Warm weather has finally hit its stride! I get antsy to start cleaning the clutter out of my house and make a fresh start around this time. However, I always start sneezing and get a headache when I walk down the cleaning product aisle to stock up on supplies. With all of the artificial fragrances to downright toxic chemicals in commercially made cleaning products, it's no wonder I switched to DIY homemade products instead! Here are five of my favorite green cleaning alternatives that not only cost less and are better for the environment, but are much better for your health as well!
1. Air freshener. For those of us with sensitivities to smells, air fresheners can be quite the conundrum. Personally, most air fresheners give me a headache and make the air smell stale or fake. I much prefer essential oils to help give the air a boost and clear any unwanted smells. Here's my favorite basic recipe:
1 cup filtered or distilled water
1/4 cup vodka or witch hazel
30-40 drops essential oils
Combine all ingredients in a glass or metal spray bottle and mist to your heart's content. Some of my favorite scent combinations to get rid of harsh smells are lemon & tea tree or lemon & eucalyptus. In the bedroom and living spaces, I prefer lemon & orange or lavender & pine.
2. Bathroom scrub. Baking soda is used for many things, but one of my favorite uses is to get my shower, sink, and even toilet super clean without the use of bleach. Wet a sponge to make a paste and the lightly abrasive baking soda will do most of the hard scrubbing for you!
3. Surface cleaner. Another powerhouse cleaner of the natural world is distilled white vinegar. Combine with lemon essential oil in a spray bottle and use to clean and disinfect any counter top surfaces. The vinegar scent will soon dissipate and you'll be left with a lovely lemon-scented kitchen or bathroom!
4. Floor cleaner (and hand soap). Castile soap has many uses, but one of them is floor cleaner! Combine 1/4 cup of castile soap (I like Dr. Bronner's brand) and 2 gallons of warm water for your mop bucket. As a non-toxic, super easy liquid hand soap, combine 1:1 part castile soap and distilled water in a liquid soap bottle.
5. Laundry. Making your own laundry detergent is a perfect alternative to the artificial fragrance-loaded options.
1 bar grated soap (like Ivory)
1 cup washing soda
1 cup borax
20-30 drops essential oils of your choice (lavender, lemon, rosemary, etc.)
Grate the bar soap into fine particles that will dissolve easily. Mix ingredients together in large bowl. Store in a closed container (like a large mason jar or other glass container) and shake before use. 1/8 to 1/4 cup per load of laundry will do it!
Enjoy your DIY creations and more simplicity in your life!