Pregnancy Safety: DIY Green Cleaning Solutionsby Teresa Shaw | March 3, 2008
Many women, after discovering that they are pregnant, decide to go "green" when it comes to cleaning. Green, or environmentally friendly methods, can be preferred to harsh cleansers full of perfumes and chemicals.
A scan of your local store's shelves will find a number of natural or biodegradable cleaning solutions that are safer for both baby and mom-to-be. However, these products may still pose a risk.
The best method may actually be to prepare cleaning materials from products you already have on hand at home. You may be surprised to learn that most of the cleaners you use can be made at home with products you already own for mere pennies compared to store prices.
Following are few tried-and-true favorites.
All-purpose cleaner: Mix equal parts vinegar and water in a spray bottle. Spray on surfaces, then wipe clean. This also works great for cleaning mirrors and windows. Wipe dry with newspaper for a streak-free shine.
To remove residue in coffee maker: Fill water reservoir with vinegar; run as you would to brew coffee. Rinse with water.
Garbage disposal refresher: Use the rind of a lemon, lime or orange. Slice the rind into small pieces, dump down the drain, and grind in the disposal. Your drain and sink will smell citrus fresh.
For a clogged drain: Pour in 1/2 cup baking soda, followed by 1/2 cup vinegar. Allow to bubble up, then flush with about 2 cups of boiling water.
Toilet cleaner: Use denture tablets in place of chemical toilet cleaner. Drop two tablets into the bowl and brush as you normally would to clean. Baking soda and vinegar also work well: sprinkle baking soda into the bowl, then pour vinegar on top, and scrub with a toilet brush. The vinegar and baking soda clean and deodorize.
Shower/tub: Sprinkle baking soda on tough spots in place of scouring powder. Rub with a damp sponge, then thoroughly rinse with water. Also try vinegar and baking soda to remove film buildup on bathtubs. Apply vinegar to a sponge and wipe surface. Next, sprinkle the area with baking soda. Scrub with a damp sponge and rinse thoroughly with water.
Laundry refresher: Add a cup of vinegar to the final rinse cycle to remove soap residue and refresh clothes.
Fabric softener: Add 1/4 cup baking soda to the wash cycle to soften fabrics.
No matter what your health, you should always clean in a well-ventilated area. If you can, open the windows or turn on a fan. The American Pregnancy Association recommends protecting your skin by wearing long-sleeved shirts, long pants and gloves when you clean. Never mix cleaning products together; this may cause toxic fumes. In addition, be sure to always check the label of your cleaning supplies for any warning against use of the product by pregnant women.Teresa Shaw is a professional editor and freelance writer with a degree in English and journalism. She writes about motherhood, travel, and cooking, among other topics, for a variety of print and online markets. She enjoys spending time with her husband, daughter, two cats, and dog.
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