7.18.2015

Natural Health Hack #12: Simple Home Cleaning Solutions

Household cleaning products are some of the worst culprits of common exposure to dangerous chemicals.  According to EWG, many of the chemicals in popular cleaning products are can cause respiratory problems, chemical burns, hormonal disruption, certain cancers (including lung cancer and lymphoma), and increase the risk of birth defects (1).  With women performing over 70% of the cleaning duties in most households and holding down 90% of US jobs as housekeepers and maids, women are at particularly high risk of these negative effects (2).

Whether you do it domestically or professionally, cleaning may always be a chore, but it doesn't have to be bad for your health.  You can clean most objects in your home with just a few simple solutions that work just as well as, if not better than, conventional home cleaning products.

I clean everything in my home with a mixture of these 5 simple ingredients.
Here are a few of my favorite effective homemade solutions to keep my home sparkling and smelling great:

All-Purpose Surface Cleaner

This spray is perfect for cleaning kitchen and bathroom surfaces (even glass!), as well as random spills and carpet stains.   
  • Mix distilled white vinegar and water at a 1:1 ratio in a spray bottle.  Add a few drops of tea tree and lemon essential oil if you wish.  If the vinegar smell is too strong for your liking, you can reduce the ratio to 1 part vinegar to 2 parts water.  Shake well before each use and wipe dry with a clean cloth.  
  • For stubborn grime in the bathtub and sink, sprinkle the surface with baking soda first, then spray with vinegar solution.  Scrub with a brush or scrubbing sponge and wipe clean with a damp cloth.

 

Wood Cleaner and Polish

I have a real fetish for finely crafted wood furniture, and this wood polish keeps my big beauties clean and shining for weeks!
  • Mix 3 parts organic sunflower oil with 1 part distilled white vinegar in a small glass bottle or jar.  Add a few drops of tea tree and sweet orange essential oil (optional).  Shake well and pour a generous amount onto a clean cotton or microfiber cloth.  Wipe surface clean and get into all the nooks and crannies.  Rub remaining oil into wood for a gleaming finish.

 

Floor Mop Solution

This solution is perfect for cleaning faux wood, vinyl, and concrete floors.  Test the solution in an inconspicuous place before use on wood or tile.
  • Mix 1 tbsp of Dr. Bronner's Pure Castile Soap for every 10 oz of water in your spray mop or spray bottle.  Add a few drops of lemon or sweet orange essential oil (optional).  Shake well before use.
  • If you find this solution leaves a slippery film on your floors, reduce the amount of soap to 1 tbsp per 20 oz of water.

 

Toilet Bowl Cleaner

Yes, even your toilet can be cleaned without harsh chemicals.
  • Pour 2-3 cups distilled white vinegar and 2-3 tbsp baking soda into the toilet bowl.  Stir with a toilet brush and let sit for 30 minutes.  After 30 minutes, scrub clean and flush.  Voila!

 

Final Thoughts

Always test cleaning solutions on a hidden area of the surface you intend to clean before going whole hog and spraying all over.  Though I have never experienced this in my home, some surfaces may react with the ingredients listed here.

It is worth nothing that these natural cleaning solutions are not just better for your health, they are also better for the environment.  You can up the ecological ante by using washable cloths instead of paper towels and buying your ingredients in bulk quantities to reduce packaging waste.  Everybody wins when we make natural, sustainable choices.  And when it's this easy, why not?


1-http://www.ewg.org/guides/cleaners/content/cleaners_and_health#, 2-http://www.womensvoices.org/issues/fact-sheets/basic/

2 comments:

  1. I absolutely agree with you! Using natural ingredients is effective and economical. My wife cleans almost all of my household with natural cleansers. I am very happy because we save money and gain health for our family! Greets!

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  2. The commercial household products are incredibly harmful, indeed. Using them to clean our homes we create a very unhealthy environment for us and our children. I use to clean with toxic cleaners before but now I try to use only natural ingredients. Thank you for sharing these lovely cleaning recipes! I am eager to try them out! :)

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