While having to clean this season may be irritating, your cleaner doesn’t have to be. Metal cleaners, glass cleaners, and wax removal products often times contain ammonia, which can severely irritate the lungs, eyes, and skin. Ammonia, a naturally occurring substance, is also manmade for a wide variety of products. At high concentrations ammonia is a corrosive hazard and can burn the skin and eyes. People with asthma or other sensitivities are more easily irritated by ammonia.
Instead, use solutions of citrus or vinegar to cut the grease and grime on grills, patio furniture, windows and screens.
GRILLS AND PATIO FURNITURE
Degrease: Citrus oil is a natural and nontoxic degreaser—good for tough cleaning jobs, such as dissolving remnants of last summer’s luau still layered on the grill or dried up on the lawn chairs. Try Ecover, Earth Friendly, or Seventh Generation brands for effective citrus cleaners that don’t have harmful chemicals. Or make your own:
Remove rust from outdoor furniture, grills or other metal. Here’s a tip from Karen Logan, author of Clean House, Clean Planet: “Sprinkle a little bit of salt on the rust,squeeze a lime over the salt until it is nicely soaked in lime juice. Leave the mixture on for two or three hours. Use the leftover rind as a handy scrubber. Rust is gone.” And the unused portions will make a zingy marinade!
Home-made and store-bought solutions for cleaning screens often contain ammonia. But, soapy water, some simple supplies, and a warm afternoon are all you need.
Now is a good time to wash the windows and frames.
WINDOW AND GLASS CLEANERS
A solution of 50% vinegar and 50% water in a spray bottle is hands down the most popular and most effective homemade remedy for window and glass cleaning. Indeed, it is the only one that Debra Lynn Dadd, author of Home Safe Home recommends. Ms. Dadd ensures the solution’s effectiveness with some simple tricks.
1. Karen Logan, Clean House, Clean Planet. Pocket Books, 1997.
2. Christina VanGinkel, “How to Clean Window Screens the Easy Way”, Pagewise, 2002.
3. Debra Lynn Dadd, Home Safe Home. Penguin Putnam, Inc., 1997.
-Melissa Cooper Sargent
Printable pdf: Greener Springtime Cleaners
Published on March 26, 2012