Hands up – who hates having to dedicate their valuable Netflix time to carrying out household chores? Scrubbing down the kitchen or deep cleaning the bathroom is not only time consuming, it’s tedious, and a real drag. And you know what’s even worse? The whole process is probably toxic to your health. Allow me to explain.
Toxic Cleaning Products
I don’t mean to imply that cleaning is the bad guy. It’s the multitude of disinfectants, detergents and cleansers we use to help us clean that are the real enemy. Most of the home cleaning products found in grocery stores actually double as huge chemical cocktails wrapped in a ‘Summer Breeze’ scented package. They’re harmful to both our health and environment, and it’s high time we re-evaluate our use of them in our homes. Luckily, Mother Nature has a range of chemical-free alternatives.
Welcome to your all-natural guide to non-toxic home cleaning.
The All-Purpose Cleaner
Recipe: White Distilled Vinegar/ Rubbing Alcohol + Water + Essential Oil (Optional)
Suitable for use almost everywhere in the household, simply mix equal parts vinegar and water in a spray bottle for an easy all-purpose cleaner. Vinegar is a natural disinfectant, making it an ideal substitute for your anti-bacterial sprays. If planning to use on marble, granite or stone, Stephanie Seferian from the Mama Minimalist suggests substituting the vinegar for rubbing alcohol or vodka, as vinegar may be too acidic for some surfaces. Finally, add in a drop of your favorite essential oil to keep your abode smelling fresh and vinegar-free.
The Glass and Mirror Cleaner
Recipe: White Distilled Vinegar + Corn Starch + Water + Lemon Juice/ Lemon Essential Oil
Keep your mirrors and glass surfaces smudge and streak free with this all-natural alternative. Combine one part white vinegar with one part water and a tablespoon of corn starch. Mix thoroughly and add in a splash of lemon juice or lemon essential oil for scent. Transfer to a spray bottle for cleaning ease. If your mirrors or windows are especially grimy, pre-wash with soapy water before using the vinegar solution.
The Furniture Polish
Recipe: Olive Oil + White Distilled Vinegar + Lemon Essential Oil
Clean and polish wood furniture pieces naturally using only your pantry cupboard staples! Combine a 1/4 cup of olive oil with a 1/4 cup of white distilled vinegar, and add in between 20 and 30 drops of lemon essential oil for scent. Struggling with water spots? Our friends over at Women’s Voices for the Earth recommend using toothpaste to rub the offending spots. For scratches, add one part lemon juice to one part of the olive oil solution and gently apply with a soft cloth.
The Carpet Cleaner
Recipe: Baking Soda + White Distilled Vinegar
For a natural solution to unsightly carpet stains, Josh Matteson from home service start-up Lula suggests using a basic baking soda and white vinegar combination. “Some people might claim that it takes a certain recipe, but truly all you need to do is apply a handful of baking soda to your stain, let it sit for one minute, then pour white vinegar on to cover the entire plot. It will begin to foam quickly. After foaming, dab that stain up with a rag. Once everything is clean, vacuum the area to make sure everything is picked up. It should be good as new!”.
The Pots and Pans Cleaner
Recipe: Sea Salt + Lemon Juice
Is a little Bar Keepers Friend your go to for cleaning those stubborn scorch marks on stainless steel pots and pans? Well after EWG gave its soft cleanser option a dismal F rating, you might want to think again. Instead, mix sea salt and lemon juice together to form a paste that will have your pots and pans shining like a new penny again in no time.
The Toilet Cleaner
Recipe: Baking Soda + White Distilled Vinegar + Essential Oil
When it comes to keeping your toilet bowl in check, Kait Schulhof from A Clean Bee has you covered: “Flush the toilet then sprinkle baking soda around the walls of the toilet bowl and let sit for five minutes. Scrub with a brush, then rinse the toilet bowl walls with vinegar and continue scrubbing as the mixture foams. Flush the toilet once more, then let the toilet brush dry horizontally, propped underneath the toilet seat for 15 minutes before putting away.” Easy peasy!
The Stain Remover
Recipe: White Distilled Vinegar + Water + Baking Soda
Stains are the ultimate cleaning conundrum. But yes, even these can be defeated by all-natural remedies. Accidentally spilled coffee on your shirt? Design expert Lorena Canals says to first dry the spot by blotting it with a dry white towel. Next, make a solution from a 1/4 cup of white vinegar and a quart of warm water; spritz on the stain. Rinse and repeat. Did said spillage occur during your after work wine o’clock? After absorbing as much of the spill as possible with a towel, sprinkle on some baking soda and then dab the wine stain with a vinegar soaked cloth. Leave to dry and then wash (if clothing) or vacuum (if carpet).
What are your favorite non-toxic home cleaning alternatives?
For more eco-friendly tips and advice make sure you’re following our ‘Eco Friendly’ story category. Here you’ll discover the secrets to a zero waste lifestyle, as well as home inspiration from real-life sustainable builds.