Earth mama

Staff Writer
Columbus Parent

Here is an excerpt from the article in Daily Finance:

Doctors and environmental scientists are growing more concerned that chemicals found in many household cleaning supplies, such as floor cleaners and glass cleaners, are behind the ongoing increase in breast cancer cases in the U.S. According to The New York Times, the chances that a 50-year-old white woman will develop breast cancer has increased from 1 percent in 1975 to 12 percent today. Anecdotal evidence from some of the latest epidemiological data suggests that younger women (and a growing number of men) are contracting the cancer.

Other chemicals that scientists suspect of playing a role in the rise of these illnesses include simple bleach, flame retardants (many of which have been banned in Europe) and components of plastics used in packaging for food, canned goods, and, until recently, children's bottles and sippy cups. The American public may already be sensing the danger as sales of green cleaning products are skyrocketing.

Yikes! So how can you keep your house clean and your family safe? Try some of these household remedies. Yeah, they're probably a throw back to the way your grandmother cleaned but remember how clean her house was?

Vinegar: Whether you've got linoleum or ceramic tiles in the kitchen, vinegar -- straight or mixed with water -- is all you need to get floors clean. And a good stiff brush also cleans grout nicely.

My grandma always said vinegar and water makes the best window wash. Just don't clean windows in direct sunlight, because they'll dry too fast and look streaky.

For spot cleaning, spray it on and scrub out the spot with a washrag and don't worry about the vinegar smell; it dissipates quickly.

Baking soda: Make your own sink scrub using one part vinegar, four parts baking soda and several drops of your favorite essential oil (or oils). Scrub the paste on with a sponge, let sit for a few minutes then rinse.

Got pets and kids? Then you have fabric smells. Before vacuuming, shake baking soda over the carpet. It will help absorb odors on carpets and upholstery.

For tubs and toilets spray with vinegar first, then sprinkle on baking soda for totally natural, fizzy cleaning power. Scrub with a sponge or toilet brush, then rinse clean or flush.

Borax and other minerals: For especially stubborn smells, some people swear by zeolite, a natural mineral with tiny, tiny pores and an ability to soak in the worst of odors.

In garbage cans, sprinkle the bottoms with the natural mineral borax to prevent mold and fungus, and to keep away insects.

Got more green cleaning tips to share? Log on to and post them under the Green Moms section.