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Make Your Own Green Cleaning Products

Learn How to Mix Safer Household Solutions

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Recipes for green cleaning products -- Magic, Amazing, Dust-Away and Fabulous -- will be distributed at a workshop on April 9.

By Karen Angelo

Bleach, ammonia, sulfuric acid and butyl celosolve – just a few of the toxics lurking in common household cleaners that people tend to use at the same time in confined spaces. Inhaling and making contact with these substances and others can cause skin and eye irritation, headaches and respiratory health issues. Longer-term problems include damage to the liver and central nervous system.

What can you do? Learn how to mix your own cleaning solutions. Protect your family’s health while saving money. The Brazilian Women’s Group, a recipient of a Toxics Use Reduction Institute (TURI) community grant, will demonstrate how to mix glass, floor and all-purpose cleaners at a “Natural Cleaning” workshop on April 9, 5 to 7:30 p.m. at the UMass Lowell Inn & Conference Center. 

“These recipes are simple, cheap and effective,” says Joy Onasch, TURI community program manager. “Making your own household cleaning products is such an easy way to reduce toxic exposures to children – it’s a great place to start, right in the home.” 

The safer products are made with common household ingredients such as vinegar, baking soda, water and essential oils. The formulations were tested for performance by the TURI Laboratory and were found to work as well as conventional products. At the “Natural Cleaning” workshop, 10 buckets of the safer cleaning products will be raffled off. With the help of grants from TURI, the Brazilian Women’s Group has been working for three years to teach people in the Brazilian community, many who work as housecleaners, about the health risks of traditional cleaners and how to make their own cleaners. 

View the recipe booklet (pdf).