If you need any more fizz to justify your sparkling water obsession, here it is: Green America says carbonated H20 is a top 10 basic product to stock in your pantry, but not just for making mocktails or Instagram posts—for cleaning.
“Atomic energy is not necessary to unclog a drain, nor are the Marines necessary to combat ants,” writes Jan Williams, author of Household Detective: Protecting Your Children from Toxins at Home. “Most of the time, we can use milder, natural chemicals to do the same jobs.” As it turns out, the bubbles in your Pellegrino, LaCroix, and Perrier are quite eco friendly and effective at polishing and removing stains.
Here are four ways to replace commercial products with plain carbonated water and get your space sparkling in a green way.
Wash your windows
For crystal-clear windows in your home or car, swap out Windex for a spray bottle filled with sparkling water. Spray it on the glass and wipe it dry with a paper towel or soft cotton rag for a streak-free shine. To increase degreasing power, add a teaspoon of lemon juice. Need more convincing? Ford lists sparkling water as one of its five surefire ways to get dried bird poop off your car.
Shine your jewelry
Instead of commercial jewelry cleaner (which often contains ammonia), use the bubbling action of sparkling water to loosen grime from earrings, necklaces, and rings.
Place several tablespoons in a microwave-safe bowl and heat it for a few seconds. Then, give your jewelry a soak and use a soft toothbrush to go over settings and crevices. For gold, the Good Housekeeping Institute Cleaning Lab suggests adding a few drops of mild dish soap to a bowl of sodium-free sparkling water. Let your jewelry enjoy a five-minute bubble bath and then rinse and dry with a soft cloth.
Clean your kitchen and bathroom
Breaking up with Mr. Clean is not hard to do. Sparkling water is an all-purpose cleaner that you can use just about anywhere. Julie Bell, also known as the Soda Sherpa, says to pour it directly onto surfaces, let the bubbles work their magic, and wipe it off with a soft cloth, or place 2 cups of carbonated water in a spray bottle and spritz. It's great for sticky spots on floors and also works wonders on appliances, chrome plumbing fixtures, countertops, sinks, and caked-on pans.
Water your plants
You may have heard strange things about people using seltzer to water their houseplants. It truly is a thing—with science to back it up. According to a study at the University of Colorado Boulder, nutrients in sparkling water (including magnesium, calcium, phosphorous, and potassium) are easily absorbed by the root systems of plants, making them grow faster and greener.
Researchers found that plants that were fed carbonated water had shoots that grew 170 percent of their original height, while those given tap water only grew 67 percent. So, skip the Miracle Gro and hydrate your fiddle leafs and ferns with plain, room-temperature sparkling water instead.
Who knew a LaCroix habit could turn you into such a green domestic goddess?
- Today: What's the Difference Between Seltzer, Sparkling Water, Club Soda and Tonic Water?
- Soda Sherpa: 11 Things You Didn’t Know You Could Do With Soda Water
- Green America: Ten Simple Ways to Clean Green
- Northside Ford: 5 Surefire Ways to Get Dry Bird Poop Off Your Car
- Good Housekeeping: How to Clean Every Type of Jewelry
- Lifehacker: Water Plants with Club Soda to Make Them Grow Faster and Healthier
- SF Gate: How to Water Flowers With Sparkling Water
Diane Bobis is a Chicago-based lifestyle writer and mom. Since graduating from Saint Mary's College, Notre Dame, she has covered food, fashion, health, wellness, and beauty for dozens of outlets, including Womensforum.com, HowStuffWorks.com, BigOven.com, Hungry? Chicago Family, Winnetka Living, and Daily Dose of Knowledge: America. Wellness Habitat: Ashwagandha, Plant Therapy, Rachel Macy Stafford, Panda Planner, morning snuggles, and laughter.