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Ten Things

10 Green Cleaning Supplies

Mary Doyle
Mary L. Doyle specializes in environmental health sciences at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.
Spring cleaning season is officially upon us. Just as you scour your home for a fresh new start,consider a similar overhaul of your products. Doyle, a registered nurse who specializes in environmental health sciences, warns that many common cleaning supplies contain harmful chemicals. Bleach, for example, has fallen out of favor due to the potentially signicant health effects of sodium hypochlorite. The good news is that swapping toxic cleaners with greener options is easy and cost-effective. “You can clean your house with products that you have right in your pantry or medicine cabinet,” Doyle says. “These products are cheaper, environmentally friendly, and avoid the adverse health effects that commercial cleaning products may cause.”

1 / Vinegar

Spray full strength on counters and follow  with hydrogen peroxide. Mixed 1:1 with water,  it cleans fabric and carpet stains.

2 / Baking Soda

Useful against mold and stains. 

3 / Hydrogen Peroxide

Use full strength in a spray bottle to clean surfaces. Use on colorfast clothing to treat stains.

4 / Borax 

A laundry booster,  fungicide, herbicide,  and general household cleaner.

5 / Rubbing Alcohol

Use it to clean sinks,  stainless, and chrome. Dilute with water to  wash windows.

6 / Lemons

Rub on the surface of your wood cutting boards and rinse clean. The acidity  kills bacteria. 

7 / Castile Soap

Mild on the skin, it can  be used as dish detergent, hand soap, and all- purpose cleaner.

8 / Coca Cola

Cleans toilets, rusty parts, and even laundry.

9 / Water

The primary ingredient in most commercial cleaning products! Keep it in a spray bottle to spot clean.

10 / Activated Charcoal

An open container in the refrigerator or on the counter acts as an air freshener.  Keep out of reach of children or pets.
Illustration of various kitchen pantry items
Shannon May / Portrait by Tina Berning

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