Green Clean Your Home – Simple Recipes for Household Cleaning Using Non-Toxic Products

By Eli Nussbaum, M.D., medical director, Pediatric Pulmonary Center, Miller Children’s & Women’s Hospital Long Beach

Many cleaning products contain ingredients and fragrances that can cause irritation and inflammation in the lungs for children with conditions like asthma and cystic fibrosis, and some may cause allergic reactions.

If your child has a lung condition, it’s important to consider using non-toxic cleaning products, especially when cleaning their medical devices like an inhaler or nebulizer.

Cleaning Your Child’s Metered Dose Inhaler with Spacing Device:

  • Always follow manufacturers’ recommendations and package inserts.
  • Remove the back piece and untwist the front piece.
  • Soak parts for 15 minutes in mild solution of liquid dish soap and lukewarm, clean water. Rub gently.
  • Rinse parts in clean water.
  • Shake out excess water from the parts and allow to air dry in the vertical position.

Cleaning Your Child’s Home Nebulizer:

  • Always follow manufacturers’ recommendations and package inserts.
  • Filters may need to be cleaned or replaced. They can affect how well the machine works. Cleaning the nebulizer should be done daily.

You can create simple recipes for household cleaning using the following non-toxic products: baking soda, distilled vinegar, borax, hydrogen peroxide and Murphy’s Oil Soap.

General Household Cleaning Tips:

  • When using a spray product, spray solution onto a cloth to contain the spray.
  • Keep windows/doors open and fans on when cleaning.
  • Use two pairs of cleaning gloves:
    • One for the bathroom
    • One for the rest of the home
  • Add fresh lemon juice to all cleaning recipes for a pleasant smell.
  • These recipes may require extra scrubbing.

Household Cleaners:

Bathroom and kitchen sinks and toilet

  • Mix 1/2 cup borax and 1 gallon of water.
  • Mix 3 cups water with 1/4 cup Murphy’s Oil Soap®, and pour on clean cloth or sponge.
  • Wipe down the cutting board and countertops with distilled vinegar.
  • Mix baking soda and Murphy’s Oil Soap® as a paste, baking soda alone for scrubbing.

Ovens

  • Mix 1 cup of baking soda with water to make a paste.
  • Spread inside oven walls, and let set for 30 minutes before scrubbing.
  • Do not use on self-cleaning ovens.

Wood, tile, linoleum or vinyl flooring

  • Mix 2-3 capfuls of Murphy’s Oil Soap® in 1 bucket of warm water.

Glass and mirrors

  • Mix 1 tablespoon of vinegar with 1 quart of water and apply to window with a cloth or sponge.

Laundry

  • Before adding clothes, add 1/4 cup laundry detergent, and 1/4 cup borax or baking soda to washer filled completely with water.

Carpet Stains

  • Soak stain with hydrogen peroxide. Let it bubble for a few minutes and scrub.

Mold and Mildew

  • For bathtub, shower walls and curtain, mix 1 part vinegar and 2 parts water. Let sit and then scrub.

Crayon Markings

  • Moisten a cloth with vinegar and rub.

By using non-toxic cleaners you’re improving the lung health of your child and potentially preventing asthma attacks, lung infections and allergic reactions. Maintaining a clean, safe environment is a large part of managing a child’s lung condition at home.

For more information on managing your child’s lung condition at home, visit MillerChildrens.org/Pulmonary. 



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