Today, our friend Bre Taylor of Nourishing The Home chimes in to answer a very important question…
How Do I Easily Replace Chemical Cleaners With Naturally-Sourced Ingredients?
Spring is usually the time when most of us think of heavy cleaning, the clearing of cobwebs and scrubbing the grime away. Fall, on the other hand, should be just as important - maybe even more important with cold and flu season knocking at the door. Sadly, a majority of the cleaning supplies out on the market are filled with chemicals and cancer-causing carcinogens.
Read more info on toxic household cleaners here.
When it comes to cleaning (and many other things), oftentimes the simpler the better! Here’s a list of the most commonly used ingredients for homemade cleaners that are also - bonus! – cheap. Making your own cleaning supplies doesn’t have to be hard! It’s actually very easy and safe to use with little ones around who want to “help mama clean”.
Vinegar – a natural cleaner and deodorizer, it absorbs smells instead of covering them up. Mixing equal parts water and vinegar makes a great all-purpose cleaner. Don’t worry! The vinegar smell goes away once the area dries, but you can also add a drop of essential oil for scent (and even more germ-killing benefits).
Baking Soda – great to scrub surfaces in much the same way as commercial non-abrasive cleansers; also a great deodorizer.
Castile Soap – made of natural ingredients, including olive oil which is rich in antiseptic, astringent, and emollient properties.
Lemon Juice – great for dissolving soap scum and hard water deposits. Be cautious, lemon juice can act as a natural bleach so test it out on a hidden area first. Lemon or orange peels are also great to deodorize your garbage disposal!
Essential Oils – not just for smelling great! Extracted from plants, many essential oils are anti-bacterial, anti-viral, and proven to kill mold and mildew. They are also potent, so even just one drop goes a long way. Citrus oils, like Lemon and Wild Orange, are great to clean with. On Guard is a specific blend of oils that is proven to kill the MRSA virus on any surface for up to 7 days (source: PubMed).
Now I have simple and safe cleaners in my house without any fear of my kids getting into chemicals. They actually love to help clean, especially when we do the “fizzy fuzz” cleaner (see Toilet Bowl Cleaner recipe below).
Here are some tried and true recipes you can make at home:
All-Purpose Cleaning Spray
- 1 cup white vinegar
- 1 cup water
For extra germ-fighting power add 20 drops of an Essential Oil. Some options to try: 20 drops of Lemon, or 20 drops of OnGuard blend, or 10 drops of each Eucalyptus, Peppermint, and Wild Orange.
Combine ingredients in a glass spray bottle, and shake well. It’s recommended to use glass with citrus oils because they can eat through plastic.
Urban Acres now carries everything you need for an All-Purpose Spray Cleaner, including the reusable glass spray bottle, the OnGuard oil blend, and the Intro to Essential Oils kits.
- 2 tbsp liquid Castile soap
- Filtered water
- (Optional) Vitamin E or almond oil for moisturizing
Add Castile soap to a soap dispenser and fill the rest with water. Add almond oil as a moisturizer, or any essential oils for added scent and anti-bacterial effect.
Glass & Stainless Steel Cleaner
- 2 1/2 cups water
- 2 1/2 cups rubbing alcohol
- 4 tbsp white vinegar
Combine ingredients in a spray bottle and slightly shake to mix ingredients well.
Toilet Bowl Cleaner
- 1/4 cup white vinegar
- 1/4 cup baking soda
- 5 drops of Lemon oil
- 5 drops of Melaleuca oil
Combine ingredients in toilet bowl, let fizz for a few minutes, then clean with a toilet brush.
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As you can see, cleaning doesn’t have to be a total drag, especially when you’re using natural ingredients plus energizing essential oils. Stay tuned for an upcoming class on essential oils at the new Urban Acres Farmstead!
Bre Taylor is a wife and mother of two who runs the website Nourishing the Home. She is also a representative for doTerra essential oils. For more info and upcoming classes, contact Bre via her website or Facebook page.