Today is the first day of spring! Time to open the windows and doors and let some fresh air in. It is also traditionally a time to do some deep house cleaning.
Before you drag out the bleach, take some time to consider what chemicals you are using to clean, and how they may be affecting the health of your family members and yourself. Wouldn’t it be better to use something safer, but just as effective?
There are two ways you can go here: buy non-toxic cleaners, or make them yourself. Buying offers convenience and sometimes makes it easier to get reluctant family members to go along with it. Making it yourself ensures it is safe, is often cheaper, and can sometimes even be fun.
Some non-toxic brands I recommend are:
Method (I like the wood cleaner.)
Ecover (The dishwasher tablets and rinse aid worked better for me than the toxic one the dishwasher manufacturer recommends.)
Seventh Generation (Disinfecting wipes for the kid’s never-ending messes.)
Earth Friendly (I like the laundry detergent, manages to get the little boy’s clothes clean, no easy feat. I also use their hand dishwashing soap.)
I haven’t tried everything, and everyone’s circumstances are different, share what you like in the comments if you have a great find.
To make cleaners yourself, you’ll need a few supplies:
Vinegar (The clear one you can buy in gallon bottles at the grocery store.)
Baking soda (You can buy it in large boxes or bags at warehouse style stores.)
Tea tree oil and other essential oils (Some for disinfecting, others if you want the scent.)
Castile soap – I like the Dr. Bronner’s brand
You can do an Internet search to find all kinds of homemade cleaners. A few things I do are:
Clean sinks and tubs by sprinkling with baking soda, then scrub with half a lemon peel. Rinse with water. Baking soda can also be used to remove scuff marks and as a deodorizer.
Vinegar is a natural disinfectant. I keep a spray bottle of half vinegar, half water, to clean non-porous surfaces with. Always check to make sure the acidity of the vinegar won’t hurt the surface.
Vinegar is also great for removing soap residue. I add it to the softener compartment in my washing machine to help my clothes come out soft and fluffy. I occasionally put it in my dishwasher if my glasses are looking spotty. You can also put some in a bucket of water to rinse your floors after you mop. You can also wash windows with vinegar.
Lemons can be used to cut grease, remove soap residue, remove odors and bleach surfaces.
Castile soap can be used to clean anything you would use soap for. I even use it to wash my hands. For an all-purpose cleaner, use 1/2 teaspoon castile soap to 2 cups water. Add 10-15 drops of tea tree oil as a disinfectant if desired.
How do you clean cleanly? Share your tips in the comment section!