As we become more and more aware about the effects of household chemicals on our health and on the environment, it is becoming easier than ever to find alternatives to using store-bought cleaning supplies. Most of the commercially produced products contain chemicals like ammonia and bleach, and even though they clean well they can damage the nervous and respiratory systems and be harmful to both your family and your pets.
With a few simple ingredients and a little time, you can make your own cleaning supplies that not only reduce the number of toxic substances in your home but will even save you money.
Most of the non-toxic cleaning supplies use the same basic ingredients such as castile soap, white vinegar, baking soda and essential oils. For baking soda and vinegar, consider stocking up on larger sizes of these items from either a restaurant supply store or a warehouse store — not only is it more economical, but once you start making your cleaners at home, you will want to be able to refill your supply easily.
1. Granite Cleaner
- 1/4 cup of rubbing alcohol
- 3 drops of castile soap
- 1 cup water
- 5-10 drops of essential oils (for scent)
- Put the rubbing alcohol into a 16 oz spray bottle. Add the soap, essential oil and water. Shake to combine.
2. Toilet Bowl Cleaner
- 1/2 – 3/4 cup baking soda
- 8 – 10 drops tea-tree or melaleuca essential oil
- 1/2 – 3/4 cup distilled white vinegar
- Pour the baking soda directly into the toilet bowl, then add oil, then vinegar. Let sit for 10 minutes and scrub with toilet brush.
3. Soft Scrub
- Make this in small batches and store in an airtight container so that it does not dry out between uses.
- 3/4 cup baking soda
- 1/4 cup castile soap
- 1 tablespoon water
- Combine the baking soda and soap. Add the water and stir to make a paste-like consistency. Use a sponge to scoop out the scrub and use to clean tile, sinks and other hard surfaces.
4. Oven Cleaner
- 1 1/2 cup baking soda
- 1/2 cup sea salt
- 1/2 cup washing soda
- Filtered water (to make a thin paste)
- 1/2 cup white vinegar
- 10 drops melaleuca oil
- Preheat your oven to the lowest temperature possible and then turn it off.
- Mix baking soda, sea salt, and washing soda in a small bowl. Add melaleuca oil then add vinegar to the mixture — it will fizz a little. Slowly add water until you have a thin enough paste to spread in your oven. Leave the paste in the oven overnight and wipe it out in the morning.
With a few ingredients and a little ingenuity, it is inexpensive and easy to make at home a non-toxic version of these common (and most chemical-laden) cleaning products.