Hacking coughs are only one side effect of using toxic cleansers for household chores. Most standard cleaners contain VOCs, or volatile organic compounds. VOCs contribute to the diminishing ozone layer and lead to the creation of smog. Household cleansers also emit off-gasses, and it is these gasses that attack a wide variety of respiratory conditions. Limiting your exposure to solvents and materials containing VOCs through the use of enzyme cleaners is important to good house health. These biological compounds are especially recommended for those suffering from a delicate respiratory system and people wanting to improve their carbon footprint.
The protein enzymes in laundry cleaners catalyze chemical reactions and break down proteins in stains and dirt. Enzymes work on specific tasks, which is why a laundry cleanser or stain remover has a different formulation than those used for air freshening. If you're looking for an enzymatic laundry cleaner and stain remover, find those with ingredients containing amylase, lipase, protease, and/or cellulase.
Bathroom and Kitchen Enzymes
Make your own kitchen and bathroom enzyme cleanser with brown sugar, lemon and orange scraps, plus tap water. Pineapples are also recommended enzymatic additions. Once blended and aged for at least three months, this homemade cleanser achieves good results in cleaning countertop stains and ridding the rooms of odors.
Things You'll Need
- 7 tablespoons of brown sugar
- 1 ½ cups of lemon and orange peels/scraps
- 1 quart of water
- A bottle or clear lidded container large enough to hold the liquid and peels/scraps
Put all the ingredients into a large jar. Secure the lid tightly and tip back and forth to mix. Loosen the lid to let the buildup of air escape and put aside for three months. When ready, use in a spray bottle for an effective enzymatic cleaner.
Mold and Mildew Cleaners
The sporicidin protein built into an enzymatic cleaner attacks mold and mildew. The benefit of an enzymatic cleaner for mold is its recurring effect. Once the cleaner attacks the mold and removes it, it remains on the surface and attacks any new mold that erupts. Look for cleaners that contain baking soda, tea tree oil, Borax, vinegar, grapefruit or salt; all of these attack mold and mildew without releasing dangerous chemicals. Therapeutic-grade essential oils are also effective in combating mold and mildew and their accompanying odors.
Enzymes, which react with biological proteins, are effective in breaking down the animal proteins and removing their stains. Blood and urine stains disappear with an easily made vinegar-and-baking soda recipe.
Things You'll Need
- 2 cups of white distilled vinegar
- 2 cups of lukewarm water
- 4 heaping teaspoons of baking soda
- Spray bottle
Blot the stain thoroughly before spraying the solution. Let it sit for five minutes and then blot the solution away.
Because chemicals are not used in enzymatic cleaners, it often takes longer for them to work. They are also affected by extreme temperatures, and you should not use them with hot water or in icy conditions. Don't mix enzymatic cleaners with commercial detergents or soaps.