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Eco-friendlier options for spring cleaning

baking soda cleaner vs store products

Guess what? The season has come around again to give your home a thorough spring-approved scouring. First, it may be prudent to think about what the chemical cleaners applied to surfaces you come in contact with on a daily basis are really made out of. The good news is there are healthier, more eco-friendly alternatives that are easily prepared using a few commonly sourced items. Here are a handful of Westmar’s top suggestions.

For the kitchen

Anyone who has a decently stocked pantry should have some white vinegar lying around, right? When combined with equal parts water, the solution is a great way to shine up things like stovetops and counters (except ones made from granite or marble — swap vinegar for the less-acidic rubbing alcohol instead).

one cup white vinegar

Added into a spray bottle, the above can also be used inside the oven. To get rid of baked-on stains, heat the oven to 125 degrees Fahrenheit or so. Then, spray onto the affected areas and let sit before wiping with a dry cloth. If there are any particularly stubborn spots, repeat and sprinkle a little baking soda overtop as well.

For the bathroom

Instead of run-of-the-mill corrosive toilet bowl cleaners, pour in a half-cup of baking soda followed by a quarter-cup of vinegar. While the two liquids react and start fizzing away, scrub as per normal. Squeeze a few drops of a favourite essential oil to produce a deodorizing effect at the same time.

A mixture similar to the one we talked about for the kitchen, except with a higher concentration of vinegar and a squirt of essential oil, works well to clean the rest of the toilet. You can even try it in the bathtub and on the surrounding walls to get rid of grime, mildew and soap scum build-up.

seventh generation cleaner


There do exist some companies that produce greener, less toxic household products. For example, Vermont-based Seventh Generation, found in most drugstores and supermarkets, uses plant-derived ingredients and have been operating for over 25 years.

By Benjamin Yong

April 12, 2017

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