Life in the Green Lane

Environmental journalist Candice Batista shares video clips and eco-savvy advice from her TV show, A Greener Toronto.

We all have these in our cleaning closets, a chemical concoction of bleach, disinfections, and polishes. All of these products do a great job at keeping our homes clean and fresh smelling, but they also add to air pollution in the home and are very toxic if inhaled or ingested. Some of these cleaning products are amongst the most toxic substances you will find in your house. Here’s what you need to know to detox your home. These 7 cleaning products work wonders. Baking soda can be used with water, vinegar and lemon, it can also be used as a grit for scrubbing. Borax disinfects, bleaches and deodorizes, it can be used for your laundry. Distilled white vinegar disinfects and breaks up dirt. Stick with white vinegar over red as it can stain certain surfaces. Hydrogen peroxide disinfects and bleaches. Lemons, we love lemons, fresh or bottled with work. If you’re using lemon juice you’ll have to use a little extra. Olive oil is great for picking up dirt and polishing wood. And finally, washing soda, this can be used as a stain remover and general cleaners, it also helps unblock pipes, its costic though, so make sure you wear gloves. Empty spray bottles are good to keep around the house, so are old t-shirts and toothbrushes. They both work wonders for wiping and scrubbing. If you’re wondering if these items work, I can assure you they do! Making you own cleaning products cab be fun. I’m going to show you how to make a great glass cleaner. All you need is to add one tablespoon of lemon juice or a quarter cup of vinegar to about 2 cups of water. Add that mixture to your empty spray bottle and voila! you're almost set. Spray that old t-shirt and give it a try. Now, if you don’t have the time to make your own, there are fabulous green alternatives. Shaklee and Seventh generation are just two choices. If you are not sure how to get started, try switching one product at a time. Or you could use hydrogen peroxide instead of bleach to brighten your whites. Also, switch from liquid detergent to power ones, you’ll save lots of plastic bottles and you’ll save money in the long line. Following these simple tips will help you be Mr. or Mrs. Green. Eco Candy.