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.