Safer clean­ing

Kitchen sta­ples can be green clean­ers for the bath­room.

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - ECOWATCH - By CA­ROLE FELD­MAN

ClEAn­InG the bath­room can be daunt­ing, even if you’re armed with tra­di­tional clean­ers laden with bleach and strong but per­haps en­vi­ron­men­tally un­friendly ingredients. But what if you want to go green and still get the toi­let bowl, sink and tiles to sparkle?

Start by stock­ing up on white vine­gar and bak­ing soda. These two sta­ples of the kitchen can help keep your bath­room clean in a way that’s safe for the environment.

A lit­tle bit of chem­istry helps ex­plain why.

“Vine­gar, be­cause of its acid­ity, can be good for (clean­ing) hard water and soap scum,” said Re­becca Sut­ton, a se­nior sci­en­tist with the En­vi­ron­men­tal Work­ing Group, a pub­lic in­ter­est group de­voted to pro­tect­ing health and the environment.

Bak­ing soda, on the other hand, is al­ka­line, said An­nie B. Bond, author of books on green liv­ing, in­clud­ing Home En­light­en­ment.

Mix the bak­ing soda with some water and make a paste, and it can be used as a scrub. And don’t for­get the soap – a mild castile soap made from olive or vegetable oils.

Just as the move to­wards green in gen­eral is grow­ing, so is the in­ter­est in green clean­ing prod­ucts, said Ur­vashi Ran­gan, di­rec­tor of the consumer safety group for Consumer Re­ports. The num­ber of prod­ucts on the mar­ket has grown.

“Within what we have looked at, anec­do­tally speak­ing, we have seen some green clean­ers start to per­form bet­ter and bet­ter,” she said.

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