A sudden urge to clean your house is a sure sign that spring has arrived. Alright, maybe some are more eager to bring out the sponges and rubber gloves than others, but in any case- why not make your spring cleaning ritual a healthy one this year? If you’re wondering how cleaning could possibly be healthy, it’s more common than not to come across commercial cleaning products that are loaded with toxins. And these are the products we use most frequently to achieve a spick-and-span home. While it appears these products leave your home clean and refreshed, they also leave traces of the toxins they contain behind, which linger in the air and the surfaces of your home. As a society, it’s impossible to avoid toxins altogether. They come at us from all directions from outdoor pollution, the water we drink, body care products we use and the food we eat (yes, a small amount of toxins even linger on organic produce!). These toxins get absorbed into our bodies when we ingest them, and the liver has to work extra hard to filter them out. If the liver is overwhelmed, these toxins can accumulate in the body and get stored in fat cells which can lead to further health complications down the road. Although we’re unable to completely avoid toxic exposure, we can control the amount of toxins that we come in contact each day with by choosing to use natural, toxin-free products.
What are Natural Cleaning Products?
You may have seen cleaning products with labels that read “natural” or “biodegradable”. But this is when label reading is important to understand whether or not the cleaning product also contains chemicals alongside the natural ingredients. A true natural cleaning product will only contain toxin-free ingredients such as baking soda, essential oils (such as orange, lavender or tea tree), vinegar, lemon juice or hydrogen peroxide. Natural ingredients such as tea tree and apple cider vinegar are sufficient natural cleaners as they both contain antimicrobial and antibacterial properties when applied to surfaces.
Optional to include as a resource
If you come across a cleaning product that appears to be natural but you’re unsure of the ingredients on the label, The David Suzuki Foundation offers a free Eco Label Guide PDF to refer to, which indicate if the cleaning product is ideal to use in your home.
Why are Natural Cleaning Products Better Than Commercial Care?
Although we can’t see the toxic residue left from sanitizing sprays, floor cleaners, bathroom surface cleaners and even dish soap, it doesn’t mean it’s not there. Many commercial cleaning products contain at least one potentially carcinogenic chemical such as DEA (diethanolamin), MEA (monoethanalomine), ammonia, petroleum and/or sodium lauryl sulfate. These ingredients are a risk to health not only because they can cause allergic reactions on the skin and body, but as previously mentioned, they can also get stored in your cells for years when ingested. As you can guess, natural cleaning products are much better for your health and your home because they are exempt from these toxins and support your overall well-being.
How to Make Natural Cleaning Products at Home
Believe it or not, making your own natural cleaning products at home is as simple as mixing a few ingredients together in a spray bottle or glass container. In most cases, making your own household cleaning products is also less expensive than purchasing highly toxic commercial cleaning products- a win for your health and wallet! Here are 4 ways to switch over your current cleaning products to all natural, chemical-free ones, using minimal, inexpensive and easy-to-find ingredients.
- Organic lemon wedges
- Natural white vinegar
- Orange essential oil (optional)
1. Slice organic lemon and place into a glass mason jar. Cover with white vinegar and add 2-3 drops of orange essential oil. 2. Allow to sit, covered for 2-3 days. Strain liquid from jar and transfer to spray bottle. Use as a natural surface cleaner for kitchen and bathroom countertops.
Yes- you can clean your fridge and get rid of odors with two ingredients!
- 1 part white vinegar
- 1 part water
Combine white vinegar and water into glass jar and apply to the inside of your fridge with a clean cloth. (You may want to put a baking soda box in there to absorb future odors and keep your fridge smelling fresh past spring!)
- Orange essential oil
Place 1-2 drops of orange essential oil on tile grime or stains. 2. Allow to sit for 10-15 minutes and scrub with a toothbrush or sponge.
Apple Cider Vinegar Toilet Cleaner
Apple cider vinegar can be used for many household cleaning projects, but it makes a great natural toilet bowl cleanser.
1 cup Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar Method: 1. Place apple cider vinegar in the toilet and allow to sit for 30 minutes to 1 hour. 2. Scrub with toilet brush and flush.
Where to Buy Natural Cleaning Products
If you’d rather purchase natural cleaning products than make your own at home, there are several effective cleaning products that meet the “toxin free home” requirements in our “Natural Home” section. Browse natural cleaning products at discounted prices in our Natural Home section.