In the olden-days, before central heating was common, people closed up their windows tight in the winter months and kept warm with wood or coal heating sources. By the time spring rolled around, with its milder weather, they were ready to throw open the windows -- and wipe away the soot and grime from household surfaces, including their glass window panes.
But it's quite a bit cleaner inside our homes today. Or is it? Some medical and environmental experts insist the air in our homes can be mighty polluted. The causes are plenty: fragrances, chemicals, and fumes from ordinary items such as hairspray, candles, and nonstick cookware.
In small doses none of these pollutants will do you in, but mixed together they can turn deadly. To protect your health and that of your loved ones, reduce levels of indoor air pollution by opening windows when possible, or turn on a fan to keep air circulating throughout your living areas.
Another way to reduce indoor pollutants is to skip chemically commercial cleaners in favor of all-natural ones you make at home.
Nurses don't usually have a lot of time to take on extra-credit home projects, but this one is quick and easy. And the health benefits will especially appeal to nurses who suffer from sensitivity to environmental toxins.
DIY Glass Cleaner Recipe
1 quart warm water
1/4 cup white distilled vinegar
1 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon vinegar
2-3 drops of essential oil, such as lemon or lavender (optional)
Combine ingredients and store in a spray bottle -- be sure to mark any DIY cleaner, for safety's sake. Use in the same manner as a store-bought glass cleaner. What's especially nice about this cleaner is that you get the cleaning power of vinegar along with the fresh fragrance of lemon and essential oils.
Extra Tips: Take big swipes with a squeegee for a quick clean. Maybe you already have a squeegee for cleaning your car windows or shower stall doors. If not, any old washcloths or undershirts, especially if they're lint-less, work great. Or, some folks swear by crumpled newspaper as a great window-cleaner.
Jebra Turner is a freelance health writer living in DIY-crazy Portland, Oregon. Visit her online at www.jebra.com.