I used to love coming home to my freshly cleaned home. I especially loved the smells when I walked in after a cleaning session. Never once did I think about what I was breathing in, or touching, during cleaning, or after. I now realize that cleaning my home doesn’t have to be a toxic filled experience.
In our efforts to keep our homes clean, we are unknowingly breathing in and touching many toxic chemicals. I know so many people who religiously wipe down home surfaces, desks, phones, basically everything they come in contact with on a daily basis. In their efforts to avoid germs, they are choosing rather to expose themselves regularly to toxic chemicals.
Here are some easy recipes I personally use for healthier home cleaning products. They are all easy to make, use and work quite well.
Mix 1/2 cup vinegar and 1/4 cup baking soda into 1/2 gallon of water. Store and keep – I use large glass jars purchased at the Container Store and pour into a smaller glass spray jar.
I use this mixture to clean my windows, bathroom fixtures and shower doors. It also works great for removal of water deposit stains on shower stall panels.
Wood Floor Cleaner:
I use green tea and warm water to mop my wood floors, but you can use regular tea if you wish. I don’t mop them too often as I don’t like to use a lot of water on the wood, but when I do I pour boiling water into a bucket with 10 tea bags tied together. I let it sit to cool. When cooled I mop the floor with the mixture. Makes the floors super shiny. You can add a few drops of lemon essential oil if you want a refreshing smell. To minimize the need for damp mopping, use a dust mop or a dry microfiber pad for routine floor cleaning.
Bathroom Shower, Tiles & Grout
Mix one part hydrogen peroxide (3%) with two parts water in a spray bottle and spray on areas with mold. Wait at least one hour before rinsing or using shower.
I use a wooden cutting board when I cook. The last thing I’d want to do is clean this board with a harsh chemical that might leach into my food. This is the easiest way I’ve found to keep my board clean safely. I rub a slice of lemon across a chopping block to disinfect the surface. For tougher stains, squeeze some of the lemon juice onto the spot and let sit for 10 minutes, then wipe. You can also make a paste with baking soda to disinfect after cutting meat. Let this paste sit on the board for at least 10 minutes prior to rinsing.
For varnished wood, add a few drops of lemon oil into a 1/2 cup warm water. Mix well and spray onto a soft cotton cloth. Cloth should only be slightly damp. Wipe furniture with the cloth, and finish by wiping once more using a dry soft cotton cloth.
For unvarnished wood, mix two tsps each of olive oil and lemon juice and apply a small amount to a soft cotton cloth. Wring the cloth to spread the mixture further into the material and apply to the furniture using wide strokes. This helps distribute the oil evenly.
Stainless Steel Cleaner
I clean my kitchen appliances with a cloth dampened with undiluted white vinegar. For stainless cookware, I mix 4 tbs baking soda in 1 qt water, and apply using a soft cloth. Wipe dry using a clean cloth. For my stainless steel sink, I pour some club soda on an absorbent cloth to clean, then wipe dry using a clean cloth.
None of the above recipes are hard to make and some can even be made in a larger quantity and stored. A nice added benefit is the amount of money you save making your own.
I was super excited to read WellnessMama.com’s newsletter in which she shared a wonderful recipe for making nontoxic disinfecting wipes for use in your home. I’m definitely going to make these. Here is her recipe exactly as written:
DIY Disinfecting Wipes Ingredients
1/2 cup vodka (NOT rubbing or isopropyl alcohol)
3 TBSP castile soap
1 ½ cups distilled water
30 drops tea tree essential oil
35 drops lemon essential oil
About 6 store-bought washcloths (the cheap, thin ones) or 12 large t-shirt fabric squares
Glass container with a sealable lid (about a 2-quart capacity)
Large mixing bowl
In a bowl add the soap, water, alcohol, and essential oils. Stir well to combine.
Place two of the washcloths or fabric squares into the glass container, then pour about 1/3 of the cleaning solution over them. Repeat this process until all of the cloths and solution has been used. (This approach guarantees evenly wet wipes.)
Put the lid on the container and move the container around, tipping it upside down and back again to make sure the cloths are fully saturated.
How to Use the Natural Disinfecting Wipes
Remove a wipe from the container, and wring any excess liquid out over the other wipes. Use it to disinfect and clean surfaces around the house.
Since these natural disinfecting wipes are sturdier than the store-bought disposable ones, they hold up to scrubbing surfaces much better.
Test any new surfaces in an inconspicuous location if there’s any concern the wipe could damage the material or surface to be cleaned.
To wash: Launder with other kitchen towels. I always keep a small laundry basket on hand in my pantry for towels and wipes. I wash them together in hot water with a splash of hydrogen peroxide and regular laundry detergent.
Above recipe is from WellnessMama.com
I recently learned of home cleaning products by a company called Norwex. I went to a home party and purchased the window cleaning cloth which works with just water. Works really nicely too for day to day cleaning of windows and mirrors. The package I purchased included this and a dusting mitt. You can dust your furniture with no products at all, just the mitt. Both of these items make the in between scrubbing cleaning so much easier for me. They also wash in the washing machine and are good to go for your next cleaning session. I have been exploring Amazon and noticed it is less expensive to buy there from authorized dealers. Here is the link to the kit I purchased –
I hope you take the plunge and begin limiting your exposure to chemicals in your cleaning products. If you are a person who, like me, loves the smell of a clean house, add some essential oils to your products to get a healthier fragrance. I use lemon and lavender oils in some of mine. Here’s the link to the oils I use, but any would work. Just make sure they are pure and organic oils.
Making your own products may require more of your time, but just think of the time on Earth you’ll gain from living healthier. I truly believe that every small change will add up to more time.
Have you already made these changes in your cleaning routines? If so, please share any recipes or tips you have by leaving a comment below.