacti, ivy, and spider plants are low-maintenance, affordable, and beautiful, making them a worthy addition to any home.
Replace air fresheners with natural fragrances
Yes, air fresheners smell good and are a convenient way to get rid of bad odors quickly. However, there’s a price to using them – your health. 20% of the US population experience adverse effects after using them like migraines, headaches, and nausea. Essential oils, candles, baking soda, and even coffee beans are wonderful natural alternatives that don’t hurt you and smell just as good.
Part the curtains and open the windows
When was the last time you drew aside the curtains and cracked open the windows around your house? It’s a good idea to do so every once in a while. The air inside tends to fill up with toxins like pollen, dander, and chemicals, as well as harmful odors over time. Velux claims the air inside can be five times more polluted than the air outside. Some fresh air can make the insides crisp and wholesome again. Further, any natural sunlight you let in will kill bacteria, boost your mood, and reduce the need for artificial lighting.
Purge and declutter for more space
The various knickknacks and odds-and-ends you’ve collected over the years take up precious real estate. Even worse, they gather dust, germs, require cleaning and maintenance, and generally block free airflow and hamper movement. Toss out, donate, or sell the items you don’t absolutely need. Decluttering not only has tangible physical benefits, but it can also make you feel better emotionally and act as a therapeutic mental aid. You’d be surprised at how spacious, clean, and free your home will seem, and how light you’ll feel. For best results, don’t immediately replace the items you get rid of!
Use breathable paints for happier, healthier rooms
Giving your interior a fresh coat of paint can make a world of difference to how the place looks and feels. When choosing paints, get the non-toxic kind: APE-free, antimicrobial-free, and low-VOC. Breathable paints can allow in more moisture and humidity inside the room if it gets too dry. Colors are important – they can uplift, inspire, soothe, and heal. Be strategic with your color choices – yellows can inject more enthusiasm and energy into living rooms and kitchens, while blues and greens make bedrooms restful and comforting.
Make eco-friendly upgrades around your house
Eco-friendly upgrades aren’t just good for the environment, but they’re also better for your health as they contain few-to-no harmful chemicals, finishes, and pollutants. Further, eco-friendly is almost always sustainable, so you don’t have to maintain as much. Some practical pro-environmental enhancements are energy-efficient (energy star) appliances, solar panels, extra insulation, glazed windows, natural bamboo or linoleum flooring, more natural lighting options, better ventilation, and non-toxic carpeting.
Such upgrades will typically reduce your carbon footprint and enhance your property’s overall value at the same time. It’s always a good idea to plan with the buyer’s demands in mind, whether you’re looking to sell soon or later, to maximize the appreciation in the property’s value. Click before and after snapshots and maintain a file with receipts – you’ll need both later.
Minimize the tech
Technology is a bit of a double-edged sword. It makes your life easier and more entertaining but also brings with it stress and digital addictions. If you find yourself constantly in front of a screen at home – be it a TV, laptop, or smartphone – then it might be time to cut back. Some ways to do so are having designated technology-free hours, having only one TV for everyone, and putting away smartphones during meal times. Minimizing technology can free up a great deal of time and mental space, and make you and your family happier and healthier.
Your home is your retreat from the world outside. By giving it some extra love and care, you can turn it into an oasis of peace, health, and happiness for both you and your family. Keep making small improvements over time. Before you know it, you’ll witness a massive transformation in your home environment.