Skip to content

    Health & Parenting

    Font Size
    A
    A
    A

    Good Housekeeping


    WebMD Feature from "Country Living" Magazine

    By Kathryn Drury

    Country Living Magazine When it comes to cleaning, herbs and other natural ingredients offer a healthy solution.

    Few of us enjoy cleaning house, but we all appreciate windows you can see through and showers free of mildew. Unfortunately, the same cleaning products you use to get your home sparkling can also be hazardous to your health. Many contain chemical compounds that are poisonous or corrosive -- just reading a product label can be alarming. The effects of chemical exposure can build up over the years, sometimes triggering allergies or even causing illness. But it's possible to keep a tidy home without harming people, pets, or plants.

    When it comes to detoxifying your cleaning regime, you have several options. There are many "green" products you can purchase, or you may choose to prepare your own cleaning solutions, which is easy and quite inexpensive. I tested out Caldrea's window spray and dishwashing liquid, formulated with plant-derived cleansers such as birch bark and lemon balm. They smell so amazing I actually enjoyed doing windows and dishes. The Harmony catalogue, local health-food stores, and many Websites also carry a variety of similar earth-friendly cleaning supplies from "green" companies such as Seventh Generation, Soapworks, and Livos.

    More Articles on CountryLiving.com


    If you want to try making your own cleaning supplies, you'll need only a few simple ingredients, such as baking soda, salt, distilled white vinegar, and essential oils (try citrus, peppermint, or rosemary, for example). Use clean containers to store any homemade cleaning products and be sure to label them clearly so you don't forget what's what or mistake a clear solution for plain water.

    Spring into Cleaning Action

    Glass cleaner: Mix equal amounts of water and white vinegar in a clean spray bottle; add a few drops of essential orange oil to give it an aromatic fragrance.

    Drain cleaner: The Children's Health Environmental Coalition, an organization dedicated to reducing the number of carcinogens kids are exposed to, recommends this method to clean drains: Pour 1/2 cup baking soda down the drain, followed by a cup of vinegar. While it fizzes, cover the drain. Finish by rinsing the drain with a mixture of boiling water and salt. Repeat if necessary.

    Today on WebMD

    Girl holding up card with BMI written
    Is your child at a healthy weight?
    toddler climbing
    What happens in your child’s second year.
     
    father and son with laundry basket
    Get your kids to help around the house.
    boy frowning at brocolli
    Tips for dealing with mealtime mayhem
     
    mother and daughter talking
    Tool
    child brushing his teeth
    Slideshow
     
    Sipping hot tea
    Slideshow
    Young woman holding lip at dentists office
    Video
     
    Which Vaccines Do Adults Need
    Article
    rl with friends
    fitSlideshow
     
    tissue box
    Quiz
    Child with adhd
    Slideshow