Hi, again! Welcome back for part 2 of my green cleaning series. As I discussed in this blog post, many of the cleaning products on store shelves have been linked by peer reviewed studies to both acute and chronic health issues. Definitely not something to mess around with!
Is it possible to clean your home (office, car, or any other type of facility) without all the harsh, health-compromising chemicals?
Absolutely! You can easily achieve this goal by making your own! This way, you have complete control over each and every ingredient. They are super simple and quick to make using ingredients that you likely already have in your kitchen or bathroom + essential oils. And making your own typically saves you money. It's a win on all fronts!
While that all sounds good, you may be wondering if all-natural products really do as good of a job as the brands you normally buy. Yes... they actually do. Occasionally they require a bit more time and elbow grease, as is the case with natural oven cleaners. But my house is equally as clean and sanitary as when I was buying harsh products that I literally held my breath, wore rubber gloves, and ran an exhaust fan while using.
Ready to give natural cleaning a try?
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BASIC INGREDIENTS NEEDED TO MAKE DIY CLEANING PRODUCTS
I bet you already have most of these on hand!
- baking soda – abrasive, deodorizer, and water softener
- castile bar soap – natural cleanser and degreaser used to make laundry detergent, dish soap, etc. I use Dr. Bronner’s unscented bar soap, but I know others who use Kirk’s brand.
- castile liquid soap – natural cleanser and degreaser used in foaming hand soap, all-purpose cleaners, and soft scrubs. I use Dr. Bronner’s unscented baby soap, which comes in various sizes. I typically buy it by the gallon!
- club soda – removes blood stains
- coconut oil – used to seal wood surfaces and make soap
- cornstarch – used in glass cleaners for a streak-free finish
- cream of tartar – natural bleaching agent
- essential oils – there are so many oils that are useful for cleaning! See below for some of my favorite possibilities.
- hydrogen peroxide – effective disinfectant and natural bleach that can also be used to remove hard water deposits from dishes
- lemon juice – natural degreaser and bleaching agent with anti-bacterial properties
- olive oil – conditioning oil that keeps leather supple and restores luster to wood
- rubbing alcohol – pH neutral alternative that is useful in streak-free glass cleaner, granite cleaner, and preserving essential oils.
- salt – abrasive that helps remove rust, baked-on oven mess, sink scum, and metal tarnish
- vegetable glycerin – degreaser and emulsifier
- washing soda – cleanser and water softener used in laundry and dishwasher detergent. This is the one I order from Amazon.
- white vinegar – cleanser and degreaser with anti-microbial properties
WHAT CONTAINERS SHOULD YOU USE AND WHERE DO YOU GET THEM?
Where possible, it is best to use glass containers to store your cleaning products. Why? Essential oils can degrade some types of plastic and cause chemicals to leach into your products. Citrus oils, in particular, have a chemical composition that is known to interfere with the chemistry of plastics.
Many varieties of plastics exist, some of which are more impervious to essential oils than others. We should only use plastics that will not break down when exposed to essential oils. Typically, plastics number 1 (PET or PETE) and 2 (HDPE) are safe for use with essential oils. Neither PET nor HDPE plastics are known to leach chemicals that are suspected of causing cancer or disrupting hormones.
While you can easily pick up glass spray bottles or roller bottles from Whole Foods and other natural food stores, they tend to be astronomically expensive at such locations. I typically order my containers from Amazon, AromaTools, Aromatics International, Oil Life, or Share Oils, depending on what I'm looking for, the quantity I need, what's on sale, and where I can get free shipping (always looking for the best deal!).
If you like the simplicity of ordering from Amazon, here are some of the containers you will need to get started. These are ones that I've used and found to be of good quality.
FAVORITE ESSENTIAL OILS FOR CLEANING
There are MANY oils that can be used for cleaning, depending on whether you are looking for something anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, or good at degreasing or removing mold. Here are some of my favorites:
I make virtually all of my cleaning products, with the exception of dish soap (I still haven't found a recipe that I love). In case you're wondering, this is the dish soap I currently use.
Here are four of my favorite recipes to get you started! These are not set in stone. Feel free to substitute the essential oils I suggested if you prefer a different aroma or want to use these products with a different goal in mind. Give them a try and let me know what you think!
NEED MORE HELP?
If you're interested in trying essential oils -- for green cleaning or otherwise -- but feel overwhelmed or confused by which oils to start with or how to use them, let a certified aromatherapist be your guide (that's me!).
- Feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Want to talk on the phone? No problem! I'm happy to answer your questions. Click here to schedule a free 30-minute chat!
I'll get you headed in the right direction for you and your family!