Many cleaning supplies, including window cleaners and laundry detergents, are created using harmful toxic chemicals; chemicals that, in the long run, aren’t generally healthy or safe for you or the environment. Products containing ammonia, bleach, harmful acids, and artificial fragrances might seem like they’re giving your house a deep clean, but in reality these products are health instigators, prone to causing respiratory issues, eye irritation, and overall indoor air pollution that can have lasting negative effects on your wellbeing and that of the planet.
Most people judge the level of cleaning they’re getting based on potent chemical smells and soapy suds. But neither of these things truly reflect the efficiency of the product, and often times there are plenty of eco-friendly, natural alternatives that you can create right in your own home using common (and inexpensive) products.
Using simple all-natural, non-toxic, and biodegradable ingredients like lemon, oils, Borax, baking soda, white distilled vinegar, and water, you can create a wide range of DIY green cleaning products for your entire home.
For Windows & Mirrors: For a crystal clear clean on glass surfaces, nix the harsh commercial window sprays and instead opt for white distilled vinegar. For a sparkling shine on your windows, mix about 2 cups of water with a 1/4 cup of white distilled vinegar and a 1/2 teaspoon of fresh lemon juice. Spray on and wipe clean in circular motions.
For Bathtubs & Showers: Many bathroom cleaners contain harsh chlorine chemicals or ammonia; when mixed, this combination can be incredibly toxic. If you’re looking for an all-natural deep clean for your tub and tile, combine 2 cups of baking soda, 1/2 cup of bio-degradable vegetable oil-based liquid soap, 1/2 cup of water, and 2 tablespoons of vinegar. Mix the ingredients in a jar or bowl and apply with a cloth or scrub with a sponge. Rinse off.
For Drains & Toilets: To rinse a toilet or unclog a dirty drain, pour a 1/2 cup of baking soda, then a 1/2 cup of white distilled vinegar, followed by a gallon or two of boiling water. This will break down the gunk naturally and without the use of harsh fumes and chemicals.
For Kitchen Counters: In the room where food is prepared, it’s definitely not wise to use chemical-based products that can eventually come into contact with your food and be ingested. To create an all-purpose counter cleaner for your kitchen, combine baking soda and water to create a thick paste. Rub into your countertops and let sit for a few minutes to a few hours depending on the level of soil. Wipe off with a damp cloth.
For a stronger disinfecting natural clean, mix 2 cups of water, 3 tablespoons of bio-degradable liquid soap, and 25 drops of tea tree oil. Spray onto countertops and wipe clean with a damp cloth.
For Carpets & Rugs: If your carpet or rug needs a good cleansing, you can create a stain-busting spot cleaner by combining a 1/4 cup of liquid soap and a 1/3 cup of water, then mixing until foamy. Spray the concoction onto the desired area and rinse with white distilled vinegar. To simply deodorize carpet (good for those who own pets), sprinkle dry baking soda around the floor and vacuum up after about 30 minutes.
For Kitchen Appliances: If the interiors of your kitchen appliances, such as your oven, fridge, or microwave, need a sprucing up, create a paste from baking soda and water and apply it inside the machine. Wait a few hours and scrub off with a sponge or damp cloth.
For Laundry: Since you’re going to be wearing your laundry most of the day, it’s best to avoid washing your clothes in artificially fragranced detergents that can aggravate sensitive skin and allergies. For a natural detergent, grate a bar of natural castille soap and mix with 2 cups washing soda and 2 parts Borax. Store in a closed container until use, and use a few tablespoons to a 1/4 cup per load of laundry. Add a few drops of essential oil (we recommend lavender or eucalyptus) for a natural lovely scent.
To create a non-toxic, non-artificial fabric softener, take a ball of yarn and apply a few drops of essential oil in the fragrance of your choice, and let the ball toss around in your dryer with your clothing.
Do you have any recipes for creating all-natural cleaning products? Which of the above are you going to DIY? And PS: Happy Earth Day!