15 of the Worst Green Cleaning Mistakes Most People Make

Natural Cleaner. Vinegar, Baking Soda, Salt, Lemon

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If you are like a lot of people, you have decided to ditch those toxic cleaning substances, and you are to be congratulated! It’s easy to pop down to the supermarket and pick up some all-purpose cleanser, but it takes some time, thought, and effort to mix up your own green cleaning solutions.

However, going green is not all sunshine, roses, and vinegar. There are pitfalls even with green cleaners. Keep reading and find out if you are making any of these mistakes so that you can keep your family safe and healthy. You might even find that you save a few bucks!


1.  Being Too Strong

Many people fail to dilute the lemon juice, vinegar, or other types of natural substances. This can actually cause damage to the item you are trying to clean. On top of that, it’s a waste of money. You don’t need a whole lot of something to clean most items. Follow your label or cleaning recipe instructions for best results.


2. Mixing Vinegar and Soap

Some people decide that they are going to make their own “anti-bacterial” soap by mixing together pure soap, such as Castile soap, and vinegar. Although this isn’t dangerous, what you are going to get is a big, fat mess that does nothing. The acids in vinegar will “un-soaponify” the Castile soap, making it nothing more than a bunch of goo. The last thing you want is to have to clean up after your clean up! Don’t mix vinegar and soap! You can use soap to clean, if you like, and then rinse with vinegar, but don’t mix them.


3. Rushing Things

When you wipe, spray or pour a cleaner onto a surface, allow it to sit and work its magic for at least 2 minutes (5 is better), before you start wiping it off or scrubbing. These few minutes allow the active ingredients to loosen and lift the dirt off. It also allows the disinfectant part of the cleaner to kill germs. Some people like to spray one room, such as the bathroom, then leave and go spray another room, like the kitchen, then go back to the bathroom to start cleaning. This gives the products time to work and means not only a more effective cleaning job, but less work for you!


4. Thinking Natural Cleaners Won’t Hurt Surfaces

Although natural cleaners are a far sight safer than toxic commercial cleaners, that does not mean that they can’t discolor, fade, scratch, or reacting with the surface you are cleaning. Natural stone surfaces, for example, are well-known for being damaged by anything stronger than soap and water. If you have any doubt, always test your cleaner on a small spot before using. Much better to take a few minutes to test out your cleaner than ruining your grandmother’s antique dresser!


5. Using Way Too Much

Are you one of those people who think that if a little bit is good, a whole lot must be better? Well, that might be true of some things (like winning lottery tickets!) but not when it comes to natural cleaning products. Not even water! You don’t need to slosh a bunch of water all over. It only takes more time to dry and increases the risk that some areas won’t fully dry and might grow mold. For most surfaces, it doesn’t take much more than a spritz or two, just enough to dampen the surface, before you wipe it clean.

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