The average hold hold contains 62 toxic chemicals. Anything from the phthalates in synthetic fragrances to the noxious fumes in stove cleaners. Ingredients in many common household products have been linked to asthma, cancer, reproductive disorders, hormone disruption and neurotoxicity. Apart from the health risks, toxic cleaning products also affects the environment. Think about how we use cleaning products. We spray them into the air, pour them into sinks, flush them down our toilets, and dump them into landfills. When they reach the landfills or are incinerated, the toxic ingredients from the cleaning products seep into the soil and our ground source water, causing harm to people, animals, and our fragile ecosystems.
While I will admit that toxic cleaners work really well, as with most things eco friendly, a little extra work goes a long way towards saving our planet and the natural world we live in. Here are a few natural homemade cleaners that can replace the toxic substances in your cupboards.
All Purpose Cleaner
Ingredients: Vinegar, Baking Soda
Formula: Mix 1/2 cup vinegar and 1/4 cup baking soda into 1/2 gallon of water. Pour as needed into spray bottle.
Use: Removal of water deposit stains on shower stall panels, bathroom chrome fixtures, windows and bathroom mirrors.
Bathroom Mold Removal
Ingredients: Hydrogen peroxide, Water
Formula: Mix one part hydrogen peroxide (3%) with two parts water in a spray bottle.
Use: Spray formula on all areas with mold. Wait at least one hour before rinsing or using shower.
Ingredients: White Vinegar, Water
Formula: Mix equal parts white vinegar and water into spray bottle.
Use: Spray directly on stain, let sit for several minutes, and clean with a brush or sponge using warm water.
Ingredients: Baking Soda, Vinegar
Formula: Pour about 1/2 cup baking soda down the drain, then 1/2 cup vinegar. The resulting chemical reaction can break fatty acids down into soap and glycerine, allowing the clog to wash down the drain. After 15 minutes, pour in boiling water to clear residue.
Use: Make sure to only use this method with metal plumbing. Plastic pipes can potentially melt if boiling water is used. Caution: do not use this method after trying a commercial drain opener because the vinegar can react with the toxic agents to create dangerous fumes.
Liquid Laundry Detergent
Ingredients: One bar of natural/organic soap, Washing Soda, Borax
Formula: Grate one bar of soap with cheese grater or food processor. Put grated soap in pan with 2 quarts water and gradually heat, stirring constantly until soap is completely dissolved. Put 4.5 gallons of really hot tap water in a 5-gallon bucket and stir in 1 cup of borax and 1 cup of Washing Soda until completely dissolved. Pour soap mixture from pan into 5-gallon bucket. Stir well. Cover and leave overnight. Shake or stir until smooth and pour into gallon jugs or other containers.
Use: 1/2 to 1 cup per load of laundry.
Ingredients: Salt, Lime
Formula: Sprinkle a little salt on the rust, squeeze a lime over the salt until it is well soaked.
Use: Leave the mixture on for 2 – 3 hours. Use leftover rind to scrub residue.
Photo Credit:Nina Nelson
Glass and Window Cleaner
Ingredients: Water, White Vinegar
Formula: Mix 1 liter of water with 1 tablespoon of white vinegar into spray bottle.
Use: Spray directly onto window and use reusable cloth towels to clean. This same recipe can also be used to give a nice shine to hard tiles, chrome, and other surfaces.
So there you have it! There are many more healthy cleaning concoctions for different purposes out there but these are the most applicable in our everyday lives. I hope you found this helpful and that you sleep a little easier each night knowing that your home is free of toxic cleaning supplies…or at least becoming less toxic. We are all a work in progress. Let me know if these worked for you!
Other recipes for cleaning supplies…