Advertisers everywhere proclaim the germ fighting power of chemical-filled cleaners. Many would have us believe that there is no way to clean and disinfect without a chemical product. I encourage you not to buy into these messages, a little dirt won’t kill you or your children.
While it is true that some germs can be dangerous, so are the chemicals in the cleaners that claim to eradicate said germs! The toxins contained in most commercial cleaners are unhealthy for us and the environment. This is a sobering reminder that we should not be adding to our toxic load by using chemical laden cleaners day after day.
Thankfully more and more non-toxic cleaners are becoming available. However, these new choices can be expensive and many are still not entirely safe. Lucky for us, it is easy and inexpensive to make cleaners at home. And you don’t need a bunch of fancy ingredients to do it. Keeping vinegar, Castile soap, baking soda, and essential oils on hand will enable you to make just about every cleaner you need.
Making your own home cleaning products will keep your home chemical and toxic free while saving your health and your money. And you can put your homemade products in nice reusable containers, so you wont have to throw away and buy new ones every time. So it’s a win-win for you in all apects ;). Startr you new year chemical free!
White, distilled vinegar is great for deodorizing, degreasing and general cleaning. It’s also extremely inexpensive and readily available. The smell of vinegar does dissipate fairly quickly, but if you dislike it a great deal, try scenting it with essential oils. To create scented vinegar, simply add 15 drops of lavender or tea tree essential oil to a one 0,5 liter of white vinegar.
This gentle soap is made from vegetable fat/oil such as hemp, palm or olive (opposed to tallow). It is a versatile cleaner that works well with other ingredients as well as alone. I love Dr. Bronners Castile soaps, I order them online and use both soap bars and liquid soaps. Dr. Bronners is all natural, organic, fair trade, containers and packades are made from reusable materials etc.
The texture of baking soda makes it useful as a mild abrasive. It is also an excellent deodorizer. Many of us already have baking soda at home for cooking or in the fridge to absorb smells, but it can also be used to scrub sinks and clean toilets!
To freshen carpets, add a few drops of essential oil to a box of baking soda, stir to combine, sprinkle on the carpet and allow to sit for 30 minutes. Then vacuum.
These concentrated plant oils contain powerful anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-biotic and anti-fungal properties. While they can sometimes be expensive, one small bottle will last a long time. They add a lovely fragrance to your homemade cleaners, which provides psychological benefits too! Essential oils have so many benefits when inhaling them, also putting them in your haircare and bodycare etc.
My favorite essential oils for cleaning are lemon, orange, peppermint, lavender, and tea tree.
My favorite floor cleaner is made by adding 2 to 4 tablespoons of Castile soap and 5-10 drops of lemongrass essential oil to a large container. Fill with 2-3 litres of hot water and stir to mix. If the floor is greasy, add up to 1/8 cup of vinegar.
The above floor cleaner will work well on walls too. If you wish to disinfect walls (or door knobs, crib rails, and so on), mix equal parts vinegar and water. Add 5 to 10 drops of essential oil, per 0,5 l of mixture, if desired.
Mirrors can be cleaned well with water and a microfiber cloth. If you are looking for more shine (and germ killing power), combine 1 ½ cups of water with ½ cup of vinegar in a spray bottle and shake to mix. Add 5 to 10 drops of orange or lemon essential oil for extra cleaning power and added fragrance.
I often keep leftover floor cleaner in a spray bottle and use it on the counter tops. It works very well. If this is not available I will make some disinfecting spray with lavender and peppermint essential oil and water. Adding two tablespoons of Castile soap to this mix will help loosen dirt or grime if necessary.
Pouring a little straight or scented vinegar into the toilet bowl is a great way to clean and deodorize. For regular toilet seat wipe downs, keep some vinegar in a spray bottle. Sprinkling baking soda into the bowl and scrubbing with a sturdy toilet brush is another good way to keep the toilet clean and fresh.
Bath and shower
The best way to keep the shower clean is to regularly spray the walls with vinegar, this helps prevent soap and scum from building up. For a thorough cleaning, it is easy to make your own soft soap cleaner with 3/4 baking soda and 1/4 Castile soap.
In a bowl, combine the baking soda and castile soap. Add 1 tbsp water and stir with a fork to make a nice soft, paste-like, consistency. Scoop out the scrub with a sponge and start cleaning. This scrub can also be used to clean the toilet.
Mix 1/2 cup liquid castile soap with 1/8 cup water add 4 drops essential oil scent of choice and 1tsp. of vinegar. Simply mix everything together and store it in an old liquid dish soap bottle! Use as you would store-bought liquid dish soap.