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DIY Cleaners for the Non-Toxic Home

Reading to switch out your chemical-filled cleaning products for simple, easy, non-toxic cleaners? You can DIY these cleaners at home with simple ingredients and therapeutic grade essential oils. Let's get cleaning!

Overhauling my entire house was the first thing I wanted to do once I discovered the world of non-toxic living. One of the first things I started on my long list of to-do's was tossing all of my harmful, chemical-filled cleaners under the sink. Instead of cleaning, many of these "cleaners" just spread toxic chemicals around my home. On my kitchen counter-tops, bathrooms, floors, etc. I was determined to have something different. The more I read about the chemicals I was using, such as Seventh Generation, the more I realized the "green" and "safe" chemicals I thought I was using, were actually harming the environment of my home. I started researching ways to clean effectively, but with safe cleaning ingredients.

“Did you know cleaning with products that have harmful ingredients can actually damage your immune system over time? Instead of cleaning, these 'super chemicals' kill all bacteria, even the good".

Pull one surface cleaner out of your toxin-filled cabinet of cleaning supplies. Read the back of the label. Are you surprised at all the ingredients you can't pronounce, or understand what they mean? Many "green" brands are not always green. For example, the very popular Seventh Generation products do not score highest on the EWG list. Their dish-washing gel scored an F. And the bathroom cleaner, in lemongrass and thyme, scored a D. Do you really want to be cleaning your safe and environmentally-friendly home with these "green" products? They call this "green-washing", where brands market themselves as "green", and really aren't.

What ingredients can clean as effectively as store-bought products?

1. Vinegar or Baking Soda as an Effective Cleaner

The acidic properties of vinegar is what makes it such a good cleaner. Because vinegar is so acidic, it can counteract buildup on your surfaces. It can dissolve away soap scum in the tub, and even sticky substances such as glue. White vinegar has 5% acidity and is a staple for the following DIY recipes. Baking soda helps to dissolve grime and gives another layer of scrubbing power when needed. If you are looking to disinfect from a cold/virus, use hydrogen peroxide, which has been shown to be stronger at killing germs than Thieves or Vinegar.

2. Therapeutic Grade Essential Oils

Therapeutic grade means the essential oils are 100% pure. Some buyers choose Plant Therapy, over Young Living (which has had its rumors about not being pure), but we'll save that for another post. Also choose oils that are safe to be around babies. There are some oils that are not safe to be around children until they are at the 2 year mark, 6 year mark, and the 10 year mark. Remember they do not have the immune systems that adults do! So be careful what you are cleaning with and diffusing around them.

DIY Cleaners for Your Non-Toxic Home

All Purpose Cleaner

This recipe was featured on my first post, 5 Ways to go Non-Toxic Now. Becoming familiar with product language and knowing what ingredients actually mean is the way you can make safer choices for you and your family. Changing your household cleaning ingredients can simplify your cleaning and your life. All you need is a glass spray bottle, hot water, vinegar, essential oils, and a lemon- it's that simple. It takes you 2 minutes to make, has only 4 ingredients, and is "non-toxic" around babies and pets. If you want to skip vinegar (some people don't like the smell), then utilize baking soda and castile soap instead. If you choose to use vinegar (it doesn't smell once it dries) you can use food grade powdered white vinegar, or white liquid vinegar. The liquid vinegar isn't gluten free, if that is something you are concerned about. We are a gluten free household, so it just wouldn't make sense if I was utilizing a cleaner that wasn't gluten free, especially when spraying it on my counters near food.

White Vinegar: it cuts grease, deodorizes smells, and most importantly, disinfects

Baking Soda: it cuts grease, deodorizes smells, lifts dirt, and whitens surfaces

All Purpose Cleaner With Vinegar

3 parts boiled or distilled water

1 part white vinegar

1-2 tsp lemon juice

5-7 drops lemon essential oil

All Purpose Cleaner With Baking Soda

3 parts boiled or distilled water

1 tablespoon baking soda

1 teaspoon castile soap

3-5 drops tea tree oil

Glass Cleaner

3 parts of water

1 part white vinegar

10 drops lemon essential oil

1/2 tsp of non-toxic dish-washing liquid

Floor Cleaner - Works for hardwood too!

1 cup distilled or boiled water

1/2 cup distilled white vinegar

1 part alcohol free witch hazel

3 drops non-toxic dish-washing liquid

30 drops essential oils (you can mix lavender, lemon, tea tree, and/or peppermint)

Room Spray

3 parts distilled or boiled water

1 part alcohol free witch hazel

10 drops lavender essential oil

10 drops peppermint essential oil

10 drops lemon essential oil

10 drops eucalyptus essential oil (don't use this without ventilation around babies).

Eco-friendly Cleaning Supplies

Making your own cleaners to use around the house is easy! Best of all, you don't have to second guess what's in them. Things that seem harmless in "green" cleaning products, like "fragrance" are all commonly found. They are all linked to a shocking variety of health issues for both adults and children, which include asthma, cancer, and allergies, and can further develop into multiple chemical sensitivities. When repeatedly exposed to even small amounts of these chemicals, adults and especially immune-compromised children, can have long-term health problems. So get cleaning, the non-toxic way!

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