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Green Your Cleaning Routine

7 natural ways to completely clean house
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Your heavy-duty household cleaners might be bad news for dirt and germs, but they're also a bummer for the environment. Think about it: If you have to open a window every time you scrub your shower so you don't pass out from fumes, what's this product doing to you and the Earth in the long run?

According to the Environmental Working Group, many common household cleaners contain ingredients that are known carcinogens and volatile organic compounds. Symptoms from exposure to these chemicals include short-term effects like headaches, nausea, dizziness and eye, nose and throat irritation. Prolonged exposure increases your risk of asthma and cancer as well as damage to the liver, kidneys and central nervous system.

Even without the hazardous chemicals, cleaning product in aerosol spray cans raise your carbon footprint because of the hydrocarbons and compressed gases they contain, which are major contributors to global warming.

The good news is, a sparkling home doesn't have to come at the expense of the environment. These all-green cleaning solutions require minimal ingredients (you probably have half of them in your house already), are safe for your health and the environment, and get the job done.

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Citrus-y Kitchen Floors
You don't need noxious chemicals to get a gleaming tile floor. Vinegar and warm water work to cut through grease and dissolve stains, while lemon juice adds a fresh scent.

What you need:
A mop
A bucket
1 gallon of hot water
½ cup of white vinegar
½ cup of lemon juice

The process: After you combine the water and white vinegar in your mopping bucket, add the lemon juice to knock out the vinegar's sour scent.

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Simple Surface Scrub
Sinks, bathtubs, pots and pans, kitchen countertops -- there's little that baking soda can't get squeaky-clean. It has serious stain-removing scrubbing power but doesn't scratch surfaces.

What you need:
A sponge or microfiber cloth
Baking soda

The process: For kitchen counters, bathroom sinks, tubs and tile, sprinkle baking soda onto a damp sponge, and scrub surfaces thoroughly before rinsing and wiping dry. To remove baked-on foods from pots and pans, shake a generous amount of baking soda onto the pan and add dish detergent and hot water. Allow the pans to sit for about 15 minutes, then wash them as usual.

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Crystal-Clear Glass Cleaner
Tea is not only beneficial for your health, it's also a powerful way to cut through dirt, grease and fingerprints on windows and glass surfaces.

What you need:
A spray bottle
A microfiber cloth
3 bags of black tea
8 oz. of water

The process: After boiling the water, steep the tea bags and allow the tea to cool completely (about an hour). Pour the tea into your spray bottle and spritz directly onto windows or glass surfaces, using your microfiber cloth to buff away any streaks that may appear.

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Polish Your Woodwork
This homemade polish for wood floors and furniture conditions and adds shine with a lemon-y fresh scent.

What you need:
A spray bottle
A soft cloth
1 cup of olive oil
½ cup of lemon juice

The process: Combine the olive oil and lemon juice into your spray bottle, shaking the mixture up so it becomes blended. Spray the polish onto your cloth to clean furniture, or spray onto a dry cloth after sweeping to polish wood floors.

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