By Rahila Ovais


These days clean means the unmistakable smell of chemicals and then we wonder why there are a growing number of kids and adults who are increasingly suffering from several different sorts of allergies.  There is a reason why environmentalists and ecologists are telling us to reduce the chemicals used in our daily life and adopt more eco friendly green practices when it comes to our homes and families.


Cleaning products for your home

 Here are some of the common household items from your kitchen you can easily utilize to make your own cleaning products.


  •    Did you know that white vinegar can kill about 80 percent of household germs?
  • A mixture of equal parts white vinegar and water is a great green cleaner for your mirrors and windows. Spray and then wipe down with newspaper or lint free cloth for a streak-free shine.
  • Add a cup of vinegar to a gallon of water and mop your floors with this solution.
  • You can also use citrus peels (Lemons, limes and oranges) to add some scent to the vinegar/water solution. Just collect some citrus peels in a jar, add white vinegar to cover, store in a cool dry place for a few days. Voila! Now you can strain the vinegar, dilute it with water and its ready to use as an all purpose cleaner. 



  • Freshen up your wooden cutting board by giving it a good rub with half cut lemon or rinse it with undiluted lemon juice.
  • Sprinkle salt or baking soda over the cute side of half a lemon, rub your tarnished brass or copper items, and leave on for a few minutes before rinsing the item off with water for a bright shine. 


Olive Oil

  • Dab some olive oil onto a rag and rub your stainless steel appliances to get rid of smudges, follow up with a dab of vinegar on the other side of the rag, wipe and let air dry.
  • Mix two tablespoons each of olive oil and lemon juice (or vinegar) into two cups of water in a jar or spray bottle and use it as a furniture polish. 


Baking Soda

  •  Remember that volcano experiment from your school days?  Well the same can be used to unclog your kitchen sink. Sprinkle a tablespoon or two of baking soda followed by a cup of vinegar down the drain.  Run some hot water after a few minutes and watch the magic!
  • Sprinkle baking soda on your carpet to freshen up and deodorize before vacuuming.
  • You can even make your own dishwasher detergent with ¾ baking soda and ¼ salt with a couple drops of your regular dish washing detergent. (disclaimer: try at your own risk)


  • A mixture of 1 cup salt and 4 cups white vinegar can be used to fight soap scum in your shower.


Banana Peel

  • Rub the inside of a banana peel to give a new shine to your tarnished silverware.


Do you have any tips for keeping our homes Eco- friendly AND clean?

About the Author:

Rahila Ovais is a Pharmacy Technician working at the Ontario College of Pharmacists. A mother to four, she’s called Jeddah, KSA, where she was born and Karachi, Pakistan, where she was brought up, her homes before moving to Toronto twenty years ago. She is also a very opinionated person who has a hard time keeping her thoughts to herself.