We live in a toxic world.
These days, the game of health is won by gaining an awareness of the toxin sources against which you need to protect yourself.
“Green” cleaning supplies are a prime example. The market is full of “natural,” “non-toxic,” and “eco-friendly” cleaning products that are quite the opposite.
To cite just one example: Simple Green, a well-known and widely used all-purpose cleaner, contains 2-Butoxyethanol—a petrochemical solvent known to be harmful and toxic.
It can’t be underestimated how large of an impact these products have on our health. We use them to clean the dishes we eat off of, the clothing we wear, and the surfaces we touch on a daily basis.
Eliminating these controllable toxin sources within our own home is fundamentally important.
So before buying any cleaning supplies—even those that claim to be non-toxic—make sure that you do your research. There’s a lot of greenwashing going on out there.
There’s only one way to be absolutely sure you’re using non-toxic products…
Make them yourself! Don’t worry: it’s easier than you think.
The following “recipes” all use common household ingredients that are safe, natural, and effective.
All-Purpose Cleaner: Combine 1 part white vinegar and 1 part water. Add whatever scent you prefer with a few drops of essential oil. You can also infuse vinegar with citrus by soaking citrus peels for two weeks. Shake up the mixture in a spray bottle, and you’re ready to go. The acidity of vinegar is great at breaking up grease and grime, and the essential oils provide a fresh, clean fragrance without toxic, synthetic chemicals.
Citrus-Vinegar All-Purpose Cleaner: Soak citrus peels in vinegar for 2 weeks, and then strain the infusion into a spray bottle. Dilute with 1 part water, and enjoy the rich, chemical-free citrus scent.
Wood Polish: Combine 1 TBSP olive oil, 1 TBSP water, and the juice of 1 lemon. Shake up the mixture, and pour into a cloth for wiping wood. The lemon juice kills mold and bacteria, and the olive oil gives a great, natural shine.
Toilet Bowl Cleaner: Combine 1 cup white vinegar with ¼ cup baking soda, and let the mixture for 15 minutes. Scrub and flush. The baking soda is not only a great abrasive, but also has a brightening effect.
Grout Cleaner: Combine 1 part baking soda with 1 part water to make an excellent grout cleaner. Just scrub the mixture into grout with a brush. Rinse and repeat as necessary.
Fabric Softener: Combine 5 liters of white vinegar with 30-40 drops of your favorite essential oil. Shake the mixture, and add ½ cup during the rinse cycle (for average-sized laundry loads).
Stovetop Cleaner: Combine 1 part olive oil with 2 parts baking soda. The resulting paste works on even the toughest stains (apply and leave overnight if necessary). For an extra finishing touch, wipe away the paste with the Citrus-Vinegar All-Purpose Cleaner described above.
Tough Dish Cleaner: Fill the offending dish with 1-2 inches of water, and mix in 1 cup baking soda. Bring the water to a boil for 15 minutes. At this point, a light scrub should be all you need to finish the job.