Having a minimal and safe arsenal of cleaning supplies and routines is key to keeping the house manageable, enjoyable, clean, and healthy.
Store-bought cleaning products are costly, full of chemicals, and bad for our health.
Alisa Vitti writes in "Woman Code," “The products you use to clean your bathroom and household are potential stressors on your health. New scientific research shows that many of the chemicals found in everyday house-cleaning products are bio-accumulative and very toxic, which means that once in your system, they stay in your system and allow for increased free radical damage, which makes you more vulnerable to autoimmune diseases and cancers.”
She says, “Find your bleach products, Comet, Ajax, Windex, Lysol, air fresheners, Glade Plug-ins, cute toilet bowl cleaners, and talc-based baby powder. Throw them in a garbage bag and toss them out.”
They’re not just bad for women. They’re bad for men, children, and pets as well.
Robynne Chutkan writes in “The Microbiome Solution,” that store-bought antibacterial household cleaners are harmful to our microbiome, washing away essential skin bacteria.
The major cleaning product companies will also have you believe that you need twenty different products to effectively clean your home. This is marketing at its best.
There are a million and one easy and safe cleaning product recipes out there, but to keep a healthy, clean, and minimal home you really only need one or two.
I’m going to share with you the two recipes I have experience using, and then give you some resources to check out others.
Recipe 1: All-purpose cleaner made with half water + half white vinegar + optional essential oil
Fill a bottle (preferably glass, like the glass vinegar bottle I show in my video) halfway with distilled white vinegar.
Fill the rest of the bottle with water (filtered if you have it).
Add 5-10 drops of an essential oil of your choice if you desire. This can mask the vinegar smell a bit.
Add a sprayer to the glass bottle. I used one from an old bottle of cleaning solution I had purchased at the store. It fit the glass vinegar bottle perfectly.
Just spray on any surface and wipe clean with a rag. I would just do some Googling to make sure you can use this on wood surfaces and floors. The recipe might need to be adjusted for that.
Recipe 2: For scrubbing gunk made with baking soda + vinegar
Take a box of baking soda.
Sprinkle some baking soda on the gunky area. (sinks, tubs, grimy refrigerators, etc.)
Pour some distilled white vinegar over the baking soda.
Watch the magic happen and get to work scrubbing with a rag or a scrub brush.
Repeat as necessary!
Some cleaning tools that might be helpful in addition to the cleaning recipes include:
- rag deposit for dirty rags
- scrub brush
- glass spray bottle
- basket or something to keep everything organized
- broom or good vacuum for hard floor
- something for tile floors - Swiffer type thing or just rags will do
If you are looking for more recipes for safe homemade cleaning products, check out these:
1. “Make Your Place - Affordable, Sustainable Nesting Skills” by Raleigh Briggs
2. YouTube's Alli Cherry also has a great video about natural cleaners.