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Have you read my latest article entitled 10 Steps to Better Indoor Air Quality? If not, be sure to put it on your "to do" list as improving your indoor air quality is not only good for your overall health, but is especially good for your lungs. And if you have COPD, improving your indoor air quality is a "must do", as chances are, you spend a lot of time in your home.

One of my forum members, who just happens to be the Lung Cancer Guide, responded to a forum post recently about the topic of indoor air and I found it so interesting, I thought I would share it with you.

When Lynne decided to improve her indoor air quality, she went through her cupboards and rid her home of all toxic chemicals. This included all of her cleaning supplies. Can you imagine? What would we do without Mr. Clean? Mind you, Lynne did not just quit cleaning her house, on the contrary, she developed recipes for success by using environmental friendly products such as vinegar, baking soda, olive oil, and lemon juice to replace products containing carcinogenic toxins. Think of all the money Lynne is saving? And her home must smell wonderful, too.

Listed below (and directly quoted from Lynne's forum post) are some recipes that Lynne has developed for a variety of everyday, household cleaning chores. Lynne writes:

"Here are a few (suggestions):

  • On linoleum floors I use a cup of vinegar in 2 gallons of warm water
  • On my wood floors, I use a mixture of one to one vinegar and olive oil and polish
  • For furniture polish I mix 1 tsp of lemon juice with a pint of olive oil
  • For an all purpose cleaner, I mix a 50:50 solution of water and white vinegar, or as an alternative, a solution of 4 tbsp of baking soda with 1 quart of water
  • One of my favorites is brass cleaner (we have way too much brass in our home). Instead of the products I found in the hardware store, all of which contained carcinogens that can be inhaled, I use straight Worcestershire sauce (making sure to rinse well to prevent corrosion)
  • For chrome, I use apple cider vinegar

The health food store has many good products as well, but in this economy, these measures work great.


What are your secrets for improving your indoor air? Please share with us in the COPD forum under the thread: Improving Indoor Air Quality.

October 6, 2008 at 6:40 pm
(1) Allena says:

Do you think the products at regular stores that purport to be “green ingredients” really are? I despise the smell of vinegar, so this is often a struggle for me. PS Thanks for visiting me at About Freelance Writing.

October 6, 2008 at 6:50 pm
(2) copd says:

Good question. I think that it depends on which product you are talking about. There are some that are naturally more environmentally friendly that others, but it always kills me when it says something to that effect and then you look at the ingredients you find out differently. I know what you mean about vinegar, I would not want to walk into a place that smelled like it, but I think that is why she uses the lemon juice. Maybe there is a odor free vinegar? I will have to ask Lynne what she does about that. How about after cleaning lighting a beautifully scented candle or heating up some pot pourri?

October 23, 2008 at 9:31 pm
(3) nicole says:

That’s a great point! I recently bought a very popular, brand name “green” cleaner. ( I don’t have any pulmonary issues, but am trying to keep a healthier home). Despite the product’s green claims, it makes me very sick any time I use it! I was so surprised because I figured it would be less harsh then traditional cleaners.

October 27, 2008 at 10:56 am
(4) copd says:

Oh, do tell us what it was so we can perhaps avoid it or take precautions.

March 4, 2010 at 10:33 am
(5) Betty says:

we clean our house with orange oil, we buy it at the local feed store and it makes the house smell wonderful.

March 9, 2012 at 9:20 pm
(6) nb says:

copd answer for Allena not too good!! If she uses oxygen in the house…you don’t light candles!! and potpourri scents can be very nausiating to people with breathing problems too.

March 9, 2012 at 9:22 pm
(7) NB says:

Copd comment to Allena not good. If she uses oxygen in home, (like me, I only use at night) but do not light any candles or fire in home now.
Also some of the potpourris smell can be very nauseating too.

March 29, 2012 at 4:39 pm
(8) Lesley Carol Prince says:

I think it’s very important to clean your home with safe products that can be made easily. The fumes from oven-cleaner are especially toxic. I make my own ‘green oven cleaner’.

1/2 c. baking soda and 1/4 c. liquid dish detergent are mixed together. Slowly add 1/8 c.-1/4 c. vinegar till desired paste-like consistency is reached.

Paint mixture on oven with a pastry brush. Leave till oven coating is running down sides of oven and wipe clean.

Use steel wool on stubborn spills and wipe down with a damp cloth. Burn off residue by setting oven a low temperature for 5-10 minutes. (Put on venilatator fan while oven is on.)

No more swollen eyes and breathing problems when my green oven cleaner is used!

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