Healthy Home Cleaning

Spring is almost here and you’re probably thinking about that big spring cleaning binge…

Have you ever made your own home cleaning products?

It’s actually really easy to make very effective cleaners and it will save you a bundle of money too. The real payoff is for your health, though.

Commercial cleaners are loaded with harsh chemicals. Your skin and your respiratory system can seriously suffer from exposure to these cleaners, and that could be just the start of it.

Organicconsumers.org explain: “while the chemicals in cleaners foam, bleach, and disinfect to make our dishes, bathtubs and countertops gleaming and germ-free, many also contribute to indoor air pollution, are poisonous if ingested, and can be harmful if inhaled or touched. In fact, some cleaners are among the most toxic products found in the home. In 2000, cleaning products were responsible for nearly 10% of all toxic exposures reported to U.S. Poison Control Centers, accounting for 206,636 calls. Of these, 120,434 exposures involved children under six, who can swallow or spill cleaners stored or left open inside the home.”

It can be frustrating to learn that the very things you’ve been using to clean your home and make it a healthy place for your family can actually be harming their health and making your home less safe.

On top of the cancer-causing chemicals, lung irritants and other harmful ingredients in many home cleaning products, the antibacterial trend is an additional concern.

Antibacterials are harmful to your healthy gut bacteria, which hurts your immune system. To learn more about why you should give up antibacterials for a healthier home and life, check out our recent post.

What follows are some of our favorite recipes for a truly clean AND healthy home.

Our Favorite DIY Cleaner Recipes:

These recipes will help you get started. You probably even have a lot of the ingredients around the house already. Have a look:

Glass Cleaner

Use this as you would any other glass cleaner but without the scary risks to your respiratory health!

1 cup water
2 cups white vinegar
½ tsp biodegradable, plant-based dish soap
Spray bottle

Mix in a spray bottle. Shake before using. 

All-Purpose Surface Cleaner

Clean and lightly fragrance your kitchen and bathroom, without chemicals that get an ‘F’ for health and safety

2 cups water
1/4 cup castile soap
15 drops organic essential oil of your choice (lavender, peppermint or orange are good choices)
Spray bottle

Pour water into spray bottle. Add castile soap and essential oils. Shake before using. If you feel like ¼  cup of castile soap is too soapy for you, you can reduce the amount to as little as 2 tbsp (half). Safe to use on all surfaces, including granite and marble (though we recommend testing on a small area first). 

Furniture Polish

Sure, you want your wood to shine, but it’s not worth increasing your cancer risk over. Lucky we came along — now you can have the best of both worlds!

½ tsp olive oil
¼ cup white vinegar or fresh lemon juice (strained)
Mason jar

Mix and seal in a glass jar and shake to combine. Dab a soft rag in the mixture and rub into wood furniture.

Bathtub Scrubber

A sparkling tub AND no risk to your lungs!

Baking soda
Biodegradable dish soap
Vegetable glycerin (opt. for making larger quantities to store)
Mason jar

Pour 1/2 cup of baking soda into a bowl and add enough biodegradable liquid dish soap to make a frosting-like texture. Scoop the mixture onto a sponge, and scrub the tub with it. This is the perfect recipe for cleaning the bathtub because it rinses easily and doesn’t leave grit.

Note: Add 1 teaspoon of vegetable glycerin to the mixture and store in a sealed glass jar to keep the product moist. Otherwise just make as much as you need at one time.

Dryer Sheets

Fresh-smelling laundry is something that many people love and find hard to think about giving up. What’s not so fresh? The asthma and allergy risks posed by fabric softeners found in dryer sheets. Fortunately, these handy homemade sheets will keep things fresh without the risks.

A square Tupperware container
An old bedsheet, torn into squares that fit your container
1 cup white vinegar
25+ drops organic essential oils — whatever scents you like (can be a single scent or a combination)

Put your sheet squares into your container. Mix your vinegar and essential oils in a measuring pitcher and pour over the squares so that they all get soaked. Store with the lid on tightly. Throw one or two sheets into the dryer with each load of laundry.

When they come out of the dryer, put them back into the container on the bottom. Once the container starts getting dry, mix up more vinegar and oil solution and re-soak the sheets.

What are you waiting for?

These recipes are better for you and the environment. They are quick and easy to make and will save you money.

Will you give these recipes a try? Do you have others that you use regularly? Let us know in the comments.

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