Eco friendly or "green" cleaners have been making a huge push the last few years.
As a maid I get asked the question all the time. "Do eco friendly cleaners work as well as traditional cleaners?"
The simple answer is absolutely YES!
Many traditional cleaners out there use natural chemicals to start with and then either concentrate them or add to them harsher chemicals like ammonia and chlorine to give them added power.
The truth is 9 times out of 10 for household use you do not need that added power.
As a country we have been bombarded by the media with "anti bacterial" this and "germ killing" that for years. Scaring us into thinking that every surface is rife with infectious super killers.
This is really not the case. In fact, over use of harsh chemicals has been found in and of itself to create more resistant bacterial strains. Over sanitizing our homes can also prevent children from developing natural resistance to even the most common germs and has even been recently linked to the childhood development or food allergies. Harsh chemicals can also lead to lung and nasal difficulties in later life.
Use cholorine bleach to whiten your white clothing. You really do not need it elsewhere.
Corrosive chemicals like hydrochloric acid may be needed to unclog a sink but are far from necessary for everyday household use.
Check your product lables! If it is recommeded that you use gloves and protective eye or nose gear chances are you do not need or want it in your home.
So what about those green cleaners?
The most basic thing, white vinegar and water solution works fantastic at cutting grease, dissolving grime and is even perfect for cleaning glass with a steak free shine. Bonus! Its also cheap!
Citrus based cleaners also have enough natural acids to cut through grime and also tend to smell fantastic! These are great for germ control on countertops, toilet seats, and other general areas.
Cleaners with lactic acids found in corn, coconut, etc. work as mineral dissolvers which makes them perfect for soap scum, and toilet bowl cleaners.
Nut and citrus oilcleaners also work wonders on real wood furniture and even leather, keeping it moisturized and supple. Like other oil or wax based products however they are not necessary all the time and can build up on wood if overused. In between treatments a lightly dampened microfiber cloth works perfect.
These products also are fabulous on (suprise!) stainless steel! No streaking!
Products lines to try: Method and Seventh Generation
or make your own with vinegar and lemon juice. There are many websites with "make your own" cleaner advice. Do a web search and you will find an abundance of information!