As responsible parents, we spend a lot of time and effort safeguarding the health and well-being of our children and pets. So it makes sense that we should also try to eliminate or minimise their daily exposure to harmful chemicals such as those found in the majority of the commercial cleaning products we use in our homes - whether we buy pet friendly ones or we make our own.
Several South African companies have embraced this and have committed to developing pet friendly products for our home use. With the interests of our fur pets at heart, don't you think we should try to support them? Here are a few:
Vegan SA, a directory for vegans in South Africa, has a Cruelty-free Products section with a useful list of animal-friendly products. You can select personal and household care brands that are cruelty-free and it explains where you can buy them.
Earthsap has a prolific range of household products ranging from All Purpose, Carpets and Upholstery, Dishwashing Liquid to Kitchen and Window Cleaners - some with mild fragrances like citrus or peppermint. Some examples are: "Earthsap Laundry Liquid - Orange & Mandarin" - 1 litre; "Earthsap Citrus Floor and Tile Cleaner" - 750ml.
"For over 25 years, Earthsap has been creating products that are naturally derived, non-toxic and biodegradable. These products contain mild ingredients that help with allergies and skin problems, and create a safe environment for humans and pets". They can be ordered online from either https://www.yuppiechef.com/earthsap.htm or https://madebynature.co.za/collections/earthsap or https://www.faithful-to-nature.co.za/earthsap/
However, to be sure that your household products do not contain any chemicals that are harmful or particularly irritating to your kid or pet, or to anyone in your family, then consider making your own.
Here are 5 DIY safe, non-toxic, natural home cleaning options that will keep you and your pets safe from harm, and your house hygienic and squeaky clean.
1. Cleaning Scrub and Odour Absorber
Bicarbonate Soda (or Baking Soda) can be used as an inexpensive, all-natural, cleaning product and is known for its odour absorbing qualities for your home.
What: mix baking soda with equal amounts of warm water and salt until it makes a thick paste.
Uses: cleans countertops, stains in sinks, and pet's bowls to remove stuck-on food and grime.
How: use a sponge or cleaning cloth to scrub the affected area. Rinse well with warm water.
How: to freshen up a carpet, sprinkle it lightly with baking soda, let it settle in for 15 to 30 minutes, and then vacuum up.
2. All-purpose Floor Cleaner
What: combine 1 cup of vinegar and 1 litre of water.
How: use this mixture to mop your floors. You can add a shine to the surface of your floor by mopping it again with club soda after it has dried.
Why: this cheap and easy-to-make solution breaks down grease and grime on most surfaces.
Uses: cleans wooden floors, ceramic tiles, linoleum or vinyl flooring.
Also: cleans your pet's plastic or rubber toys and other non-porous surfaces.
3. Glass Surfaces and Windows Cleaners
What: mix 5 tablespoons of lemon juice to 2 litres of water.
How: wipe the glass surfaces using old cotton T-shirts or a clean lint-free cloth.
Uses: glass surfaces and windows.
4. Kitchen and Bathroom Cleaners
1. For general cleaning - sprinkle baking soda and wipe with a moist sponge or cloth.
2. For grease and grime - add some salt to the above mixture and repeat the process.
3. To disinfect a surface - mix 2 cups of water with 3 tablespoons of liquid soap and approximately 25 drops of tea tree oil which has natural antibacterial and antifungal properties.
Uses: bathrooms and kitchens.
5. Carpet Cleaner
A combination of baking soda and hydrogen peroxide makes a strong, natural deodorising carpet cleaner and is great for treating urine stains as it breaks down uric crystals.
1. Blot the stain with some paper towel then sprinkle a good amount of baking soda over it.
2. Combine half a cup of 3% hydrogen peroxide with 1 teaspoon of dishwashing liquid and slowly pour the solution over the stain and baking soda.
3. Using a clean cloth or scrubbing brush, rub at the stain.
4. Wait for about 10 minutes and then vacuum the area thoroughly.
Uses: carpet cleaner especially for pet urine, poop and vomit stains.
For more DIY green cleaning tips, follow this link:
Children and pets make a home! Often, we unwittingly expose them and ourselves to the risks presented by the harmful cleaning products we use; those that pollute the air inside our homes with airborne toxins that may be irritating to them. So, let's be extra considerate and instead only use child- and pet-friendly home cleaning products in future.