Cleaning... The BAD vs. The GOOD

The BAD Guys in Cleaning Products:

Try to avoid these substances whenever possible. Read your labels!

- Butyl cellosolve cresol - Formaldehyde - Glycols - Hydrochloric acid - Hydrofluoric acid naphthalene - PDCBs (paradichloroben zenes) - Perchloroethylene - Phenol - Propellants - TCE (trichloroethylene) - Petroleum distillates - Phosphoric acid sulfuric acid

The GOOD Guys:

- Baking soda. Effective mineral with mildly abrasive cleaning, whitening, and deodorizing properties.

- Vinegar. Derived from the fermentation of fruits or grains, vinegar has a high acid content that makes it great at killing germs, cutting grease, and dissolving mineral deposits.

- Borax. A naturally occurring mineral (containing water, oxygen, sodium, and boron) with tremendously useful antiseptic, antifungal, deodorizing, and disinfectant properties. It stops the growth of mold and mildew, and kills roaches.

- Vegetable oil-based liquid soap. This biodegradable alternative to petroleum-based detergents can be found in health food stores.

- Essential oils. The boiled-down essences of different plants, like peppermint, lavender, and lemons, for instance, can be used as natural air fresheners and to add pleasant scents to homemade cleaners.