Our Advice on DIY Green Cleaning Products

Being the daughter of the owners of a commercial janitorial company, I am somewhat insulated from the consumer market. When I recently got married and moved into a new place, I was abruptly introduced to a whole new world of consumer cleaning products and materials. My new mother-in-law dropped off a stainless steal cleaner for our sink. I had never even heard of the brand! My grandfather also gave us fluffy, stark white toilet paper that I’ve only seen in the Charmin Bathrooms in New York! This exposure sparked my curiosity and lead me to investigate the consumer products compared to those I’m used to on the commercial side. So I asked our experts at MCS…

One consumer approach to cleaning in particular really has me curious. I have seen many suggestions in magazines, websites, and TV shows suggesting that the public should make their own cleaning solutions to be more environmentally and economically friendly. I have to wonder, are those Do-It-Yourself green cleaning solutions as good as a consumer green cleaning product?

On The Doctors this morning, Matt Iseman gave his recipes for green cleaners:

Bathroom Cleanliness
Cleaning expert Matt Iseman reveals the often-overlooked places in the bathroom you need to keep clean, and shares his green cleaning recipes.

Homemade Spray Cleaner Recipe
Mix in a sprayer bottle:
1 cup white vinegar
1 cup water

Homemade Glass Cleaner Recipe

Mix in a sprayer bottle:
1 cup rubbing (isopropyl) alcohol
1 cup water
1 tbsp white vinegar

Strong Glass Cleaner Recipe
Mix in a sprayer bottle:
1 cup rubbing (isopropyl) alcohol
1 cup water
1 tbsp clear, non-sudsing ammonia

Strong All-Purpose Cleaner Recipe
Mix in a sprayer bottle:
1 tbsp clear, non-sudsing ammonia
1 tbsp clear laundry detergent
2 cups water

 

According to our chemist on staff, the mixtures will actually clean surfaces in your home, however, there are many factors that are unfavorable when compared to the manufactured solution. First of all, most of these recipes involve acids, where as many of the manufactured products can include peroxides in their mixtures. In general, peroxides sanitize surfaces as well as acids, but with a much smaller impact on the environment. They also allow for the use of detergents, which break up the dirt. The above solutions simply cannot handle the use of detergents, with the exception of the last recipe, which is alkaline, because an acid tends to neutralize the detergent, and it will breakdown before it can be used. The reason why the “Strong All-Purpose Cleaner Recipe” contains laundry detergent is because the non-sudsing ammonia is an alkaline, and will support the detergent. However, it has to be an environmentally preferred laundry detergent to make that recipe “green.” Secondly, a manufacturer has the capability to add surfactants, or a substance, which lowers the surface tension of a liquid, which makes it more effective in removing dirt particles. Mixing household solutions together will not necessarily give you the cleaning power of surfactants. Finally, the mixtures have to be concentrated to the correct strength to be effective. If a consumer adds too much of an ingredient or not enough, it could be less effective.

Another reason our experts suggest to purchase your green cleaning solutions instead of mixing them yourself is for safety reasons. The premixed versions have already ensured that the product is safely assembled and safe for you to use. If you choose to Do-It-Yourself, remember to wear the proper protective gear including, gloves, goggles, and a breathing apparatus. Any of the concentrated chemicals listed can cause harm when they come in contact with skin, eyes or if they are inhaled.

Overall, the MCS suggestion is to purchase your green cleaning products, and remember to look for a symbol showing that it is green certified by a third-party agency. This will ensure that you have the safest, most effective product that will not cause harm to the environment.

 

Websites referenced in this article:

 

http://www.thedoctorstv.com/main/show_synopsis/935?section=synopsis

 

 

This entry was posted on Friday, June 1st, 2012 at 11:04 pm . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.