Vinegar, baking soda and -- guess what -- soap (yes, soap!) are some of the greatest, time-tested, all-purpose cleaners. They're also safe for kids to handle as long as they're used properly -- meaning they don't get dumped in eyes or mouths, for a start.
Used in combination, these substances can be even more impressive -- and still nontoxic. Try out one of these all-purpose-cleaner recipes the next time you and your little one have a cleaning day:
- Combine 1/4 cup baking soda, 1/2 cup vinegar, 1/2 gallon water
- Combine 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, 1/2 teaspoon soap flakes, 2 cups hot water
- Combine 1/2 cup water, 1/2 cup vinegar, 1/4 cup lemon juice
- Combine salt, water and a splash of vinegar (to desired consistency)
While these are all great cleaning solutions that have stood the test of time, there is at least one modern addition that it's tough to do without and is perhaps the most kid-friendly all-purpose cleaner yet: the aforementioned microfiber cloth. It picks up practically everything, won't scratch a thing, and is especially effective on glass. Hand one to your little helper, sit him in front of a mirror, and watch it shine -- streak free.
For more information on kid-safe cleaners, check out the links below.
- Bartos, Lorene. "Are Cleaning Products Safe?" University of Nebraska Cooperative Extension. (Dec. 24, 2010)http://lancaster.unl.edu/home/Articles/2002/CleaningProducts.htm
- Eartheasy. "Non-toxic Home Cleaning. (Dec. 24, 2010)http://eartheasy.com/live_nontoxic_solutions.htm
- Environmental Health Association of Nova Scotia. Guide to Less Toxic Products. (Dec. 24, 2010)http://lesstoxicguide.ca/index.asp?fetch=household
- Environmental Working Group. "Safe Cleaning Tips for Your Home." (Dec. 24, 2010)http://www.ewg.org/schoolcleaningsupplies/safecleaningtips
- Hollender, Jeffrey, Geoff Davis and Reed Boyle. "Recipe for Safety." iVillage. March 8, 2007. (December 24, 2010)
- Mrs. Clean USA: Cleaning Products (Dec. 24, 2010)http://www.mrscleanusa.com/en/cleaning-tips/cleaning-products/tips-all-purpose-cleaner.html