The website, Statistic Brain, claims Americans spend an average of 42 dollars a month on cleaning supplies. That’s more than 500.00 a year! Unfortunately, many of the cleaning solutions Americans buy are filled with chemicals that are bad for their health and bad for the environment.
Advertisements have convinced us that we need these miraculous cleaning solutions with their artificial scents. The truth is, we don’t. We are better off without them, and so is our budget.
Why not try some or all of the following ideas to clean your house without the toxins or the expense?
1. Floor Cleaner
A steam mop is a miraculous invention. Cleaning a floor with a steam mop is quick and easy, but steam mops are not safe for laminated floors. It is worth the effort to check out the warranty information on your particular floors before you choose a cleaning method.
For bamboo, laminate, and hardwood floors, you can damp mop with plain water, water with a few drops of essential oil, or water with vinegar added. (Ratio: 2 gallons of warm water to ½ cup vinegar.)
Linoleum, tile, and stone can also be cleaned with vinegar and water. The ratios vary according to preference from 1/4 cup of vinegar to a one-to-one ratio of vinegar to water. For a really dirty floor, try the following recipe:
- 1/4 cup white vinegar
- 1/4 cup baking soda
- 1 tablespoon liquid dish soap (remember to choose a natural soap)
- 2 gallons hot water
- Add a few drops of essential oil, if desired
Rinsing is not required, but if streaking occurs, rinse. Click the link below for more information.
Related: How to Clean Your Floors with Homemade Non-toxic Cleaners Instead of Store Bought Chemicals
2. Dish Soap
Think about it. Do you really want to wash your dishes with chemicals? Why not make your own? Check out this recipe from Hello Glow.
Grease-Fighting Lavender Dish Soap
- 2 cups water
- 1/4 cup all natural soap flakes or grated soap
- 1/4 cup castile soap
- 2 teaspoons super washing soda
- 1 teaspoon non-GMO vegetable glycerin
- 30-40 drops lavender essential oil
Check out DIY: Grease-Fighting Lavender Dish Soap for detailed instructions.
3. Kitchen Cleaner
To be honest, most of the time all you need to do is wipe off your counter top with a damp rag or a soapy rag. But if you feel you really need to do more, you can make your own kitchen cleaner.
Just use equal parts of white vinegar to water in a spray bottle. If you like, you can add a few drops of your favorite essential oil.
Or to eliminate 99.9% of E.coli, Listeria, and Staphylococcus bacteria from surfaces mix:
- 1 part vinegar
- 1 part lemon juice,
- 2 parts water
4. Glass Cleaner
Use equal parts of vinegar and water in a spray bottle and buff dry with a lint-free rag to clean glass, windows, and mirrors.
5. Bathroom Cleaner
Use straight vinegar to kill mold and mildew, but for most of your bathroom cleaning, switch to baking soda. Just make a paste by adding water to baking soda to get the consistency you require. Scrub and rinse.
6. Clean the Refrigerator
Baking soda is great for this job, too. Not only does it clean well, it eliminates odors. Just make a paste, scrub, and rinse. Or pull out your spray bottle of vinegar and water. It works great to clean out the refrigerator, too!
7. Clean the Oven
Oven cleaning is the worst! The chemical soup in oven cleaning sprays brings a whole new level of toxicity into your home. Instead of using one, scrape up a bad spill and wipe your oven with a wet rag. Then make a paste of baking soda and water or a paste of baking soda and hydrogen peroxide. Apply and leave overnight. Wipe with a wet rag the next day.
8. Laundry Soap
Wellness Mama offers recipes for both liquid and powder laundry soap. Here is the recipe with directions for their liquid version.
- Grate one bar of soap with a cheese grater or food processor. (Dr. Bronner’s, Ivory, or another natural, unscented bar soap.)
- Put grated soap in a pan with 2 quarts water and gradually heat, stirring constantly until the soap is completely dissolved.
- Put 4.5 gallons of really hot tap water in a 5-gallon bucket (available for free in bakeries at grocery stores, just ask them) and stir in 2 cups of borax and 2 cups of Washing Soda until completely dissolved.
- Pour soap mixture from pan into 5-gallon bucket. Stir well.
- Cover and leave overnight.
- Shake or stir until smooth and pour into gallon jugs or other containers.
- Use ½ to 1 cup per load.
9. Carpet Cleaner
Once again, vinegar comes to the rescue. Just use the same 1:1 ratio of vinegar to water for spot cleaning or in a carpet cleaner to clean the whole rug. Add lemon oil or another essential oil of your choice if you want a particular scent.
10. Air Fresheners
Conventional air fresheners are another huge health issue. Chemicals from conventional air fresheners are linked to depression, endocrine disruption, asthma, cancer, genetic disorders, and birth defects! If you have any, throw them away!
To add a pleasant scent to your home, boil orange or lemon peels in water, cut and display fresh flowers from your garden, or use essential oils. You can use a diffuser or simply add a few drops of oil to a spray bottle of water and spritz it into the air.
- 10 Items You Can Stop Buying and Start Making for Better Health
- Naturally Relieve a Dust Mite Allergy Without Medication
- Improve Indoor Air Quality to Promote Health
- Inexpensive, Easy Detox – The One Gallon Challenge
- Consumer Spending Statistics – Statistics Brain
- How To Clean Your Floors With Homemade Non-Toxic Cleaners Instead Of Store Bought Chemicals – Organic Lifestyle Magazine
- Grease-Fighting Lavender Dish Soap – Hello Glow
- How to Make Laundry Soap (Liquid or Powder Recipe) – Wellness Mama
- How Air Fresheners Are Killing You – The Health Wyze Report