In the first part of this series, you learned some simple ways to clean your clothes sans harmful and harsh chemicals. As promised, Be Well is continuing this series to give you easy recipes you can make at home with inexpensive ingredients.
Don’t feel pressured to make this big switch in one fell swoop! Swap out these eco-friendly cleaning products for their chemical counterparts slowly or one at a time. You’ll want to make it a habit that can last, and the best way to do that is bit by bit. Here are some great DIY supplies you can use around your house for general cleaning:
All-Purpose Cleaner: Buy a new spray bottle and clearly label it. Pour 1 cup of white vinegar, 1 tablespoon of baking soda, ¼ teaspoon of liquid castile soap, 20 drops of sweet orange essential oil (to cut grease) and 10 drops of essential oils (optional) into your spray bottle. If you have a funnel, use it! Seal the top and gently shake to mix before each use.
Carpet Deodorizer: This one is so simple! Grab a canning jar and two lids. Carefully poke holes in one of the lids. This will allow you to sprinkle the eco-deodorizer easily. You could also use an old spice container that has been thoroughly washed out. Pour baking soda into your container, stopping about an inch below the lid. Now add 10-20 drops of your favorite essential oil or a teaspoon of ground cinnamon or cloves, and screw on the cap without the holes. Shake your mixture well. Swap the cap for the one with the holes and sprinkle the powder onto your carpet. Allow it to rest for 15 to 20 minutes, and then vacuum. Ahh, fresh!
Dusting Spray: Mix ⅓ cup of water, 8 drops of your favorite essential oil (or combine two you love!) and ½ tablespoon of liquid castile soap in a small spray bottle (4 – 8 oz.) This spray will work on any furniture, but be sure to test a small, inconspicuous area first.
Furniture Polish: Mix equal parts fresh-squeezed lemon juice and white vinegar in a bowl. Dip the corner of a clean cloth in the bowl and rub a small amount of the mixture into your furniture. Wipe clean with a dry cloth. Another simple recipe: pour ¼ cup of white vinegar into a small container and add a couple drops of olive oil. Gently shake the container, dip a clean cloth in the mixture and wipe your furniture with dry cloth. Since lemon juice and olive oil can spoil, we recommend making small amounts for each use. Please test a small, inconspicuous area of your furniture first.
Glass Cleaner: This recipe may even beat the results of chemical-filled Windex! Combine ¼ cup rubbing alcohol, ¼ cup white vinegar, 1 tablespoon cornstarch and 2 cups of warm water in a spray bottle. Shake well and spray away, guilt-free!
Toilet Bowl Cleaner: Save a large squirt bottle with a flip cap for this (think: shampoo or lotion bottle.) Gently pour ¼ cup of liquid castile soap, 1 ¾ cup of water, 2 tablespoons of baking soda and 1 teaspoon of essential oil. Close the lid tight and shake. Voila!
Note: Many of these cleaning products use the same ingredients! Here’s a list of ingredients you’ll use over and over: Baking Soda, Liquid Castile Soap, Essential Oil and White Vinegar.
Get some more homemade cleaning product ideas and learn about some common chemicals used in commercial products: