Why should you take the time to make homemade cleaners? Well, first of all, plenty of studies show that toxic, conventional cleaning supplies are bad for your health, your child’s health, and the planet’s health. See the following posts for more information…
- Expectant mamas should limit use of toxic household cleaning products
- Poisons Under Your Sink: Hidden Dangers of Cleaning Products
- How many cleaning supplies are under your sink that your child could safely drink?
- The Dangers of Home Cleaning Supplies
The above health issues are reason enough to make green cleaners, but just in case you need more reasons: homemade cleaners smell better, work just as well, cut down on packaging, and save you money. Lastly, this is a very simple green step you can take at home, yet the rewards are huge – cleaner indoor air quality and a healthy, happy family.
WHAT SUPPLIES YOU’LL NEED:
You need very few supplies to make homemade cleaning products. Most of the items you’ll need, you likely have around the house already…
- A few plain old spray bottles. You can purchase some, or clean out your old ones (the ones that had icky cleaners in them) and reuse them.
- Box of baking soda.
- Table salt.
- Bottle of white distilled vinegar.
- Good old plain tap H2O.
- Olive oil.
- Natural soap.
- Fresh lemons.
- Organic essential oil of tea tree, lavender, eucalyptus, lemongrass and rosemary. You don’t need all of them, but having at least a couple on hand is helpful. These are some of the best antiseptic and antibacterial essential oils, plus they smell great. If you’ve never used essential oils before, read Essential Oil Buying Guide and Essential Oil Safety Guide. It’s important that you understand that anyone can have a negative reaction to an essential oil. The posts above explain how to do a skin test – you don’t want to clean with an oil that affects you negatively.
- Some eco-friendly sponges or cloths. Or simply buy a pack of washcloths, use old cloth diapers, make cloths out of ripped clothes, and so on. If you’re going to clean green, you may as well ditch the paper towels while you’re at it.
EASY, GREEN CLEANING SUPPLY RECIPES:
Window wash: Many people who are die-hard into green cleaning love vinegar and water as a window wash. Simply mix 3 tablespoons vinegar with 2 cups of water (or for a bigger job – 1/2 cup vinegar to 1 gallon water) and spray right on your windows. Vinegar works great on glass, it’s true, however I can’t stand the smell of vinegar, so I hunted down an alternative years ago. You can also use straight fresh lemon juice or club soda to get your windows and other glass items sparkling clean. Spritz your glass with club soda and scrub with recycled newspaper. If you use straight lemon juice use a lint-free cloth to scrub with.
All-purpose disinfectant: Mix 2 cups water, a few drops of natural soap, and 15 drops each of tea tree and lavender organic essential oil. You can spray this on all kinds of home surfaces – changing tables, cutting boards, toilets, sinks, walls, and more. Just don’t use this on glass, as it will streak. This basic cleaner is so safe and gentle you could literally spray it on your kids, and they’d be fine. I do suggest baths over disinfecting the kiddos though
Scrubbing toilets: Drizzle your toilet bowl with vinegar, lemon juice, or spray on some of your all-purpose disinfectant. Sprinkle with baking soda. Let it sit for 10 minutes. Scrub with toilet brush. This mix will also clean sinks perfectly.
Fast non-toxic oven cleaning: You don’t want to use conventional oven cleaners – any product that requires open windows and gloves to use, is not ok to use around your kids (or yourself). The best tip is to not wait to clean your oven when it gets dirty. An old stain is harder to clean. To clean oven stains naturally, sprinkle table salt liberally on the hot spill before your oven cools down. Allow the oven to cool. Grab a damp cloth and rub off the spill.
Mold fighter: Mold is extremely harmful to human lungs. The problem is that once you have mold, you have it, and it can be almost impossible, if not totally impossible to get rid of. Prevention is key. To fight mold from ever occurring, mix two cups of water and three drops of pure organic tea tree essential oil. Once a week, spray your walls with this solution (even behind furniture) and wipe dry. This mixture fights stains and the natural antiseptic qualities of tea tree oil fights mold and mildew.
Got questions? Go ahead and ask in the comments. I haven’t bought conventional household cleaners in years, so if you need a natural homemade cleaning solution, I can most likely help you out!