(BPT) - Sunscreen, bug spray, pool chlorine - some chemicals seem unavoidable when summer arrives but the season should be a celebration of Mother Nature. You can give your family a healthier and fresher summer by switching to natural cleaning products in your home.
'Misconceptions persist that natural cleaning is more expensive and less effective, but nothing could be farther from the truth,' says J.R. Rigley, president of Watkins, Inc. 'Natural is top of mind for many families, and they need to know that you don't have to sacrifice health, efficacy or your bank account for a clean, natural home.'
While 75 percent of Americans believe it's important to use natural products when cleaning around the home, less than a quarter do so, according to the J.R. Watkins Cleaning Survey by Kelton. Some common misconceptions may be to blame for the disconnect between what people say they should do and what they're actually doing. The Kelton survey found that 51 percent believe natural products are too costly, 48 percent feel they are less effective and 33 percent worry that products may not be as natural as they claim to be.
It is possible, however, to enjoy a more natural summer in your home. Rigley offers some tips for understanding, choosing and using natural products:
* Just as you read ingredient labels when buying food, check ingredient labels on your cleaning products. The ingredients list should be easily understandable for the average person. J.R. Watkins products, for example, are at least 95 percent natural, with many being 99 percent or higher. From tile cleaners to all-purpose products, 'water' is the first ingredient listed on many J.R. Watkins cleaning products.
* Avoid products that contain ammonia, chlorine and other chemicals known to cause respiratory irritation. Summer has enough natural allergens without introducing chemical irritants to your home environment.
* Natural products won't dry your skin or irritate airways and with invigorating scents like Lemon, Grapefruit or White Tea & Bamboo you may even find the pleasant aroma invigorating and refreshing during summer months.
* Comparison shopping can help you find the best price for natural cleaners. A quality natural product should be comparable in price to a traditional brand-name cleaning product. As with any purchase, paying a lot more for a natural product doesn't mean it's more effective, and it's possible to find a very effective product for a reasonable price.
* Simplify your cleaning and declutter your storage cabinet by looking for multi-purpose products that can do more than one job. Using a single product like J.R. Watkins All-purpose cleaner can be a cost-effective way to naturally clean your home from top to bottom, all while taking care of appliances, floors, walls, sealed granite, tile, stainless steel, appliances and more.
* In addition to buying natural products, remember old-school home remedies that really work, including putting citrus rinds and ice cubes down the garbage disposal. The citrus makes the disposal smell great and the ice cubes are an easy, effective way to sharpen disposal blades.
* For musty or stained dishwashers, simply fill a glass bowl with a couple cups of white vinegar, place the bowl in the top rack and run through a cycle with nothing else in the dishwasher.
* Finally, what would summer be without smoothies? From tiny berry seeds to sticky honey, many of those wonderful natural summer ingredients are tough to get out of the blender. To make blender cleanup a snap, combine a few drops of natural dish soap with water in the blender and run on high for a few seconds.
For more natural cleaning ideas and product information, visit the J.R. Watkins website at JRWatkins.com.