Real estate is more than just buying and selling; it’s also about knowing the best ways people can care for their homes. In the San Francisco Bay Area, many homeowners are opting for eco-friendly cleaning methods when it comes to keeping their homes clean and in good condition.

Health benefits for homeowners are just one reason why people are making the switch from chemical cleaners to eco-friendly cleaning products. Many chemical cleaners contain harsh chemicals that are hazardous to your health, and especially to the health of older adults, kids, and pets.

The other benefit is that eco-friendly cleaning products also tend to be gentle on household surfaces. This is something to consider when cleaning the old Victorian and Edwardian houses that are common in San Francisco. Hardwood floors and vintage details need extra care. Eco-friendly cleaners are often less corrosive (or not corrosive at all) compared to chemical cleaners.

The even better news is that do-it-yourself green cleaning products are easy (and fun!) to make. Whether you’re looking for greener ways to clean your home or you just want to save money at the store, there are simple household cleaning products you can make on your own.

Below are some recipes, tips, and precautions that will help you get started:

Laundry Detergent

If you want to avoid heavy fragrance and questionable foaming agents, try making your own laundry detergent. One recipe is as follows: Measure 1/2 cup soap flakes or grated bar soap, 1/2 cup borax and 1/2 cup washing soda, and store in an airtight container. It’s as simple as that! Use 1 tablespoon per load of laundry. Store the detergent in a jar with and airtight lid.

All-Purpose Cleaner

Creating your own inexpensive and effective all-purpose cleaner is also easy to do. Combine 3 drops of liquid Castile soap, 4 drops of tea tree oil, 1/2 cup of vodka, 1/4 cup of washing soda (not baking soda) and 1 cup of white vinegar. You can also add 8 drops of your favorite essential oil for scent.

Boil the vinegar in the microwave, mix in the washing soda until dissolved, and then add in the remaining ingredients. Put the solution in a spray bottle and you’re all set for easy cleaning.

Gentle Duster

The best part about this one is that it smells like a fresh summer day! This DIY eco-friendly all-purpose cleaner is extra gentle on surfaces and perfect for dusting. Simply combine 1 cup of water with a squeeze of fresh lemon and 5 drops of lavender oil. Shake up in a spray bottle and spritz on surfaces before dusting.

Eco-Friendly Cleaning Tips to Keep in Mind

  • Avoid mix-ups by labelling and dating each cleaning product when it’s made.
  • Adding a few drops of essential oils like tea tree, lavender and lemon will create a pleasant scent for your homemade cleaning solutions.
  • If you want a lighter smell, substitute vodka for vinegar.
  • Before using a homemade cleaner on delicate surfaces like hardwood floors or marble, first test it in a small, hidden area.

A Few Things to Avoid

  • Always remember to not mix bleach with ammonia or vinegar. This dangerous combination can damage your respiratory system.
  • It’s important to keep hydrogen peroxide and vinegar separate at all times. Combined together they create peracetic acid, which is a highly corrosive compound that can lead to chemical burns.
  • Don’t use vinegar on reactive metal surfaces like aluminum or cast iron.
  • Refrain from using large amounts of any cleaning solution, homemade or store-bought, in unventilated areas.

When mixed and used properly, homemade cleaning solutions can work as well as, if not better than, commercial cleaners, plus they’re also easier on your wallet. Make sure you know the basics before you make your own cleaning products.

If time is an issue, there are many eco-friendly brands available in most supermarkets. A quick scan of the ingredients list will help you determine whether a cleaning product is eco-friendly.

Home maintenance and care tips are just a small part of our expertise at Danielle Lazier :: SFhotlist Team Keller Williams San Francisco. If you’re thinking about buying or selling a house in San Francisco or the Bay Area, please reach out and get in touch for a real estate consultation.

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