Sunday, March 24, 2013

Six super-easy homemade cleaners that smell great and work


easy recipes for non toxic cleaning using simple grocery store ingredients

Like most people I love that “clean” smell of a freshly scrubbed house. It’s like having your nose confirm that the place is sparkling, no matter that it’s usually synthetic fragrances (found in standard cleaners) that linger in your home.
Fragrances contain phthalates, which are a batch of chemicals known to be hormone disruptors and suspected of causing a whole host of health concerns, including asthma, reproductive issues and thyroid problems. As always, children are most at risk. If an ingredient list includes the words “fragrance” or “perfume”  know the scent is toxic. Even unscented products often contain these ingredients.
If the only thing standing between you and non-toxic cleaning is a fresh smell I have discovered a new book that might win you over: “The Naturally Clean Home” by Karyn Siegel-Maier. It’s full of super-easy homemade cleaning solutions that contain a few drops of essential oils.

The oils not only help to do the cleaning (have antibiotic, antifungal, antiviral, antibacterial properties) they leave your house smelling great.

Just in time for spring cleaning, the tips and recipes just might make converts of anyone who isn’t sold on basic natural cleaners because they don’t feel they do a good enough job.

All you need to make the cleaners are a few basic grocery store ingredients, your choice of essential oil and plastic spray bottles from the Dollar Store.

The main grocery store ingredients are white vinegar, baking soda, borax (look for the Mule Team brand in the laundry aisle), liquid castile soap (look for Dr. Bronner’s brand in the natural food section at the grocery store or The Feel Good Store. This is a little pricy but you need just a couple of tablespoons for the recipes.)

Look for castile soap in natural food stores and the natural food section of the grocery store. A little goes a long way so don't let the price throw you off.



Look for borax in the laundry aisle at the grocery store.

Here are some of my favourite recipes from The Naturally Clean Home:

  • Sink scrub: ¼ cup baking soda, ½ cup vinegar, 3 drops of essential oil. Combine the vinegar and essential oil then quickly mix in the baking soda. Pour it around the sink, scrub and rinse with hot water. The cleaner freshens the drain too.
  • All-purpose cleaner: 1 tsp. liquid castile soap, 2 Tbsp. white vinegar, ¼ cup lemon juice, 2 cups water, 4 drops of citrus oil (orange, lemon, lime), 6 drops citrus seed extract, 1 tsp. borax. Combine in a spray bottle. Shake well.
  • Herbal disinfectant: 2 cups hot water, 10 drops of thyme (or other herb) essential oil, ¼ cup borax. Combine all ingredients in a spray bottle and shake well.
  • Toilet bowl cleaner: ½ cup baking soda, ¼ cup vinegar, 10 drops of tea tree oil. Add to bowl, swipe with a brush.
  • Toilet cleaner:  2 cups water, ¼ cup liquid castile soap, 1 Tbsp. tea tree essential oil, 10 drops peppermint oil. Combine in a spray bottle.
  • Floor cleaner: 1 gallon hot water, 2 Tbsp. liquid castile soap, 15 drops orange essential oil, ¼ cup lemon juice or 8 drops lemon oil.
Although these cleaners are non-toxic, you should still handle them with care.

9 comments:

German Zollinger said...

Thanks for sharing these recipes, Bridget! Homemade cleaners are great eco-friendly alternatives, but I still use store-bought from time to time. There are just some jobs that are too tough to deal with but are quite easy when using an industrial cleaner. -German @ Total Clean

Weston Adams said...

Oh, of course, scent is very important. What’s tricky with this is that some cleaners smell good as a solution, but don’t smell as good or is as refreshing after the application. Thanks for sharing! Weston@LBC

Marti said...

Where do you get the essential oils? That's always the thing that keeps me from making stuff like this.

gain mark said...

Thanks for sharing non-toxic green cleaning products. I also buy only natural products from grocery store, and best part of these products is that they are so affordable. I mostly use white vinegar and baking soda to clean floor tiles.

Bo Tolbert said...

It feels great to live in a sweet-smelling and sparkling-clean home. You can just go home and just relax, even after a long, stressful day. And if those cheap, yet effective home cleaning agents could give you those results, then it’s definitely worth a try! Thanks for sharing!

Bo Tolbert @ HJS Supply

Monique Fletcher said...

Wow! I'm so amazed with those DIY home cleaners with scent. The ingredients look easy to find and the process of making them seems easy as well. Thanks for sharing that, Bridget! Kudos and all the best to you!

Monique Fletcher @ Safe Clean Hillingdon

Sam Luke said...

Well...its a nice post...really interesting keep on posting still more informative blogs.

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Abhijeet Bhosale said...

Really good article. Thanks for taking the time to explain things in such great detail in a way that is easy to understand.
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Manar Koutb said...
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