Home & Garden
Do natural cleaning products really work?
As we become more educated and aware of the cocktail of chemicals hiding in our everyday cleaning products, many people are turning to making their own.
With the help of essential oils and household pantry items, it's fairly easy to make your own natural, homemade cleaning products.
But, do they have the same bite as store bought products? Do they even work?
Scientist and entrepreneur Dr Vincent Candrawinata says they do, as natural ingredients can help cut through grease and kill germs.
"Vinegar is an acid, powerful enough to cut grease, remove dirt, grime and mineral deposits, and because it kills bacteria and germs, it has disinfectant properties," Dr Vincent told Better Homes & Gardens.
As for bi-carb soda, he says, "Bi-carb soda is a mild alkali; this means that it is a mild abrasive material and can be useful to dissolve impurities, dirt and grease."
The great thing about these two cleaning ingredients is they are food grade, which means "that in general, they are safe and non-toxic," he says.
Just because these products are considered “natural”, that doesn’t mean they won’t do a fantastic job cleaning your home.
Ingredients such as vinegar and bi-carb soda are still technically classed as chemicals, meaning they can do just as good a job as anything store bought.
"Vinegar is acetic acid, CH3COOH," says Dr Vincent. "The same way that water is chemical, H2O."
"These materials have surfactant properties that can dissolve dirt, remove grease, and their pH level can kill bacteria and germs."
"Alcohol, hydrogen peroxide and certain essential oils are strong natural disinfectants. Vinegar has considerable disinfectant power too."
While these household ingredients can give you an extra boost with your cleaning routine, according to Dr Vincent, the most natural way to kill germs in your home is with steam.
"Many people choose to use a steam mop rather than cleaning agents to kill germs on the floor," he says.
"I love using steam. Many steam mops on the market now come with many attachments to clean different surfaces, even toilets and bathrooms."
As a lot of people are turning to making their own cleaning products, one warning from Dr Vincent is to not mix dangerous chemicals together: especially vinegar and bi-carb soda.
"They will become useless as a cleaning agent. The mixture will also produce gas and can cause the container to explode.”
"The bubbles produced by the mix do not equal effectiveness. Essentially what's left are water and a bit of sodium acetate.”
Image credits: Getty Images