You might think switching to homemade household cleaners sounds overwhelming at first. Where do you even find the ingredients? Or the time to make enough of it to keep your house clean? Your kids are so messy, you might say. You’ve got enough work trying to clean up after them without having to make your own household cleaner as well.
Not to worry, I have some easy solutions. Plus, it’s important to know that homemade household cleaners are not nearly as scary as the alternative—commercial all-purpose sprays, detergents and degreasers that are full of chemicals that you can’t pronounce and you certainly wouldn’t put on your bodies, much less live in a house covered in it. Some cleaners contain ingredients like formaldehyde, which is a known carcinogen. Bleach can be downright poisonous if someone accidentally ingests it (yep, looking at you 5-second-rule-followers…like me!). Not to mention, some of the main ingredients in bleach can release harmful substances like sodium borate, which may mess with hormones and damage fertility, according to the Environmental World Group. The Association of Occupational and Environmental Clinics classifies sodium hypochlorite, the main ingredient in bleach, as an asthmagen, meaning it can cause asthma in otherwise healthy adults and children.
If you’ve got kids around, making your own household cleaner takes away the fear that they will accidentally ingest some of it when they drop a piece of watermelon on the. You know exactly what’s in your homemade concoctions. These homemade bottles of goodness (and cleanliness!) protect both you and your kids from exposure to harmful substances.
It turns out making the switch isn’t so scary at all. You probably already have some of the ingredients to make your own homemade household cleaners right in your pantry! The others ingredients are easy enough to find at your local grocery store or on Amazon. Here’s what you need to get started:
- Distilled white vinegar – This stuff literally does it all. Mix it with some water and use it to disinfect surfaces, shine your glass and metal surfaces, and get the gunk out of the bathroom showerhead or kitchen dishwasher.
- Baking soda – This powder is great for cleaning the heavy-duty stuff like tile grout or crusty ovens. Same as the vinegar, it’s as easy as mixing with water.
- Essential oils – The smell of traditional household cleaner is sometimes nasty and the worst part is that many cleaners use phthalates (a suspected carcinogen!) to create that artificial scent. Make your house smell clean, fresh, and exactly the way you want it to by mixing your favorite essential oils into any of your homemade household products.
- Castile soap – This is another all-purpose cleaner that’s gentle enough to use on your body and your home! You can use it to make hand soap, laundry detergent, dishwashing soap, and more. Check out the dilutions for some 18 products you can make with castile soap here.
- Lemons – Elementary school kids use lemon juice in science class to clean pennies, but turns out it is useful for cleaning all sorts of other stuff, like dishware and cookware. It can also give your homemade solutions a nice citrus scent.
- Hydrogen peroxide – You probably have some hydrogen peroxide around the house to clean cuts. It can also work as an ingredient in window glass cleaner and stain remover.
Now that you’ve stocked up, find out more about the cleaners to avoid and instructions for DIY household cleaners in my book, Your Healthiest Healthy.