Guide to a Naturally Clean Home

Tips & Recipes for Safe

Home Cleaning Products

Indoor air pollution can be much harder on our health than outdoor air pollution.  Much of the toxicity comes from cleaning products;  it’s estimated that the average household has literally hundreds of toxic chemicals under the sink.  The sad truth is that the laws in the U.S. allow makers of cleaning products to use nearly any chemicals they wish –without regard to the toxicity or health of the user. This includes carcinogens (known to cause cancer) and chemical substances that have been proven to damage fetal and infant development.  Making matters worse is that the federal government doesn’t review the safety — or toxicity– of cleaning products before they hit the market, and land in the homes of unsuspecting consumers.

Fortunately, there are alternatives!  Many companies make and sell safe natural cleaning products — you find them only in health food stores.  But they sure can get pricey.  So… why not make your own out of what you probably have in your home.  It’s easy and crazy affordable.

BAKING SODA:

Very versatile, safe, & economical. Use it as an abrasive cleanser to scrub sinks & grimy surfaces… just sprinkle on a damp sponge and give it a scrub.  The best part?  Baking soda will not scratch surfaces — including stainless steel.

HYDROGEN PEROXIDE (3% solution):

Put it in a spray bottle and you will never have whiter, cleaner grout! Also,  use it to disinfect cutting boards after preparing meats, soak your kitchen sponges, even clean a toilet bowl. In the laundry, it’s an excellent alternative to toxic chlorine bleach…  use it to pre-treat stains and brighten whites.  Since peroxide will degrade when exposed to light, make sure to use an opaque or dark spray bottle.

VINEGAR:

Will dissolve  mineral deposits virtually anywhere…  in your iron, dishwasher, around faucets, toilets, etc.  Also great for cleaning surfaces, especially windows and glass surfaces… just put some in a bucket of water or in a spray bottle and off you go.

ESSENTIAL OILS:

These are among the finest natural cleaning products we have, and far and away my favorites.  Used since ancient times, they are natural plant essences with a complex molecular structure, are non-toxic, non-invasive, and so powerful you use them by the drop.  Most essential oils are antimicrobial, antibacterial, anti fungal, & antiseptic.  And — they smell wonderful!!!  They are absolutely chemical free, can be used in dozens of different ways, safe around children & pets, and cost just pennies to clean the whole house.

The best essential oils for cleaning include lemon, orange, lime, grapefruit, eucalyptus, lavender, & cinnamon. Use them singly or in combination to create your trademark essence. I like blending lemon, eucalyptus & lavender.  I keep this concentrate of pure essential oils in a small dark bottle with a dropper insert….  and away from children of course.  Then, I can use this blend in any number of ways:

Put 25 drops in a 16-oz spray bottle with a few drops of alcohol (this emulsifies the oil, allowing it to be mixed with water). Give it a shake, then fill it up with water.   Use it to clean windows and glass surfaces, counter tops, bathrooms, baseboards… any surface.  Just spray and wipe! It’s wonderful for the nursery or sick room.  If you’re doing what I call a Big Clean, put about 50 drops in a gallon of water and proceed with a sponge,  cloth, or mop. This one bucket will clean the entire house!

Got stinky sneakers?  Keep a tightly sealed jar of baking soda with 10 drops essential oil on hand.  Put a tablespoon in each sneaker, leave overnight and shake it out in the morning. They will be disinfected &  deodorized!

Carpets not smelling too fresh?  Put 10 or more drops into a jar with 20 Mule team Borax.  Sprinkle over the carpet, let sit for a bit, then vacuum up.  Not only will they be freshened and disinfected, they will be flea-free!  Borax kills fleas & their eggs.

Once you start using essential oils for cleaning your home or office you will be amazed… and you’ll never go back to chemical cleaners!

Speaking of chemical cleaners, the Environmental Working Group has an excellent “Guide to Healthy Cleaning” where consumers can go to find out what they’re really cleaning their homes with… it offers  safety assessments for over 2-thousand products.  They also study & rate natural cleaning products. Here’s the link:

http://www.ewg.org/guides/cleaners/content/methodology