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Now we’re into September, which means that colder weather and shorter evenings are on their way! This also means we’ll be spending a lot more time in our homes – move over Spring cleaning, it’s all about the Fall cleaning. But as we gear up to spending more time indoors, we need to be sure our houses are gleaming clean, and welcoming!
Many people see the importance of cleaning their houses using natural ingredients. Not only are these often a lot cheaper, but they are also friendlier to our bodies, the surfaces in our homes, and are much better for the environment in general.
However, it’s crucial to know that some combinations of ingredients could render the cleaning power of them entirely obsolete, and others could have much more dangerous consequences!
Never Mix These Natural Cleaning Ingredients!
1. Hydrogen Peroxide & Vinegar = Peracetic Acid
By themselves, these ingredients are powerful cleaners and sanitizers. If you combine them in a container, however, you can create a dangerous corrosive acid. Peracetic Acid can not only cause great damage to the surfaces in your home, but can irritate your eyes, skin, and lungs. It could also potentially cause “permanent scarring of the skin, cornea, and throat.” (1)
Using these ingredients separately, they are fantastic for getting kitchen surfaces gleaming once more, and work fantastically in the bathroom too. If the colder months bring the sniffles with them, both of these ingredients can help you to sanitize your home naturally and prevent the spread of infection.
What You Should Do
To benefit from the cleaning power of each of these, you should use separate spray bottles for each. Spray and wipe down an area using one, and then follow afterwards with the other. Think of them as”two punches” not one, and you can’t go wrong!
2. Baking Soda & Vinegar = Water and Sodium Acetate
Once again, vinegar is an excellent ingredient for cleaning the home. However, combine it with baking soda and you end up completely neutralizing your cleaning solution.
Vinegar is acidic, but baking soda is basic, so mixing the two produces only water with a small amount of salt in it. Even though it creates a fantastic-looking foaming and bubbling reaction, the bubbles aren’t helping with any cleaning and are just making two great cleaners utterly useless! You end up with just as much bacteria and dirt as when you started – a waste of time and money.
What You Should Do
Use baking soda by itself as a scouring agent for cleaning burnt-on scum in the oven or in sinks, and follow with a rinse of tap water. Vinegar can be used similarly to the last tip, cleaning surfaces, or restoring shine to glassware.
3. Castile Soap & Vinegar = Sludge
If you combine these ingredients and use them on your surfaces, you might end up making everything a whole lot worse! Combining the two causes a reaction that essentially breaks down the soap, causing it to separate out into the fats and oils that made it in the first place. You end up with what can only be described as gunk.
What You Should Do
Never mix Castile soap with anything acidic. Always use it by itself to clean surfaces and remove grease and oily residue! You can then rinse surfaces afterwards using the vinegar.
Let the Cleaning Begin
Follow these tips to ensure that you get the best cleaning power from each of these fantastic natural ingredients, without neutralizing them and avoiding creating a potentially hazardous situation! If you want to keep your home naturally clean, there are many fantastic products out there that will help you to do so. Happy cleaning!
1. Are you safe? How do you know?: Peracetic Acid Uses, Health Risks & Workplace Guidelines. Chemdaqblogspotca. 2016. Available at: http://chemdaq.blogspot.ca/2011/01/peracetic-acid-uses-health-risks.html. Accessed September 8, 2016.
2. Green Cleaning Ingredients You Should Never Mix. Bren Did. 2015. Available at: http://brendid.com/green-cleaning-ingredients-you-should-never-mix/. Accessed September 8, 2016.