Growing up, my room and bathroom were always a complete wreak. My mama is one of the most organized people I’ve ever met (besides my husband) and God bless her for putting up with my filth. She always said she could deal with it as long as the mess was contained in my space and she could just shut the door.
I now know that my complete and total filthy way of life as a teen was one of the many signs of depression. Many with depression experience apathy which trickles down to not taking care of yourself. I was using so much energy to simply survive that there was no way I was capable of cleaning my room.
After discovering mindfulness and leveling out mentally I realized a new found love for a cleaning. There’s just something about a clean house. While I wouldn’t consider myself a clean freak by any means, I do enjoy the ultra peaceful feeling of a clean space.
A few years ago I dove into cultivating a more sustainable lifestyle by choosing to minimize waste. This ultimately led me down a rabbit hole of non-toxic cleaners. After discovering the dangers of so many household cleaners I knew I’d never do back. We have three dogs in our home and I wanted to make sure they were safe if they licked the floor (as dogs tend to do) or inhaled certain cleaners. I think our house actually smells better than ever now, and we’ve definitely saved so much money by making the switch.
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Why Non-Toxic Cleaners Are Important
Many cleaners on the market contain highly toxic chemicals that can cause harm and illness with prolonged use. Medical News Today has broken down the risk of using toxic cleaners in this article Benefits of Green Cleaning Products.
Most cleaners on the market contain cancer causing carcinogens, allergy irritants, and have been shown to cause congenital disabilities in children born to mothers with high exposure. These chemicals cause lower air quality in the home, and have a negative effect on the Earth.
What I Use
Vegetable Based Castile Soap
Castile soap is a staple in our home. It’s probably one of the most versatile things you can purchase, and not just for cleaning. My go it is from Dr. Bronner’s in Lavender scent. They also make peppermint and tea tree which are great for cleaning scents.
How I Use Castile Soap to Clean
- Mop Solution: 1/4 cup into warm water (I’m old school so I use a ring out mop and bucket)
- Bathtub Cleaner: (See Below)
- Toilet Cleaner: (See Below)
- Base Board Cleaner: 1tbs mixed into a bowl of warm water
Castile soap can also be used as a laundry detergent, body wash, and shampoo. Since it’s plant based it’s biodegradable and doesn’t harm wildlife or water sources.
Essential Oils For Cleaning
Certain essential oils hold antibacterial, antifungal, or antiviral properties making them perfect for cleaning. Not only are these oils great for cleaning, but they also aid in killing bacteria in the air of your home with used in a diffuser.
My Favorite Essential Oils for Cleaning
- Eden’s Garden Cleaning Blend
- Eden’s Garden Guardian Blend (I diffuse this one year round to boost the immune system)
- Tea Tree Oil (Do not use around dogs or cats)
- Lemon Oil
- Rosemary Oil
- Eucalyptus Oil
- Orange Oil
Micro Fiber Cloths
One of the first things I stopped buying when trying to go zero waste was paper towels. They are a single use product that contributes to so much waste and they are expensive if you buy a brand that actually absorbs mess. This is where micro-fiber cloths come in handy.
Micro-fiber cloths will last for years, not to mention they are so affordable compared to buying paper towels and single use cleaning wipes. Micro-fiber cloths are non abrasive and clean up to 99% of bacteria with water alone. They can easily be tossed into your laundry for washing.
Baking soda acts as an incredible scrubbing agent. It’s not too harsh or abrasive for delicate surfaces and dissolves dirt, grease, and sticky messes. It’s also incredibly cheap.
How I Use Baking Soda to Clean
- Toilet Bowl Cleaner: Sprinkle of baking soda, a few drops of castile soap, 1 drop of essential oil
- Bathtub Cleaner: Castile soap, baking soda, all purpose cleaner (see recipe below), scrub with micro-fiber cloth
- Carpet Cleaner: Sprinkle of baking soda, white vinegar & water solution. Leave on for 10min then gently scrub. Vacuum after surface dries.
Non-Toxic All Purpose Cleaner
There are two methods I’ve used for creating a natural all purpose cleaner- one involves white vinegar. You either love cleaning with white vinegar or you absolutely hate it due to the smell. Since my husband is not a fan of the vinegar smell I’ve found another method that works just as well using witch hazel.
Vinegar All Purpose Cleaner
- 1 Part White Vinegar
- 1 Part Distilled Water
- 20 Drops of Essential Oil (I use the blend Cleaning by Eden’s Garden)
Witch Hazel All Purpose Cleaner
- 1 Part Witch Hazel
- 1 Part Distilled Water
- 20 Drops of Essential Oil
For a deeper clean you can add a drop or two of castile soap to the bottle. Be careful not to add too much as it may make the consistency too soapy.
The all purpose vinegar cleaner listed above can also be used for glass surfaces and mirrors. If you’re choosing to skip vinegar in your non-toxic cleaning routine you can also use straight witch hazel with essential oil added for fragrance.
Switching to homemade non-toxic cleaners has been one of the greatest changes we’ve made in the home. We’ve saved money and created a healthier environment for ourselves, our dogs, and ultimately our future children.