From mainstream laundry detergents, to dish soap, to spray cleaners, the amount of toxins brought into the home from cleaning products is sickening - literally. The side effects from the toxic chemicals used in these products range with the most common being headaches, respiratory illness (including asthma), hormone disruption and cancer.
The good news is that you can clean your home with less expensive toxic-free products that are often even more effective than their counterparts! And you can make these quickly and easily, right in your own home!
Here are the top five most affordable and effective ingredients to keep in your home for cleaning purposes:
The abrasiveness of the baking soda, along with its mild alkaline properties, works great for scrubbing. This handy ingredient also a natural deodorizer and stain remover. It can be used on tough counter stains, for sink cleaning, for the ring around the bathtub. Add it to the toilet and splash in some vinegar, and you have a powerful scrubber for those stubborn stains! Which brings us to the next ingredient....
Vinegar is a great disinfectant for your every day cleaning. It can be used with water to wash floors, diluted as a spray cleaner and works great on windows. To note, it should not be used on granite, marble or stone tiles as the acid in it can react with the stones and ruin them.
Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil has been shown to kill viruses and bacteria including MRSA, Strep and the Flu Virus. It is very concentrated, so it’s something that you can add to other ingredients (like vinegar), to make an effective, great smelling, germ-fighting cleaner. You can even add a few drops into your laundry detergent.
Independent testing has shown Hydrogen Peroxide to be most effective at killing bacteria, viruses and germs. It’s great for when you have an illness in the house - use it undiluted and by itself to clean counter tops, doorknobs and thermometers during time of illness. Hydrogen peroxide is a mold-killer, and can be really effective on the moldy edges of sinks and in bathrooms.
Liquid Castile Soap
Castile soaps are vegetable-based, so you are bi-passing the petroleum byproducts found in most liquid soaps. Its also extra concentrated, so a little bit goes a long way. It can be used for cleaning dishes, in all purpose cleaners, in homemade laundry detergents and for cleaning stubborn clothing stains. And my favorite brand adds an AMAZING fresh scent to laundry, as an added bonus!
Many of these ingredients work best when combined together. Here’s one example, with the following recipe for an all purpose cleaner.
All Purpose Cleaner Recipe:
You will need:
- Liquid Castile Soap
- Tea Tree Oil
Start with an empty spray bottle. Choose one that doesn’t let light in, as it will maintain the integrity of the tea tree oil you are going to add to it.
- Add a teaspoon of castile soap to the bottle, then fill halfway with vinegar.
- Fill the rest of the bottle with room temperature filtered water, leaving just enough room for ingredients to mix when you shake.
- Put the cap on and shake the ingredients.
- Open the bottle back up and add 20 drops of tea tree oil, putting the cap on and shaking it once again.
...AND THAT'S IT!
Now you are ready to use this handy cleaner on counters (not stone ones
), in sinks, showers, bathtubs, for spills on floors and on any other non-stone surface.
Enjoy making your very own cleaners! It's super easy, super cheap, and SUPER HEALTHY for you and your family!