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Non-toxic cleaning alternatives include vinegar, baking soda and lemon juice, in addition to a growing selection of non-toxic cleaning supplies available on the market. Courtesy photo.
Home and Garden News

Simple ways to clean your home without toxic chemicals

REGION — If you are into living a sustainable or green lifestyle, you’re not alone especially in Southern California.

Many homeowners are more than happy to support Mother Earth, whether it’s forgoing all plastic bags at the grocery store and bringing your own canvas or cleaning the house with all-natural products.

And thanks to the many natural and eco-friendly products now available that are safer for the environment, the home and the family, it’s easier than ever to stay and keep green.

According to Mari Tarantino, owner of Mari Maids based in Encinitas, going green with said eco-friendly cleaners is the better way to go.

Tarantino said she practices what she preaches as do her team of maids in terms of green house cleaning — she no longer uses toxic or harmful chemicals.

How it began

Tarantino started Mari Maids in 2009 after she decided to stop using bleach, Comet and the like for cleaning offices and homes. She said doing so has made her, as well as the homes and offices she cleans, safer and much healthier.

“My daughter and I had a very bad asthma and every day when I came back from work, I had problems breathing,” she recalled. “I had very bad headaches, so I thought I had to start using things that weren’t so toxic.”

During her visit with her doctor, the doctor told her the cleaning products she was using were indeed very bad for her.

“That’s when I changed, and I love it,” she said. “Neither my employees or I have those problems anymore; we don’t have to smell those stinky chemicals.”

She said ever since she began a green cleaning routine, she has been feeling better, and her clients are also pleased.

“Everyone loves it because it is so much safer for everyone,” she said.

These days, Tarantino uses products that are all-natural and safe such as Mrs. Meyer’s and Bona products for floors.

Mrs. Meyers offers a wide variety of plant-derived cleaning products. Courtesy photo.

“I use those two products only for the entire house,” she said. “My health is way better and I even taught my entire family to change. We are all way healthier, and it’s great for the environment. I totally recommend homeowners make the change especially if they have kids and pets at home.”

So, for those homeowners who want to stay healthy and skip the toxic chemicals, but still maintain a clean home, she recommends they start cleaning the green way, right away.

“Meyer’s is a very good product that you can find in any market,” she said. “I really like it because the aromas are super gentle, and it works on everything. My other great helper is Dawn soap that can even be used on windows when diluted. I also use it as an antibacterial soap mix; add it to water and you have a cleaning product for everything.”

She also likes microfiber cloths instead of paper towels because she can use them repeatedly and wash them versus throwing them away.

Tarantino said all these products mentioned work well on bathrooms, kitchens, and cut grease, too.

Other easy green cleaning tips

If you want to stay toxic and chemical-free like Tarantino when cleaning your home, here are a few easy tips to try:

Keep a fresh pair of rubber gloves and a sticky lint roller in your home. You can use rubber gloves to easily pick up hair or lint off your sofa and other surfaces that collect stray hair. If you have pets, you’ll be able to pick up their hair fast and easy with this method. Then follow up with the lint roller to pick up crumbs, paper scraps, or other small hard-to-get pieces off chairs, coffee tables and other furnishings.

Did you break a glass? It can be hard to pick up all those tiny shards of glass off the hardwood, tile or linoleum floor, but there is a solution. Try balling-up piece of bread. Pressing the bread over the shards will pick up even the smallest slivers off your floor — and keep your bare feet safe.

To remove finger prints, smudges or dust-off television and computer screens fast try using a paper coffee filter. These filters can be safely used to pick up dust and grime off your home entertainment system without marring the surfaces and delicate screen. It’s a fast and inexpensive way to clean these items.

Lemons go a long way for cleaning. Try using a lemon on your cutting board to make it smell fresh and clean, especially after dicing onions. Just rub a cut lemon wedge on the board and leave it to sit for about 15 to 20 minutes. Also, try using rice in your coffee grinder to clean it. Just grind a few grains to pick up leftover coffee grinds and oils.

Finally, the easiest way to keep things tidy is to spend just five minutes each day picking up after everyone. It’s simple, if you decide to make it a habit. If you can get your whole family in on the act at the same time, you’ll have a cleaner home. Simply spend a few minutes clearing off coffee and end tables, hanging up coats and putting away shoes and throwing things out in the trash. Those five minutes can make a huge difference in the way you feel about your home!

Keeping green at home can be a safe, healthy and less costly way than using traditional toxic chemicals. Going green is a way that can be easily accomplished if you set your mind to it!