Toxins are everywhere, unfortunately. And while we can’t completely eliminate our exposure, we can choose what we allow into our home. A healthy lifestyle is more than organic produce and whole food; we must also recognize the dangers of toxic chemicals in our household cleaning products. Ironically, commercial cleaning products marketed to make us cleaner and safer really just hijack our efforts to achieve optimal health and wellness. Even so-called “natural” ingredients aren’t necessarily non-toxic, and companies are only required to list ingredients known to be harmful. So you never really know what you’re spraying into the air of your home, coating the dishes and counters with or slathering all over the laundry.
WHY TOSS TOXIC CLEANING CHEMICALS?
Picking up the AJAX, Windex, trusty 409 and our familiar blue Dawn dish soap can be a hard habit to break. It’s commonly stated, “My house doesn’t feel clean unless it smells like Pine-Sol.” It’s been ingrained in our minds that we’re not safe if we don’t fight germs with Super Chemicals. But long before commercial cleaning products became a thing, for eons, humans used little other than water, vegetable oils, and salt. Fun facts. Pine-Sol was originally pine oil. Palm oil and olive oil became Palmolive. There are plenty of safe, natural cleaning products you probably already have in your home. Not only is it possible to wipe away bacteria naturally, it’s even more effective because we’re not damaging our lungs and increasing our risk of disease and chronic illness in the process.
Making your own household cleaning products is:
- Cheaper. Pennies on the dollar!
- Healthier: Safe to touch, breathe, and no reason to panic if your toddler wanted to sneak a taste.
- Environment-friendly. Less packaging. And no more toxic chemicals down the drain.
7 BASICS FOR A NATURALLY CLEAN HOME
Organic, all-natural cleaning products exist, sure, but they cost an arm and a leg. And still contribute to environmental waste. Truth be told, the convenience seems worth the price even if you’re totally into saving the planet. But did you know you can clean and disinfect your home with little more than baking soda and water? That’s right. You probably already have everything you need clean your house top to bottom! Gather up these 7 things and you’re all set to create a sparkly-clean, toxic-free house:
- Castile bar soap (find it at health food stores and some grocery stores, and look for generic versions to pay much less)
- Washing soda (available at grocery stores by the laundry soap)
- Distilled White Vinegar
- Baking soda
- Citric Acid (buy online or at most grocery stores)
- Essential oils (optional but highly recommended and worth the investment) Tea Tree, Lavender, and any Citrus are best. Check out NOW brand essential oils for cleaning house. Available at Natural Grocers, and other health food stores. To buy online, Butterfly Express, Rocky Mountain Oils, Do Terra or Young Living are great options. Alternatively, use fresh lemons for disinfecting.
- Kosher Salt
SIMPLE DIY HOUSEHOLD CLEANING RECIPES
These recipes are so quick & easy you’ll wonder why we haven’t been doing this all along.
1 cup washing soda
1 cup baking soda
1 cup citric acid
½ c kosher salt
Mix together and store in a glass container.
If you’d like, use vinegar as rinse aid, in the closed tray of your dishwasher.
1 bar of Castile soap, grated (or 1 cup liquid Castile soap)
⅓ cup washing soda
1 c water
Optional: essential oils (lavender, citrus)
Optional: 1-2 tsp vegetable glycerin
Boil water and pour over washing soda and grated Castile soap (a food processor works great to quickly grate the soap), stir to dissolve and let cool to room temperature. Add essential oils (and vegetable glycerin and liquid Castile soap if using). Fill in a used dish soap container or glass soap dispenser.
1 cup Washing Soda
1 bar of Castile soap, grated
1 cup baking soda
Essential oils, optional but highly recommended for a lovely scent
Simply mix ingredients together and store in a glass container. You only need about 2 T for a full load!
1 cup distilled water
1-2 tsp liquid Castile soap or 1 cup vinegar
15-20 drops essential oils
Pour into a glass spray bottle and shake. Easy!
1 c warm water
2 T vinegar or liquid Castile soap
10 drops essential oils
Pour into a glass spray bottle and shake.
Tub & Tile & Toilet
Baking soda & water.
Just sprinkle and scrub!
1 gallon hot water
1 cup vinegar or liquid castile soap
10-15 drops essential oil
Mix together in a bucket, sink, or use in a spray bottle.
If you’re a DIY pro and want to upgrade you can find ample versions of these recipes all over the web with different ingredients to play around with. For example, some people love hydrogen peroxide in their bathroom cleaners and Borax with their laundry detergent. We wanted to keep it simple, but find what works best for you. If you’re a realist and know you’re never going to be caught dead cooking dish soap over your stove, there’s always Seventh Generation.