It’s hard enough to make dinner. Why on earth would you want to spend time making your own cleaning products, you ask?
It’s a good question. Making your own anything (especially the first time) can seem daunting and like too much of a hassle. I hear you but I can tell you that it’s not only easier than you think but also incredibly worthwhile.
Benefits of DIY Cleaners…
- Huge money-saving potential;
- Fast and easy to make;
- Peace of mind that your clean home is also safe; and
- Essential oils actually boost your mood – making you happy while cleaning, imagine that!
Here’s what you need to know about commercial cleaners…
If you were to go to your cleaning cabinet right now and pull out a few of your regulars, you’re likely to find three things on the label: directions for use, vague ingredients, and hefty warnings.
Vague ingredients are common on commercial cleaning products because they are not required to be specific. Lack of disclosure makes it very hard for a consumer to decide whether the item is actually safe to bring home.
When you actually read the warnings, it’s disconcerting. Common ones include: “harmful if swallowed,” “wear gloves when handling this product,” “can cause damage to skin and mucous membranes,” and “keep away from pets and children.”
The truth is that even though we’ve used these products our whole lives and probably watched our parents do the same, many of them contain dangerous chemicals that can be absorbed and breathed in by every member of the family with a whole slew of side effects that often are not felt immediately including: general systemic and organ effects, damage to DNA, cancer, respiratory problems, skin irritation, allergies, negative developmental/endocrine/reproductive effects, nervous and digestive system effects, and damage to vision … just to name a few.
If you’re curious how your current cleaning products rate in terms of safety, visit www.EWG.org. Not one of the products I used to regularly use scored above a D on the A-F scale (A being safest.)
The good news is that we don’t have to endure such hardcore products to have a clean home because we can achieve the same results and spend less money. Sounds good, eh?
Using a few common household ingredients like baking soda and vinegar mixed with essential oils will yield the same clean results without the chemical aftermath. Essential oils like lemon, tea tree, peppermint, eucalyptus, rosemary, and thyme are both antibacterial and antiviral. Now that’s harnessing the power of Mother Nature.
What you need to get started…
You will need the ingredients in the recipes you want to try (everything available at Smiths or the Co-op) plus something to put it in. I invested $10 and bought a variety of glass spray bottles and other glass containers. Aromatools.com is one resource you can use to find great containers for your new cleaners. The best bet is to use glass because the essential oils will eat at the plastic thereby incorporating the same toxins you’re trying to avoid.
You will also need some essential oils. Just like with everything, you get what you pay for with essential oils. There are a few high quality brands out there. My favorite is Doterra. I have friends who also love Young Living Oils.
All Purpose Cleaner
2 cups boiling water
2 Tbs white vinegar
½ tsp Dr. Bronner’s Castile Soap
1 tsp baking soda
5 drops lemon essential oil
Mix baking soda, water and soap together with essential oil in a container. Place container inside a bigger bowl and add vinegar. Mix and add to spray bottle.
1/8 cup Castile Soap
1/8 cup distilled vinegar
1 gallon water
10 drops essential oil (lemon, maleleuca, lavender)
Combine ingredients in bucket and use to mop any floor.
Toilet Bowl Cleaner
½ cup baking soda
¼ cup white vinegar
10 drops melaleuca essential oil (tea tree)
Combine all ingredients in the bowl right before toilet wash. Add to toilet bowl. Brush. You’re done.
2 cups water
3 Tbs vinegar
¼- ½ tsp liquid Castile Soap
3-4 drops of lemon essential oil
Pour ingredients into a spray bottle and shake to blend.
¼ cup vinegar
½ tsp liquid Castile Soap
1/8 tsp olive oil
10 drops lemon/orange essential oil
Combine ingredients and use in a spray bottle.
The in-between step
If making your own cleaners is a little too out there for you, there are still plenty of options that you can buy with safer ingredients. Be sure to visit www.EWG.org to see which ones are the safest.
My hope is that you enjoy these safe cleaning products as much as we do. Happy cleaning.
Editor’s note: Lisa Bakosi is a Certified Health Coach and owner of Hygea Health & Nutrition, LLC. She provides private coaching to individuals, hosts a variety of health seminars, guest lectures at events, and specializes in Employee Wellness Programs. She works with her clients on diet and lifestyle strategies to feel good and look great. Visit www.hygeahealthnut.comto learn more about her training and unique approach to health or to sign up for free health tips.