Soaps and cleaners on a budget
Regardless of how tight your budget is, there’s no need to go without soap and detergents. In fact, there are a number of alternatives to commercial soaps that are cheaper and healthier for you and your family. Among other things, you may find that reducing your exposure to phthalates and fragrances found in commercial cleaning products may alleviate a number of immune-related problems.
Making Plant Based Soaps
As you may or may not be aware, most commercial soaps are made from animal fats. While you can make these products on your own, you may not be able to tolerate the smell of fat rendering if you live in an apartment or poorly ventilated area. That said, there are many plant-based soap recipes for you to try at a fraction of the cost. In many cases, you’ll find that these soaps clean just as well as animal-based ones. You’ll also be able to add a variety of herb-based skin conditioners and fragrances to improve your homemade soaps.
Budget Home Fresheners
Of course, you can always go to a dollar store and buy home air fresheners on the cheap. But have you ever read the warning labels on many of these products – the ones that read, “Do not inhale directly”? There’s no way to know what, if any, long term health problems could result from breathing in these foreign chemicals, so you may want to consider some other ways to deodorize your home. For example, you may want to try burning natural beeswax candles to improve the smell of your home, or try making your own blends of essential oils and potpourris.
In the kitchen, a simple open box of baking soda will keep your refrigerator and freezer smelling fresh and clean. You may also want to freshen up carpets by sprinkling baking soda on them, and then vacuuming the next day. This method will work well for pet odors, as well as many other unpleasant odors. Unfortunately, if it’s humid in your area, you may find the baking soda sticks to the carpet. If you aren’t sure whether or not this will work for you, it may be best to test the product in a small area first.
Vinegar and Your Laundry
Even though white vinegar is fairly cheap, it’s one of the best things you can add to your laundry to prevent static cling, increase fabric brightness and reduce all kinds of stains. In many cases, pre soaking with vinegar and water will restore clothes with all kinds of stains on them, including wine, grass and grease stains. As more information becomes available about the link between the fragrances used in soaps and an increase in cancer rates, it may be to your advantage to avoid commercial products at all costs. Fortunately, you’ll find that vinegar is a safe, inexpensive alternative.
Aside from being expensive, there’s a growing body of evidence that commercial soaps can have negative health consequences. Therefore, being budget conscious when it comes to these items may also equate to being health conscious. For example, simply substituting vinegar for your fabric softener and stain booster may save you from being exposed to a number of harmful chemicals. In a similar way, using baking soda to eliminate odors can help give you a clean smelling home without the financial and health costs associated with commercial deodorants.
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