By using simple, homemade natural cleaners, we can eliminate many of the toxins that could otherwise leach their way into our systems. And that is critical, especially in my kitchen!
The kitchen is the heart of my home: it’s where my teens all gather to tell me about their day and do their homework, where my hubby and I sip our coffee and plan the day, and where I prepare the food I use to feed and nourish my family.
So it makes sense that I want to have a clean, but toxin-free kitchen. I spend too much time here (and so does my family!) for it to be any other way!
From the endocrine-disrupting phthalates hidden in conventional dish soaps to triclosan-laden hand soaps which can promote the growth of drug resistant bacteria (source), toxins may be lurking in our kitchens under the label of cleaning products.
What to do? There’s a simple solution. Keep the key ingredients for homemade cleaning supplies on hand to make it easy to mix up your own homemade natural cleaners. As a bonus, you’ll find yourself going to the store less often. Who doesn’t love that?
Here are a few of my favorite recipes for homemade natural cleaners. They’re quick and easy and SAFE for your family!
1. Homemade Natural Liquid Dish Soap
Conventional dish soaps can contain phthalates, beware that they can lead to reduced sperm count in men and possibly even liver cancer (source). But it’s really easy to make your own, free from those risks.
- Mix it all together. You can keep it in an old mason jar (because we’re always looking for ways to reuse them?) or any container you have lying around. You can even reuse an old dish soap bottle.
2. Homemade Natural Dishwasher Detergent
This won’t leave any toxins, like triclosan, on your dishes.
- Mix it all together. Be sure to store this one in an airtight container. Use 2 tablespoons per dishwasher load and add white vinegar in the rinse compartment.
3. Homemade Natural Foaming Liquid Hand Soap
Have you heard about the dangers of antibacterial hand soap? Good news: there’s an alternative, and it’s easy peasy.
You can re-use old mason jars (just like the dish soap above) to store, and the recipe’s so mild you can use it for a wash or shampoo for your family.
- Mix castile soap and water. Add oils and mix. Pour this mixture into a foaming soap dispenser
4. Homemade Natural Disinfectant Wipes
Sometimes, you just need a wipe…but using the ones from the store presents a ton of problems in terms of toxins and chemicals. Last week my thirteen year old daughter’s hands broke out in a rash from using store bought wipes.
- an old t-shirt, cut up into the size squares you want to use
- a container, like an old baby wipes container or a mason jar with a lid
- 1 cup water
- 1/4 cup white vinegar
- 10 drops lemon essential oil
- 10 drops eucalyptus essential oil
- 7 drops tea tree oil
- Put the t-shirt squares into the container. Mix the liquid and pour over top. Close the lid and you’re good to go!
Because of these poor little hands…
…I just bought one of the new reusable wet wipes containers from Cleaning Essentials. They are sturdy glass and have three recipes very similar to this one printed on the side of the container. Take a look at them: totally worth it!
5. Homemade Natural Soft Scrub
- 2 to 3-cup food storage container (or an old mason jar!)
- 1½ cups baking soda (more or less as needed)
- ½ cup environmentally safe liquid laundry detergent or soap (or use your own homemade liquid laundry soap)
- Optional: Add 10 drops of grapefruit seed extract for additional disinfecting power (or use 10 drops of tea tree, lavender, or rosemary essential oil for the same effect)
- Place ½ cup laundry detergent in a mixing bowl.
- Add ½ cup baking soda and stir to combine (or use a rotary beater to quickly combine). Keep adding baking soda until mixture is the consistency of cake frosting.
- If needed, add a little water to achieve the right consistency.
- Transfer mixture to container. Keep container tightly closed.
- If mixture begins to dry, add in a little water and stir.
- To use: Scoop out a little soft scrub onto a clean, damp rag. Scrub sink and faucets. Rinse. Use a clean dry cloth to dry and shine the sink and chrome faucets to a sparkling gleam.
Bonus: Homemade Natural Dryer Sheets
I haven’t tried this one (I use the wool dryer balls), but I’ve heard about women raving over them. If you’re looking for an alternative to dryer sheets, give this a try.
- an old t-shirt, cut up into squares (about 3 inches wide or so)
- 3/4 cup white vinegar
- 1/4 cup water
- 10-20 drops essential oil of choice
- a quart mason jar with lid
- This is pretty similar to how you make wet wipes! Put all t-shirt pieces into the jar. They’ll be pretty tightly packed.
- Mix vinegar, water, and essential oils together. Pour mixture slowly into the jar on top of the t-shirt pieces. Put lid on tightly and leave them a day or so.
- Put one in per dryer load. When you’ve used them all, repeat the process.
It’s easy: you can do it!
What are some homemade natural cleaners you use?
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