With spring coming up fast, I’m sure that you’ve got a spot of spring cleaning on your mind, just as I have. My attention was recently drawn to the fact that a lot of household cleaning products we tend to use contain many nasty ingredients, such as phthalates, sodium hydroxide, chlorine, and ammonia. If these come into contact with your skin or are ingested, they can have serious consequences for your health. The health-conscious alternative to this potential disaster is to make your own green, natural cleaning products at home. Here’s all you need to get started:
1. Castile Soap
All-natural castile soaps can be used to make herbal soft scrubs, bathroom cleaners or even to tackle a pest infestation on one of your plants. Use it to get dirt and grease off of all of your household’s surfaces. Just be sure not to mix it with vinegar, because the two ingredients cancel out each other’s efficacy.
2. Essential Oil
Essential oils are great for creating sparkling-clean rooms that also offer a little aromatherapy effect to those who enter them. They’re made from 100% plant extract, so it’s an all-natural way to go about your cleaning. Tea tree essential oil is the best for cleaning, peppermint oil is great as a mild pest repellent, and eucalyptus oil is the one to go for if you’re disinfecting.
3. Witch Hazel
Organic witch hazel can be used to disinfect things such as yoga mats or other items or surfaces around the home that get covered in sweat (or other bodily fluids for that matter), as well as a skin cleanser and toner. In other words, it’s two products in one!
In addition to being used in a whole myriad of different food recipes, lemons are also antibacterial and fantastic for fighting grease. Squeeze lemon juice on shower-heads to remove mineral deposits, polish and dust furniture, and sanitize cutting boards.
5. Epsom Salt
Despite the “salt” in its name, there’s actually no sodium to speak of in Epsom salt. It’s a mineral compound consisting of magnesium sulfate, and this is what makes it such a potent cleaner. Epsom salt is a much safer alternative to bleach if you need to clean tiles, or the grouting between tiles. Just don’t eat it!
6. Baking Soda
Baking soda is like a wonder ingredient – it can deodorize stinky things such as carpets or shoes, get rid of mold, and can even be used to scrub sinks and grouting. Its alkalinity is what allows it to do this. Try mixing baking soda with essential oils for the best deodorizing effects.
7. Washing Soda
This is one of the most versatile ingredients on this list. The chemical compound in washing soda is sodium carbonate, and you’ll usually find the stuff in the laundry aisle at your local supermarket. Combine it with baking soda to make homemade dish-washing powder.
8. Distilled White Vinegar
Get rid of that nasty bleach you’ve been using to disinfect your house all this time and buy yourself a gallon of distilled white vinegar instead. Furthermore, you can also use distilled white vinegar to clean glass, de-grime toilet bowls and remove salt stains from floors, clothing, and leather.
9. Olive Oil
You can use olive oil to add luster to your car’s interior, or for dusting surfaces in your home. Olive oil can also help clean garden tools and stainless steel furniture. Choose extra virgin olive oil for the most effective cleaning.