Toxin-free household cleaning
We all love a clean house, right? Clean house = safe house.
I was shocked when I first moved to Denmark and discovered that they didn’t use anything to clean kitchen surfaces other than hot water and a cleaning cloth. What? No Mr Muscle??! But what about germs? What about disinfecting? Puh, slight panic and the first layer of chemical-laden cleaning habits was gently peeled away.
And yet, it’s still only very recently that I looked into what our regular household cleaning products contain and swiftly swopped over to natural options. Harmful chemical mixes damage our immunity, fertility, lead to skin irritations, allergies and many more conditions.
When you consider the amount of chemicals that we are exposed to each day through our food, environment and the products we use on ourselves and in our homes (I remember reading somewhere, but don’t quote me as I’m not sure where, that we have over 400 chemicals and toxins stored in our bodies from cosmetics alone…ewww), there are simple options available to us so that we can reduce these by cleaning our homes in a way that does not harm us or the environment.
New motto: natural cleaning = safe house.
These basics will allow you to make your own natural, non-toxic cleansers that can be stored in glass jars or you can buy spray bottles to store them in. The trick is to start by replacing one product at a time so that you are not overwhelmed by so many new changes.
If you want to keep it very basic, choose #1 or #2 general cleaner below and you’re set. If you want to keep it even more basic, buy natural cleaning products from your local health food store (check the labels), but making your own is cheaper. We haven’t tried all of these, which I have included to give you a collection of different options that you can use as a quick reference.
We just use 2T organic white vinegar diluted in 1 cup water plus a couple of drops of tea tree oil for all surfaces.
|General household cleaner:|
|#1 1 tsp. liquid castile soap. Squeeze of lemon. 1 l. warm water||#2 if you need something a little tougher ¼ c. baking soda. ½ c. vinegar. 4.5 l. water|
|Floors: 9 l.hot wate.r 1 c. white vinegar OR just plain old lemon juice!||Wood polish: 2 parts olive oil 1 part lemon juice let it stand for a few hours then rub off with a cloth|
|Toilet bowl (you can use #2 above): 1/2 c. baking soda 1/2 c. white vinegar. Let sit for ½ hour. Scrub and flush. You can also add a couple of drops of essential oil to the mix for a nice smell – peppermint, tea tree.||Basin, tub, tiles (see #1 above): ½ c. baking soda 2-3 tbsp. liquid castile soap a few drops of essential oil of your choice – tea tree is a great antiseptic|
|To remove mineral stains: dilute vinegar or lemon juice, leave for 30 mins then scrub off. To remove lime scale: soak showerhead in white vinegar for an hour. Then use tub recipe above. To remove mould: cover in white vinegar, leave for 30 mins or more then scrub off (we use an old toothbrush). Rinse with water.|
|Laundry: Add 1/2 cup white vinegar and essential oils of your choice to final rinse (lavender or rose for example) to soften and add a slight scent to your smalls.To brighten your whites, place them in a pot of boiling water with cut up lemons in it. Turn the heat off, let it stand for an hour or so then wash as usual.||Kitchen: Oven cleaner: Sprinkle water on the oven surfaces. Sprinkle baking soda on the water so that it forms a white paste. Leave it for 12 hours then wipe off. Whatever grease is left can be removed with a vegetable-based dish detergent.Use general household cleaners above #1 and 2.|
|Air/Bathroom freshner: In a mister bottle mix pure water with essential oil drops of your choice. OR Place rose petals or dried lavender in a bowl (pot pouri)||Mirror and Window cleaner: 2 tsp. white vinegar 1 l. warm water apply it using newspaper and dry off with newspaper|
Sources: http://www.ecocycle.org/hazwaste/recipes.cfm (gives a whole selection of stain removal ideas) http://www.naturalnews.com/031356_household_cleaners_natural_products.html#ixzz1E7rtMYAl http://planetgreen.discovery.com/home-garden/detox-home-comprehensive-guide.html This post is part of Real Food Whole Health’s Fresh Bites Friday.