I was raised in Romania, a country where at the time, there wasn’t much information being spread about chemicals or why you should avoid them. I grew up in a small city which meant we didn’t get supermarkets until I was in middle school, close to getting into high school. Therefore, we had smaller variety of products and sometimes they were more local or if not, less toxic.
My mom used to clean the floors with laundry detergent and disinfect anything and everything with diluted bleach. Then she found how efficient the store bought products were, she started using them without knowing what they hide under their labels. She still does, despite my protests.
I did the same, up until a few years back when I moved to United States. My usual cleaning routine was still in place but then it hit me like a rock: we were spending so much money on cleaning products . I researched cheaper alternatives and that’s how I found that cleaning your house naturally can make a huge difference in your budget, but most of all, your health. I started reading more and more because I needed to calm my new-mom worries. What was getting onto my toddler’s hands while she was crawling ? Was it safe, was it bad or good for her? Did it influence her growth or abilities?
My journey started that day and I cant just sit and watch anymore. I need to spread the word! Here is why I think everyone should change the way they clean their house and Save big $$ by going natural with your House cleaning.
Top reasons why you should go natural home-cleaning:
Depending on your house and family size, statistics show that the average american family spends anywhere between $600-$800/ year on cleaning supplies. Now I don’t know about you, but I think that is a huge amount! I mean, you could easily put that money in a savings account for your retirement or buy yourself a lifelong secret stash of chocolate ;). Jennifer from Growing Green Family saved $1612 by making her own green cleaners. She’s not the only one. Going green with your cleaning doesn’t mean you will spend $0 on cleaning, but you can easily cut down your costs by at least half.
If you do your math and realize how much you spend for cleaning supplies in a month, it’s very easy to take half of 3/4 of that money and put it in a special savings account or under your pillow haha. The truth is, once you go green, you will pretty much eliminate the need of most of your store bought cleaning supplies .
Note: I am not talking about going green and getting store bought green cleaning supplies. Those are awesome , of course! But more times than not, they end up being more expensive than the regular cleaning products which brings us nowhere with our savings!
We blindly assume that if something is available on a shelf, for us to buy and use- it is automatically safe. NOT TRUE!
Phthalates. Found in: Many fragranced household products, such as air fresheners, dish soap, even toilet paper ,Perchloroethylene or “PERC” , Triclosan, Quarternary Ammonium Compounds, or “QUATS”, 2-Butoxyethanol, Ammonia, Chlorine, Sodium Hydroxide.
That is a very small list of some of the toxic ingredients regular household cleaners contain. Yes, the list could keep going for pages and the scary thing is that most of those products don’t have any of those components stated on their labels.
Strong and dangerous chemicals like these can have horrible effects on your health: skin or respiratory irritation, watery eyes, or chemical burns, while others are associated with chronic, or long-term, effects such as cancer, hormonal disruption, cause damage to the brain and nervous system.
Chemicals that are so-called “hormone disruptors” can interfere with the body’s natural chemical messages, either by blocking or mimicking the actions of hormones. Possible health effects include decreased sperm counts, increased rates of male birth defects such as cryptorchidism (undescended testicles) and hypospadias (where the urethra is on the underside of the penis), and increased rates of some kinds of cancers. The alkylphenol ethoxylates (APEs) used in some detergents and cleaners have been shown to mimic the hormone estrogen; one APE, p-nonylphenol, has caused estrogen-sensitive breast cancer cells to multiply in a test tube study. [Organic Consumers Association]
Good news! If you switch to green or DIY cleaning products, you won’t have to worry much about these chemicals.
Yes, your home will still be germ free and healthy. But you will also avoid the dangers of poisoning posed by cleaning supplies. How many times did you toddler follow you while cleaning and almost put a spray or a sponge in his mouth? I’m not saying that tasting vinegar or alcohol from your natural cleaning supplies will be more yummy, but I guarantee it will at least be safe!
Environment- Help save the Planet
It’s no news that most cleaners come in plastic packaging. Yes, you can recycle but a lot of things like floor wipes don’t get recycled and they contain harmful chemicals. Harmful for you and for the environment. Just think about how much plastic you would save if you wouldn’t buy all those bottles.
If you do end up buying a green cleaner, make sure to find a brand that uses at least some recycled plastic in their packaging.
Now for my favorite part:
Top natural ingredients you need to go green with your cleaning:
Pickles are not the only thing that benefit from adding vinegar. Vinegar is amazing for disinfecting, cleaning, wiping and is a key ingredient in many Diy cleaner recipes. You can read 50 ways to use vinegar while cleaning here
It has medical use but can be use as an excellent ingredient for disinfecting and sanitizing. You can use it in a ton of household cleaners and you can find it in any drugstore for very cheap. Costco sells a pack of 2 qts ( almost 2 LT) for less than $4
We all use it to make our cookies nice and delicious but around the house, baking soda has tens of other uses. See 50 ways to use it here .
Use it instead of store bought scrubbing powder.Mix it with baking soda, essential oils and you get an amazing product.
While most people are familiar with essential oils because of their therapeutic properties, these can be amazing when being used in cleaning products around the house. Now let’s be honest, some people really don’t like the smell of alcohol or vinegar while cleaning. Adding these to your cleaning mixtures can make miracles, not only because they smell nice but they can be an actual active ingredient that helps clean, disinfect and sanitize.
Lemon peels can be used for amazing smell in house cleaners but also to remove bad smell from different things like plastic bags or countertops. They are a good acid to use for removing grease residue. You can soak lemon peels in rubbing alchohol for a couple days to a week and try it out!
It removes stains and dirt from surfaces like tile floors, control mold and mildew, disinfect countertops, clean glass surfaces, soak dishrags and sponges, removes and cleans toilet stains, disinfects and whitens chopping boards, – see here 34 more uses for Hydrogen Peroxide
Bactericide, fungicide, therapeutic agent – used for general cleaning and disinfection, removing soap scum, hard water stains or rust.
Maybe the cheapest and most useful cleaning ingredient you can come across. It’s a pretty obvious one, but don’t underestimate it!
Wile all of these ingredients are excellent to have in your cleaning cupboard, going green doesn’t mean you need to buy every single one of them. I had times when I was cleaning why whole house just with the help of vinegar, alcohol, castile soap and baking soda. You would be amazed, but these can multi task like no store bought product will ever do . Check here … uses for vingar, baking soda and rubbing alcohol.
Easy, fast and cheap recipes for Homemade Cleaners:
All purpose cleaner/Window cleaner/Sanitizing spray/ Tile cleaner
1 cup rubbing alcohol+1 cup apple cider vinegar + 1 cup water = the best,cheapest cleaner you could ever want!
I use this for literally everything! I wipe my daughter’s highchair table with it, i clean the bathroom mirror, wipe the floors, clean the kitchen counters with it. It takes less than 1 minute to mix up a batch so I am in love with it. The alcohol and vinegar wipe out all the germs and everything sparkles behind!
TIP 1: When using it for mirrors, spray and wipe until the alcohol evaporates.That’s how you will get perfectly clean mirrors . In the beginning it might look a little streaky but as you keep wiping, the alcohol evaporates and you are left with nice and shiny mirrors.
TIP 2: If you are using it for your floors, put in a spray bottle and use towel washcloths on top of your Swiffer mop. Saves you a ton of money on wipes and it’s natural!
Floor wipes for Swiffer mop
Yes, they are convenient and easy to use, but they are also very pricy, full of chemicals and not at all environmental friendly.
Mix up your favorite floor cleaning solution and soak washcloths in it. Or even better, spray the floor with the cleaner , then wipe it dry with the washcloth.
Reusable antibacterial wipes
Thin cotton cleaning towels + rubbing alcohol+ mason jar
I mostly use these in the bathroom because I can’t stand the smell or how toxic bleach is, but I still want to know all the germs were eliminated. I just cut the towels in smaller pieces, put them in the jar and pour alcohol over them. When I need to, I take one and wipe the bathroom sink or toilet seat and after I’m done rinse it under very hot water and put it for laundry. So much better than Clorox!
1 lemon cut in half+ 1/2 cup kosher salt
Cut the lemon in half, dip it in the salt and start scrubbing! The acid will cut right trough the scum.
2 tsp olive oil+1 tsp lemon juice+1/4 cup vinegar+1 cup warm water
Mix well in a spray bottle and wipe with a soft towel
Toilet bowl cleaner
1/4 cup baking soda+1/4 cup borax+1 cup vinegar
Mix gently and let it sit at least 30 min on the toilet bowl before scrubbing
You can find a lot more recipes on Pinterest, depending on what your cleaning needs are. Check it out and while you’re there, follow me so we can keep in touch!
On the other hand, there is a couple rules that need to be followed, even with green ingredients. Check out this post to steer clear of mistakes.
I’m really hoping this post will make you realize how much we all need a change like this in our lives and why we should be more cautious with what chemicals we come into contact with.
What are your favorite natural cleaning recipes? Did you ever think about going natural with your cleaning or you are there already?