Many of the products we use while spring cleaning our homes are filled with ingredients that have negative long-term effects on our health and environment. For example, ammonia, sodium hydroxide and triclosan are some of the culprits found in products ranging from laundry detergents to glass cleaners. These ingredients can linger on surfaces and are easily absorbed by our skin, exposing us and our children to hazardous chemicals with unhealthy side effects.
Fortunately, you can make your own, natural alternatives with just a few ingredients from your kitchen. . And they’re just as effective but much safer for you and your family.
Here are some environmentally-friendly recipes for DIY household cleaners you can use on nearly any surface in your home.
All-purpose cleaner. Combine one cup each warm water and white vinegar in a spray bottle and shake well. Use on most surfaces. Add 20 to 30 drops of your favourite essential oil if you prefer something scented. For tougher jobs, double up on the vinegar.
Furnish polish. Add two tablespoons each of olive oil and white vinegar (or lemon juice) to two cups warm water in a spray bottle. Shake well before spraying on wooden and plastic furniture and wiping clean.
Laundry detergent. Dissolve six tablespoons of baking soda and two tablespoons of course salt in 2 litres of hot water, then add six tablespoons of liquid castile soap. Mix well and add half a cup per full load directly into the washer tub.
Glass and mirror cleaner. All you need is equal parts water and white vinegar, mixed gently in a spray bottle. Wipe with an old newspaper for a streak-free finish.
Stainless steel cleaner. Gently massage a very thin layer of olive oil onto stainless steel surface, then wipe off with a cloth dampened in white vinegar. Now your appliances are clean and fingerprint resistant.
If you’re not into DIY, then stop by your local CHFA member health food store and explore the many natural household cleaning products. Find more information and recipes online at chfa.ca.