Here are some products we use in our home to avoid more toxic commercially bought ones;
In the Kitchen
Just plain white vinegar…. Here are just some of the benefits from using vinegar;
- It is an all-in-one cleaner, so there is no need to buy lots of cleaners for different purposes.
- Non-toxic, so there is no fear of breathing harmful chemicals while cleaning.
- Gentle on hands, so there is no need to wear rubber gloves.
- Cleans streak free, so there is no need to rinse after cleaning.
- Environmentally friendly, there are no harmful chemicals going down the drain.
- Economical, much less expensive than other cleaners.
My go to spray cleaner for every surface is to mix one part vinegar with one part deionized water, that’s it! Sometimes I do like to add a few drops of essential oil depending on the purpose of the spray. For an antibacterial effect I use Thieves Oil, or Tea Tree Oil both have anti-bacterial qualities ( be sure to test a small area of your surface first as oils and vinegar can damage some surfaces, I personally have never had an issue with surface damage). I also like Lemon Oil or anything citrusey when I want a clean smell. This mixture can be used on all surfaces from windows to floors and everything in between, this is my main kitchen cleaning product, for all surfaces including appliances large and small, from the exterior of the toaster to the glass top on my stove.
We are trying to lessen our use of the microwave and hopefully have it out of the house in the next few months due to the dangers of using it, but in the meantime the convenience is great when needing a quick warm up of food. To clean it I use; ½ c. vinegar 2 c. water Combine in microwave safe bowl, heat on high for 3-4 minutes, remove bowl and wipe down inside of microwave. Other items I use to clean in the kitchen are;
Use soda crystals to clean your stainless steel sink, just let the crystals sit in a damp sink for a few minutes and then give a gentle scrub and rinse off, soda crystals are also helpful with clogged drains. I often use pure vinegar on my kitchen windows as they tend to get splattered a lot as the windows are right by the sink.
I use soap nuts and purchase mine at soapnuts.co.uk. Soap nuts are the dried fruit of the Chinese Soapberry tree, the fruit contains saponins that release a soap like cleanser in water that cleans clothes. In conjunction with soap nuts I add essential oils right on to the soap nut bag in whatever fragrance I feel like that day. I particularly like Lavender or Neroli.
For a dirtier laundry load add a few tablespoons of soda crystals to the detergent compartment in conjunction with the soap nuts (which go right in with the laundry), soda crystals are great at removing dirt. For whites I use soap nuts, soda crystals and ¼ cup pure vinegar in the rinse cycle. If you prefer you can use lemon juice instead of vinegar (lemon juice not oil). Vinegar and lemon both contain properties that help to whiten clothing. Also drying whites in the sun will keep them bright. We live in the UK and is common for many households we don’t have a tumble dryer so to keep clothes soft I add vinegar to the rinse cycle particularly to items like towels.
Bathrooms are tricky as I really want to ensure it gets clean and sanitized! I use a homemade cleaner for showers, sinks and toilets, vinegar for mirrors and windows and a combination of baking soda and vinegar for tough toilet bowl stains. I also have a homemade “scrub” I use for dirty bathtubs or sinks, here are my recipe,s and as always although I have never had an issue with any surface damage always test your surface first.
Natural homemade Bathroom cleaner
Directions: Mix all the ingredients below in a spray bottle (preferably glass)
- 1 tsp. borax
- 1/2 tsp. soda crystals
- 1 tsp. liquid castille soap I use unscented and scent my spray through oils
- 10-15 drops of essential oils, I like lemon, eucalyptus or pine, but be creative and see what works for you. For added antibacterial qualities you can use tea tree oil, or thieves’ oil.
- Add to that 2 cups warm deionized (distilled) water (or you can boil tap water and let it cool to a warm temperature) Cover the bottle shake well and it is ready to use.
Scrub for tougher bathroom stains
This scrub is not needed for regular cleaning but for tougher stains, for instance a bathtub or shower floor that hasn’t been cleaned in a while or a sticky mess on the floor.
- 1cup baking soda
- 1/2 cup salt
- 1/2 borax powder
Directions: Pour ingredients into jar or bowl, mix or stir until well mixed, sprinkle out as needed and use a soft sponge or microfiber cloth to gently scrub
Toilet Cleaner which is fun for kids to use
Sprinkle approximately ¾ of cup of baking soda into the toilet bowl, then add 1 cup of undiluted vinegar, this will cause a foaming action that looks cool (the part the kids like), scrub with a toilet brush and then let sit for 30 minutes and scrub again, flush and you’re done!
Other Areas of the Home
For floor cleaning I use 3 parts water 1 part vinegar (check your floor surface first!) This works for me as an antibacterial streak free floor cleaner that is not toxic.
For dusting surfaces I use microfiber clothes which are excellent at catching dust and are easily washed for the next use. What do you use to clean your home?