It’s that time of year again, where we emerge from our winter hibernation and see what a mess we made. Who knew that seasonal slump could be so messy? Nevertheless, as the temperature rises, our will to tidy-up Marie Kondo-style increases, too. But don’t get out that gallon of bleach just yet. You can green up and clean up your spring cleaning with ease.
CLEAN, BUT NOT TOO CLEAN
Our obsession with “sanitation” is actually becoming part of our downfall! How could this be? When we allow our body the chance to come into contact with certain germs or weak strains of disease, the better the chance your body can fight it in the future—a process called hygiene hypothesis.
The thing about harsh chemical cleaners is that they can’t select just the bad germs to kill. Instead, they rid every surface of bad germs and “good” germs, or “probiotic organisms,” that make up your body’s gut health—something that determines your overall wellness, and something these antimicrobial cleaning products fully disrupt! In the future, this could cause you to get sick more often. And in children, this could cause an increased risk of developing allergies or autoimmune diseases as they age.
CHEMICAL CULPRIT: LUNGS
Chemical-based cleaning solutions can be toxic. Ingredients such as parabens, ammonia, chlorine bleach, QUATS, Triclosan, and triclocarban can all cause varying negative effects. And while there is a time and place for these cleaners, like hospitals and medical facilities, your home should not be in this constant chemical-cleaner frenzy. Your health could suffer, if so.
Breathing in harsh chemical cleaners can wreak havoc on your lungs. Though we associate the smell of these toxic solutions with a “clean” feeling, it’s not worth the risk. According to a study conducted in Norway, 6,000 participants showed a link between the constant use of toxic cleaning products with increased lung troubles. In some cases, the damage reflected what it would be like to smoke 20 cigarettes daily!
The culprit? Harsh chemicals irritating the delicate mucus membranes within your airways that help you breathe.
MAKE YOUR OWN!
At this point, if you’re feeling a bit like your life is a lie, don’t worry. You can still give your home an awesome spring cleaning, sans the toxic chemicals. In fact, you’ll have it spotless while keeping all the friendly flora in your home and in your body intact. Here are a few natural ingredients that’ll help do the trick:
- Castile soap — This is a hard soap made naturally with olive oil and sodium hydroxide. This can be mixed with water to create hand soap, shampoo, and dishwashing liquid. Beware: the only ingredient should be pure, saponified olive oil. Don’t fall for dupes!
- Distilled white vinegar —High acidity helps dissolve build-up on countertops or in showers. For this reason, it’s best used as glass or mirror cleaner. To polish wood paneling or cabinets, dilute it with water and give it a go!
- Sea salt — A natural abrasive that can help take away stains and build-up. It’s also absorbent, getting into nooks and crannies to stop bacteria from thriving. That’s why sea salt is a great way to clean wooden cutting boards or any wooden surfaces!
- Lemon juice — Can remove stains in clothing or upholstery, and it can remove limescale or rust, too. It’s an antibacterial, killing salmonella and E. coli. Bonus: it smells better than vinegar!
- Essential oils — There are hundreds of essential oils that make incredible additives to your homemade cleaners. A few superstars are:
- Tea tree (melaleuca): fights germs and keeps away bugs!
- Rosemary: natural antiseptic and antibacterial
- Citrus: lemon, wild orange, grapefruit—yes, any citrus will do! These are great for removing glue, like sticker residue on glass.
- Pine: kills yeast spores, E. coli and other germs. Perfect for bathrooms where mold and mildew grow!
- Thyme: A very powerful oil that packs a punch against germs, especially salmonella.
When mixing your own cleaner, you can get creative. Vinegar, purified water, and a few drops of your favorite essential oil can act as a multi-surface cleaner! Or, a mixture of castile soap, purified water and another essential oil can make a homemade dish/hand soap! The possibilities are endless. But whatever you’re making, make sure to use purified water for the best results.
GET SPIC-AND-SPAN WITH PRIMO
With Primo® Water’s 5-step Reverse Osmosis (RO) purification system, we leave you with better, safer water for drinking and for spring-cleaning. You won’t have to worry about lead, harmful bacteria or trace pharmaceuticals that can often lurk in your tap water. That’s why, when it comes to creating your own cleaning concoction, reach for Primo and ditch the tap.
So, this Spring, go green. And suddenly, you’ll be taking more of those breaths of fresh air you’ve been waiting to take all winter long. That’s what we call The Primo Effect.