When you walk down the cleaning aisle of a store do you ever get overwhelmed and can’t decide which products to get? With hundreds of choices ranging from mountain breeze or a tropical paradise it makes it almost impossible to make a decision. But did you know that most of the chemicals used in those products have not even been tested for human toxicity? And that most of the chemicals are toxic and can have long-lasting effects on our health including cancer? That large commercial companies are under no legal obligation to research how their products might harm humans, they can submit their own test results as “safe” and no one would know any different because it’s not regulated appropriately? (And don’t forget the animal cruelty that’s inflicted when testing these products either) That a lot of these products are actually banned in other countries? Why play around with that when it comes to the safety and health of your families and pets?
The truth is that most of the regular household cleaning products found in the average home contain carcinogens, endocrine disruptors, and neurotoxins. An EPA study concluded that the toxic chemicals in household cleaners are 3 times more likely to cause cancer than outdoor air! We are literally killing ourselves trying to keep our houses clean! Our homes are actually 3-5 (sometimes even up to 100) times more polluted than the outdoors. So many people who suffer from asthma and allergies can alleviate their symptoms by taking a look into what products they are using not only in and on their bodies but in their homes.
I know from having a small child that they can get into anything and everything, so safety is a big concern for me. Household cleaning products are responsible for many unintentional poisonings in children. They pose a serious threat to our children and pets so why not remove them and replace them with natural safe products that are good for you and the environment.
The good news is that it’s easier than ever to make the switch to all natural, non toxic cleaners that are safe for you and your family. The best part is that is costs a fraction of the price of all those “fancy” cleaners. One small bottle of essential oil can last for so long because you are only using a few drops at a time. You can go out and purchase green products that are safe if you’re not into making your own (just look for items that are biodegradable and plant-based) but I think making your own is easy and fun and it will save you a ton of money!
I have a simple rule for my household cleaning supplies, if a product is labeled with a danger, caution, or poison warning then I don’t use it. They are not safe, especially with young children around, there are safe alternatives however. It’s not only about our health but it’s also about the earth. All those chemicals get washed down into our water systems and pollute it and cause so many other environmental problems including threatening our water quality and the oceans, and that’s a whole other topic of discussion!
With a few basic natural ingredients you can have a sparkling clean safe home. A box of baking soda, vinegar, castile soap and a little elbow grease can do wonders! Say goodbye to harsh chemicals, headaches from noxious fumes, and harmful products!
It takes a little effort up front but once you’ve gone green there’s just no going back, it becomes so easy and second nature. Cleaning becomes a pleasant experience as you get to reap the benefits of the aromas from the essential oils and knowing that it is safe and all natural makes you feel good about what you’re doing.
So how do you get started? You’ll want to get a few supplies like dark amber or blue glass spray bottles that you can purchase online here through Amazon. I recommend the glass bottles since using essential oils can break down the plastic ones over time and besides that plastic is detrimental and damaging to our planet. I would also start with a bottle of Dr. Bronner’s castile soap which you can find at your local health store or online here and you can get it in a variety of awesome scents (naturally derived from plants), a big box of baking soda, and a bottle of white vinegar. Of course you’ll want some essential oils for cleaning, here’s a list of my favorites for around the house:
- Lemon– antibacterial and anti-fungal, stain fighter and deodorizer
- Lavender– antibacterial, good for hand soaps
- Peppermint– antibacterial, pest control
- Orange– degreaser and great on wood
- Pine– good for floors
- Thyme– good against germs
- Tea Tree– fights germs, bacteria, and viruses
- Eucalyptus– germicide
- I especially love Thieves blend exclusively from Young Living as it is a mixture of great cleaning oils and provides immunity protection as well. Purification is another blend exclusive to Young Living which I use for many of my cleaning recipes. (And if you get a starter kit from Young Living it comes with both of these oils and many of the other ones mentioned above!)
Here’s some quick and easy do it yourself recipes that I use in my home, feel free to swap out the oils with whatever you like or have on hand, these are just ones that I recommend but it’s fun to play with different oils and make combinations to your liking:
Mopping: An easy way to clean your floors is to get a bucket of hot water and throw in about 1/2 a cup of vinegar, a tablespoon of castile soap, along with 10 drops of pine oil, then grab your traditional mop and get to scrubbing. I absolutely love cleaning my floors with a steam mop, all you do is add water and I put about 8-10 drops of pine or orange oil to the washable pad and it releases so much fragrance into the air while cleaning, its like a supersize diffuser is working it’s magic in your home! It has become quite a pleasurable activity and cleans my floors better than any commercial chemical products ever did!
All purpose cleaner: A nice all-purpose cleaner that you can use for spraying your cabinets, counters, tables, fridge, or any other appliances is made by mixing 1/4 cup of vinegar with 15 drops of lavender and 15 drops of lemon oil, filling the rest of the spray bottle with water. I also like to use my Young Living Thieves oil in my all-purpose cleaner because it’s full of different antibacterial oils. In fact Young Living has an entire line of ready-made cleaning products all made with Thieves oil if you’re not into making your own products you can purchase them ready-made, check it out here.
Dish soap: Using a squirt bottle combine 2/3 cup Castile soap, 3 tsp vegetable glycerin (found at health food stores), 10 drops tea tree oil, 10 drops lemon oil, fill the rest with water and shake to mix. This soap is a bit more liquid and might have less suds than the soap you are used to but it works just as good with a tiny squirt, you can add more glycerin to thicken it up if you need to.
Liquid Dishwasher Soap: Using a jar combine 3 tbsp Castile soap, 1 cup washing soda (found at most stores in the laundry aisle), 20 drops lemon oil, 3 cups of warm water, and just shake away until the washing soda dissolves then use as needed, a couple teaspoons usually does the trick. To get your dishes free from water residue just fill your rinse dispenser with vinegar and you can add a couple spoonfuls of sea salt to the pre wash dispenser.
Soft scrub: To make a soft scrub for your stove top, sinks, or anywhere that needs some grit just combine in a jar 3/4 cup baking soda, 1/4 cup castile soap, 1 tbsp water, 8 drops of lemon, and 5 drops of lime oil, the consistency should make a soft paste and can be stored for later use.
Wood cleaner: To make a wood cleaner mix 2 tsp olive oil, 10 drops lemon oil, 1/4 cup vinegar and fill the rest of the spray bottle with water.
Window cleaner: Simply mix 1/4 cup vinegar with 15 drops lemon oil and fill the rest with water.
Pest prevention: 15 drops of peppermint oil mixed with water in a squirt bottle is great for keeping spiders and mice away by spraying base boards. You can even place a few drops of peppermint on cotton balls and keep them in your pantry area or other areas they might likely be found in.
Carpet deodorizer: 10 drops of any essential oil (I prefer Purification oil) mixed with a cup of baking soda in a shaker style container (an old parmesan cheese container with the big holes on top works great), sprinkle on carpets, wait 15 minutes and vacuum.
Air Freshener: You can get really creative with air fresheners, just mix and match oils to your liking to create a pleasing fragrance. Add 20 drops of any oil(s) to a spray bottle, add either 1/4 cup vodka or witch hazel and fill the rest with water. I like making a citrus blend using orange, tangerine, lemon, and lime because it’s very uplifting and fresh. You can use this spray as a room spray or to deodorize fabrics and upholstery. Another quick trick is to place one to two drops of oil on the inside of a toilet paper roll for a pleasant deodorizer in the bathroom. I love using a diffuser everyday with a few drops of oil for a fragrant home.
Laundry detergent: Mix and blend in a food blender the following ingredients- 1 1/2 cups baking soda, 1 1/2 cups washing soda, 1/2 cup epsom salt, 2 tbsp regular salt, 5 drops of lemon oil and 5 drops of Purification oil, store in an airtight container and use 1-2 tablespoons per load.
Instead of dryer sheets which contain toxic chemicals that stay on your clothing, opt for some reusable dryer balls, I like to add a few drops of lavender oil or Purification oil to the dryer balls and that gives my laundry an amazing smell. The dryer balls last for years also so that’s a bonus.
Stain remover: This is good for spills and spots on carpets and upholstery. In a spray bottle mix 2 tbsp Castile soap, 2 tbsp vinegar, 1/4 cup hydrogen peroxide, 20 drops of lemon or orange oil, and fill with hot water.
Be sure to check out my article about The Wonderful World Of Essential Oils for more information on essential oils and how you can sign up to get wholesale prices on Young Living Essential Oils!
Here’s some products I recommend to get you started:
You can also check go to Got Oil Supplies for all of your essential oil needs!
If you have some of your own recipes or tips you’d like to share I’d love to see them in the comments below!