Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Non-Toxic DIY Cleaning Recipes


While the sources of indoor air pollution are numerous, household cleaning products rank high on that list, including laundry detergents and dryer sheets, which can release as many as 600 different volatile organic compounds (VOCs). You're also likely to absorb toxins from these products via your skin during the act of cleaning, not to mention the fumes you inhale in the process.
While there are safer products on the market, including my Greener Cleaner Laundry Pouches, it's easy to be tricked, as many chemicals are not required to be listed on the label. Fortunately, it's both easy and inexpensive to make your own cleaning solutions. has a list of recipes15 that is well worth printing out or bookmarking for future reference, as it covers virtually every cleaning situation you can think of. Here are a few of my favorite tips from that list. For the rest, please refer to the original article.
Deodorizing toilet scrub: Pour ½ cup of baking soda and about 10 drops of tea tree essential oil into the toilet bowl, followed by ¼ cup of vinegar. Scrub with toilet brush.All-purpose countertop cleaner: Mix equal parts vinegar and water. Spray on and wipe off.

For stone counters, use rubbing alcohol or vodka with water instead, as the acidity may harm certain surfaces like marble and granite.
Homemade laundry detergent: My Healthy Green Family16 offers a borax-free laundry detergent recipe using just five non-toxic ingredients: glycerine soap, washing soda, baking soda, citric acid, and coarse salt.

For full instructions, please see the original source.17
Non-toxic tile floor cleaner: For tile floors, mix one part white vinegar with two parts warm water in a bucket.

Scrub as usual, using either a mop or rag. No need to rinse.

Beware that vinegar is not recommended for either varnished wood or other wood flooring.
Tub and shower scrub: Combat mildew by spraying straight white vinegar onto the area.

Let sit for 30 minutes. Scrub with sponge if needed, and rinse with warm water.

For more heavy-duty grime, mix baking soda with a small amount of liquid castile soap. Scrub and rinse.

Soap scum can also be cleaned using a small dollop of coconut oil on a damp cloth.

Spray the area with white vinegar and wipe dry with a lint-free cloth.
Cutting board sanitizer(wood or plastic): Cut a fresh lemon in half and rub it across the surface in question.

Let the juice sit for 10 minutes, then rinse.

You can also use coconut oil to clean, sanitize, and condition your wooden cutting board.

Use whenever the wood starts to look dry.
Homemade fabric softener: Add 20 to 30 drops of essential oil to a one-gallon jug of white vinegar.

Add 1/3 cup to each load of laundry. (Shake before use.)
All-purpose mirror and window cleaner: Mix one part white vinegar with four parts water.

Add lemon juice for a citrusy smell. Lemon juice will also provide extra grease-cutting power.

Spray onto the mirror or window, and scrub off with sponge or rag.
Antibacterial disinfectant: Bathrooms are breeding grounds for germs of all kinds, but antibacterial products such as those containingtriclosan can do more harm than good.

For a homemade antibacterial solution, mix 2 cups of water with 3 tablespoons of castile soap and 20 to 30 drops of tea tree oil.

Spray onto the surface (such as toilet seat and sink), then wipe off.
Homemade dishwasher detergent: Mix equal parts of liquid castile soap and water. You can add lemon if you like.

Use about 2 teaspoons of lemon juice to mixture of 1 cup water and 1 cup soap. Store in a glass jar.

Pour the mixture into the detergent compartment in your dishwasher, and add plain white vinegar to the rinse compartment.
Non-toxic fabric freshener/dryer sheets: Stuff a sachet bag with dried herbs of your choice and use in lieu of commercial fabric fresheners sheets.

Another option is to dab a few drops of essential oil on a lint-free rag.

Both are, of course, reusable.

Simply add new herbs, or a few more drops of essential oil when you feel it's losing its scent.
Conditioning furniture polish: Combine ¼ cup vinegar with ¾ cup olive oil.

Distribute onto the furniture using a soft, lint-free cloth, and wipe off.

For wood furniture, mix ¼ cup lemon juice with ½ cup olive oil, then follow the same procedure as above.

Alternatively, you can just use straight coconut oil in the same manner.

In all situations, test your mixture on a small area first.
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