3 Non-toxic Cleaning Solutions You Can Make At Home

What do chlorine, ammonia and sodium hydroxide have in common? These are some of the chemicals that popular cleaning products employ to remove grease, stains and germs in households and offices. While these potent actors can certainly be effective on dirt and grime, they can undoubtedly be harmful to you, your children and the environment.

Even if you opt for a popular cleaning solution that boasts a “green” or “eco-friendly” label, there’s still a chance that the claim of environmental safety is inaccurate. Take a few minutes to carefully read the ingredients on the label before you commit. You may find ingredients you didn’t expect to see. Some of the symptoms you might experience from using cleaning products made with harsh chemicals include:

  • Headache
  • Red, watering eyes
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Skin irritation

If you continue to use these products, long-term ailments may include:

  • Asthma
  • Allergic reactions
  • Other respiratory problems

In order to avoid certain disaster, more and more homeowners are turning to natural, homemade products for their cleaning needs. Ultimately, these efforts can alleviate the harmful impact on the environment and help avoid the negative effects of chemicals. Below, you can find three simple recipes to create effective, affordable and eco-friendly cleaning solutions. Always remember: Maid Sailors uses eco-friendly cleaning products when they clean your home ( perfectly).

Make sure you have this stuff:

  • Plastic spray bottles
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • White vinegar
  • Fresh lemon or lemon juice
  • Cornstarch
  • Water
  • Baking soda
  • Castile soap
  • Essential oils
  • Sponges and towels

1) Glass Cleaner

Set aside your go-to, chemical-ridden glass cleaner and whip up a streak-free solution with the help of a few standard kitchen items. For best results, use a newspaper to rub your homemade cleaner over the glass surfaces you’re polishing to a shine. Mix the ingredients thoroughly in a spray bottle to avoid clogs. Adjust the following recipe for larger or smaller bottles:

  • ¼ cup white vinegar
  • ¼ cup rubbing alcohol
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 2 cups distilled or tap water
  • A few drops of your favorite essential oil ( optional)

2) Grease Fighter

It might be hard to believe that a handful of household items is all you need to effortlessly lift grease off counters, stovetops and microwaves – believe it. This formula uses three ingredients and zero chemicals to make one powerful de-greaser. Mix the ingredients in a plastic bottle and add a few drops of lemon juice until it’s fresh. The baking soda breaks up stubborn gunk and the lemon juice adds a hint of citrus-infused freshness. Assemble:

  • 2 cups tepid water
  • 2 tablespoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons liquid castile soap
  • 10 or more drops of lemon juice or essential oil

3) Carpet Cleaner

If you have kids or pets (they’re practically the same thing, right?), your carpet is probably used to a lot of foot traffic (amongst other things). Often, the perpetrators leave evidence behind in the form of tiny little footprints or mud-soaked paw prints. Ditch the powdery carpet treatment that requires a vacuum cleaner. Instead, parents and pet owners alike can spot-clean their rugs with this simple carpet cleaning solution. Gather the following ingredients and mix thoroughly for optimal results. Use a sponge to help you loosen dirt before you break the grime down even further. Ingredients include:

  • Liquid castile soap
  • Baking soda
  • White vinegar
  • Clean towel and sponge

Not only are these non-toxic cleaning solutions eco-friendly, they’re wallet-friendly. You can use these recipes in any room of your house, or use them to supplement other eco-conscious cleaning methods in your car. All in all, the homemade cleaning tools will set you back less than $10. We’ve tweaked these blends just slightly, and you can feel free to experiment with your solutions, as long as you’re taking the proper safety precautions. If you’re too lazy to do any of this, do yourself a favor and call Maid Sailors.

This article was written in conjunction with Carmen Fiordirosa, the marketing director for CleanTools. a Chicago-based manufacturer of drying and polishing products.

Be A Natural: Solutions for Safe Cleaning

You don’t need fancy products to have a completely sanitized home – surprisingly, you may already have everything you need sitting in your fridge. Further, as a millennial, it’s your sworn duty to only use natural solutions whenever possible – if a natural solution is not possible, delay solving the problem for as long as possible until a natural solution is developed (jk lol).

Sadly, many cleaning products on your Amazon or Duane Reade have many chemicals that can be considered harmful and/or relatively toxic. Left to their own devices, these agents will cause unwanted side effects, such as skin irritations and rashes; prolonged use may even contribute to respiratory diseases.

“Green cleaning” is much safer (no surprise there). But where should you start? Also, will “going green” eliminate the green inside your wallet? Don’t panic – we’ve written a cheat-sheet with natural solutions for healthy heavy-duty cleaning. Keep your apartment clean while minimizing damages to your health (and the environment) – it’s like killing three grass-fed birds with one stone!

Clean Cheat Sheet

  • When Life Gives You Lemon Juice, Make a Cleaning Aid
    We wonder if Theologians believe lemons were a sanitizing gift from our almighty creator (if you believe in that sort of thing)? Lemons have acids that can help remove stains and dirt from various surfaces. Use lemon juice in the bathroom or kitchen to eliminate soap scum and built-up hard-water deposits. Further, when mixed with salt, the resulting solution makes a perfect scouring paste.
  • Lastly, lemon juice is very effective with deodorizing and disinfecting countertops and can be used to clean dishes. To achieve lemon juice’s full cleaning potential, merge it with olive oil to form an excellent hardwood polishing solution.
  • You Catch Less Physical Ailments With Vinegar
    Vinegar ain’t no joke – it’s a very effective all-purpose cleaner. Mix equal parts of vinegar and water in a spray bottle and now you’re ready to clean the entire home. The solution works wonders for the bathtub, countertops, sink, and faucets. If you’re trying to impress your friends (who isn’t?), use it as a floor cleaner. Before you get too excited, beware: it can harm marble and wood.
  • Baking Soda
    Substitute baking soda for other non-abrasive cleaners. If you have a garage, you can use baking soda to clean its concrete floor. Inside the house, use it for nasty oil and grease spills.

Concluding Remarks

While cleaning may be dangerously boring, it shouldn’t be dangerous. Give our natural solutions a try – if you’re still having trouble, call Maid Sailors and we’ll fix up your home real quick.

This article received contributions from W2 Cleaning Services

How to Conserve Energy In Your Home

As our carbon “footprint” begins to resemble a full-out, “Earth Angel”-style print, it’s no surprise that eco-friendly construction practices have skyrocketed over the course of the last decade. More and more homes and commercial buildings are undergoing “green” renovations and upgrade projects to cut costs, conserve energy, and ultimately increase the probability that we’re actually here in fifty years.

Going green rarely requires a colossal budget or extensive time. With Summer in full effect, now is the perfect time to tackle that remodeling project you have put off for the last few years and an excellent opportunity to save some cash in the process!

The word “renovation” generally triggers the three E’s: extensive, exhaustive and expensive. We’re here to show you that a “greenovation” is actually fairly simple and straightforward.

 

Upgrade To A Programmable Thermostat

For good reason, these devices have become the norm for most new homes. Since they have to be adjusted by hand, manual thermostats are an incredibly inefficient. Alternatively, automatic counterparts feature a number of pre-set configurations, allowing homeowners to fully customize the temperature output of their heating and cooling system. It is more expensive to keep a home at 72 degrees than it is to adjust the temperature according to your schedule.

Swap Out Energy-Hogging Light Bulbs

Conventional incandescents may be bright, but they are not light (on the wallet)! Replace the old lights in your home with a new set of CFL or LEDs, and expect savings up to $60 per bulb (that’s the equivalent of $10,000 at Taco Bell). To give you an idea of their efficiency, LED-lighting technology lasts 25 times as long and consumes 80% less energy than regular 60-watt bulbs!

Double-Check Your Windows And Doors

You should always check these for potential intruders, but in this case, it’s actually what might leave your home that matters. Windows and doors can be a major source of heat loss. This is why more people opt for energy efficient windows and doors. By considerably lowering energy costs, they represent substantial savings while providing comfort to your home. Not to mention, you’ll sleep better at night knowing that you’ve provided amazing benefits to this beautiful, healing planet.

Don’t Let The Water Run

We’re not talking about the type Drake exhibits on the microphone; we’re talking about your toilet. Did you know that conventional toilets consume up to 3.5 gallons of water per flush? PER flush? Thankfully, you can save a few hundred gallons per month by converting to a low flow model? (PER month) Water conservation is a vitally important aspect of green living, and this is an excellent place to start. Since the sole purpose of toilets and drains is to flush away waste, there is no need to use any more than is necessary. Install a high-efficiency toilet and watch that utility bill drop (down low)!

Concluding Remarks

When you go to buy new appliances, always choose an Energy Star model. Manufacturers are required to meet strict industry standards in order to have their products qualify, so customers who purchase them reap the benefits. Savings run up to 50% and that is definitely no small measure. Dishwashers, refrigerators, water heaters, washers, dryers, and much more are available via ENERGY STAR. The more you use, the more you save.

Lastly, you may also want to schedule an energy audit to assess your home’s current energy-efficiency. Local utility companies typically offer these to residents free of charge!

Things You Can Use Vinegar For

We’re worried that you’re not tired of all the chemical-ridden, toxic cleaning products you’ve been using since you’ve moved to New York City. How long has it been? Do you even notice the chemical aromas scurrying around your home or the discoloring of your walls? In any case, we’re happy you’re still able to read this post: we’ve got your solution. Simply walk into your kitchen and open your cupboard. See the bottle of white vinegar? This is all you need for an eco-friendly summer cleaning.

If Superman could be any household item, he would be Vinegar, because it handles every household enemy: stains, marks, grease, and grime. Remember the motto: “only a few swipes and you’ll see white.” It does not only serve a cosmetic purpose. It also has highly protective attributes and doubles as an antibacterial, herbicidal, and pesticidal agent. Thus, Vinegar is probably the most efficient non-living multi-tasker; best of all, it won’t eliminate your savings like more expensive “off the shelf” cleaning products.

Here are some quick fixes for common cleaning conundrums:

Dirty Dishes

Use vinegar and water to clean all your dishes going forward. After you’re done eating, the vinegar will eat through the grease and grime. As you sleep, the vinegar will be wide-awake, eradicating the stains in order to leave your dishes clean and bright for breakfast.

Dirty Ovens

What was once an Mt. Everest-esque challenge is now simply a walk in the park. Oven cleaning is now much easier. Apply with a  cloth and scrub affected areas to remove the greasiness on the inside. As a bonus, the process will simultaneously eliminate bacteria so that you won’t have to worry about them sprinkled all over your cupcakes.

All Germs

Speaking of germs, vinegar is a great way to kill the ones that aren’t shacking up in your oven, too. Get a mop and a sponge, create a vinegar and water solution, and go Robocop on these bad guys. It also does wonders with your drains.

Odd Odors

In some instances, vinegar can be an effective deodorizer. Whether it’s your walls or carpet, find the troublesome region and mat the area. it’s also great for fridges, toilets, and bathtubs.

Clothes

Yes. If there is a small stain or scorch mark, gently rub over it with a vinegar-soaked cloth and watch the spot disappear. We’d use this one with caution, however; for serious stains (especially those on expensive clothes), consult the instructions on your clothes or your dry-cleaner.

Of course, for real cleaning jobs, don’t hesitate to book Maid Sailors. We’re the vinegar of the on-demand cleaning industry.

7 Tips To “Green-ify” Your House

Summer is coming to a close and it’s time to tidy up. However, don’t rush to Duane Reade or CVS and start squandering money (although, let’s be honest, you’ve might’ve already done this throughout the summer) on products for your windows, carpets, and floors. Not only are many of these cleaners excessive, more importantly, they’re unhealthy. Tap into your inner Hulk (in a non-violent way) and go green! There are a variety of ways to do some quality house cleaning without adding all the chemicals in your home. Plus, you won’t contribute to the pollution of the environment (which may cause you to sleep soundly at night).

Here are 7 solid tips to help you have a greener home:

1. Use Things You Already Have In Your Home 

You would be amazed at how many things you have in your kitchen that can do the job just as well (if not better) as widely marketed products. Baking soda, salt, and vinegar will do wonders for the cleanliness of your home. Add some lemon juice as well and it will freshen up the place with some nice fragrance. Kitchen cleaning and carpet cleaning have never been easier.

2. Ventilate Often – Especially While Cleaning

A lot of toxins are probably already stored in your house and you are breathing them as you read this (we are implicitly assuming that you’re home. If you’re outside, then there’s a 100% you’re definitely breathing toxins). Open windows as often as you can to keep the air currents running and avoid having stale rooms.

3. Recycle Your Plastics

Remove plastic from your home. Instead of holding onto one-time plastic containers (“Chinese” food anyone?), buy reusable glass containers (you’ll save money in the long run).

4. Use Bar Soap For Cleaning Table-Tops

Yes, cheap standard soap bars are often as effective as expensive cleaners. There are also many home-made soap recipes which you can use to save yourself the money for soap in the long run.

5. Re-Use The Unusable

This might be confusing, but once you understand, you’ll smack yourself for not doing this earlier. Instead of wasting money on disposable washcloths, use old t-shirts or towels to wipe windows and dirty surfaces. Save money, save time.

6. Watch Your Water Usage

Water conservation is an effective way to have a positive impact on the environment while simultaneously saving money. Don’t leave the water running when you brush your teeth. Don’t flush the toilet five or six times “just to make sure”. These behaviors will prevent you from flushing dollars down the drain.

7. Book Maid Sailors

Who are you gonna call If you’re too busy to do the dirty work? Maid Sailors. Our cleaners are equipped with eco-friendly cleaners and understand that these services have to be provided with environmental thoughtfulness.

Once you go green, you won’t go back. You’ll save money, feel refreshed and who knows, maybe elongate the lifespan of our planet.

You can read more basic cleaning tips on this site