Pretty much every cleaner on the market is laden with chemicals that are toxic to breathe in for your nose and your skin. They cause irritation, rashes, skin conditions such as psoriasis, eczema, and they are generally unsafe for a baby’s skin because they are so potent. In addition to all of these concerns, the products in stores are more and more expensive every time you buy the next container.
Dishwashing detergents leave invisible chemical residues on our plates and cups that we end up consuming, making us sick, and putting our children at risk of toxic exposure. Think about the cleaners you use to clean countertops and toilets. You touch those surfaces and your food, prepare food on the counters, and those fumes go into your system and aggravate the nasal passages. Save yourself the time, money, and toxins to healthier, all-natural alternatives!
See also: How to Raise Your Indoor Air Quality.
All-Natural Homemade Household Cleaners
The first major commercial product I ditched in my home was dishwashing detergent. Instead of spending a bunch of money on so-called eco products or the latest, most expensive cleaners, I switched to this recipe for cleaning my dishes and keeping my family healthier:
- 1 TBSP baking soda
- 1-2 TBSP Lemi-Shine
- 1 TSP water
Combine all three ingredients in a container or make individual servings frozen in ice cube trays for DIY dishwashing pods. I have done this and it’s much easier.
Most laundry soaps are too toxic and harsh for sensitive skin, especially my daughter’s, and they’re so expensive so I have ditched them all for something better. Even the marketed “pure and gentle” detergents are not much better or safer as they advertise; they just switched the main chemicals for some a little less mild, but not any less toxic or harsh to the skin. Try this recipe instead:
- 1 TBSP washing soda (Arm and Hammer)
- 1 TBSP baking soda
- 1 TBSP of grated castile soap or liquid castile soap (Dr. Bronner’s)
- 1 Cup distilled white vinegar for the fabric softener compartment
Further reading: Make Your Own Fabric Softener to Avoid Toxins
There are a couple of variances you can use. If you have a hard time finding washing soda you can make your own. In a metal, oven safe pan, heat at least one hour on 400, a thin layer of regular baking soda until the color turns dull and slightly yellowish. This changes the chemical composition to match that of washing soda. Please note they are not at all the same products when sold in stores and washing soda is not edible even if it’s homemade from baking soda!
For castile soap, you can also replace it with Earth Mama Angel Baby Shampoo and Body Wash. It’s a gentle and safe formula for the skin that still suds and gets clothes clean and fresh. It’s safer for children as well than store bought detergents.
For cleaning my counters and surfaces, I use a safe recipe that doesn’t put fumes in the air or could be harmful to my children and pets. In an empty spray bottle, combine the following:
- 1 cup distilled white vinegar or apple cider vinegar
- 2 TBSP of castile soap (Dr. Bronner’s is the best!)
- 4-6 drops of your favorite essential oil (lavender, chamomile, lemongrass, etc.)
- Fill the rest of the spray bottle with warm water
Once you have made the mixture, just grab a clean wash cloth and start cleaning all of your counter tops, bathroom areas and fixtures, and anywhere else you use traditional household cleaner. Vinegar is an excellent disinfectant and antibacterial that is not toxic like many chemicals and when I use it to clean my kitchen, dining room, and bathroom, there is no unpleasant odor around my home.
There are no dangerous chemicals triggering my sinuses. My eyes don’t water and my throat doesn’t feel hoarse and force me to start coughing. With a baby in the home, I don’t want poisons anywhere.
All of these products are still not food, so keep them away from children and pets, but they are superior in safety and cost to their commercial counterparts. Happy cleaning!
Do you have a great recipe for an all-natural homemade household cleaner?