- Dr. Liz Homan
When we clean, we expect for our surfaces to get clean… but what if the products that we are using are leaving nasty residue?
What if the products themselves are not clean? Well, then are we really cleaning?
The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has notes that many household cleaners contain volatile organic compounds of VOCs, such as formaldehyde and other harsh acids. Exposure to VOCs can lead to several symptoms including eye, nose and throat irritation; headaches; nausea; liver, kidney and central nervous system damage; loss of coordination and more.
I struggle to use any commercial cleaning products, especially those with warning labels on them… And the reason for this is not that I am afraid that my kids will get ahold of a bottle and swallow it, it is because the girls put EVERYTHING in their month. I literally saw Jane lick the floor the other day… 🤦♀️ not my proudest mom moment but I know that I am not alone in this…
So, I have been on the search to replace my currently ‘clean’ cleaning products with even cleaner cleaning products.
What I have found is that I have some great cleaning products in my cabinet already… but I don’t currently use them to clean.
I consume them!
This means that they will be safe for using around my house and for the next time Jane licks the floor. Here is what I have found:
VINEGAR is amazing! It has so many uses and is non-toxic and eco-friendly. It works as a great cleaner and disinfectant due to the component acetic acid. Acetic acid is actually an ingredient in many store bought cleaners and it can be used to dissolve mineral deposits, dirt, and grease and is strong enough to kill bacteria. You can use either distilled white vinegar, which has a very strong smell (dilute with water and add essential oils) or apple cider vinegar, which has a sweeter smell but has a color to it that can stain so make sure to dilute it as well.
BAKING SODA is great at eliminating any odor that you may have and is a gentle scouring powder. And it is eco-friendly! It is powerful on its own but when you pair it with other natural products it is great a breaking through greasy residue and polishing metal.
LEMON JUICE is able to cut grease, removes stains and can be used as a non-toxic bleach alternative.
HYDROGEN PEROXIDE serves as a disinfectant, a non-toxic bleach and a stain remover when used at 3% concentration.
Here are a few ‘recipes’ for household cleaners that I found. I have not tried all of these recipes yet but plan to as soon as I get my current clean cleaning products finished.
GLASS CLEANER: combine 1-part water to 2-parts vinegar in a spray bottle.
WOOD SURFACES: mix equal amounts of lemon juice and olive oil. Apply to a small rag and rub into furniture in long even strokes.
SHOWERS/TUBS: spray diluted vinegar over tub and shower walls and let sit for several minutes then scrub and rinse away. For really yucky parts, mix baking soda and vinegar to make a past and scrub.
FLOORS: use around 4 cups of white vinegar and 1 gallon of hot water. You can add a drop or two of essential oils to help with the smell, but the natural vinegar smell will dissipate shortly.
TOILETS: wipe the outside with straight vinegar and clean the bowl by sprinkling some baking soda on your toilet bowl brush and scrubbing.
GREASY SURFACES: put ¼ cup baking soda in a bowl and add hydrogen peroxide to make a paste. This is great on large and small kitchen appliances and to remove greasy residue that builds up on baking pans.
As always, when you are switching out the products in your house, it can be easier if you start slowly but for the fact that I have all of these items in my home already, I know that once I finish my current products it will be an easy transition to these new cleaners.
I would love to hear if there are any natural cleaning products that you use as I am sure I missed some while writing this!