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Do you use store-bought home cleaning products? Have you ever read the ingredients in them? I have, and I hate using them in my home! Store-bought cleaners usually have toxic ingredients that are harmful to our health and the health of our family. Did you know that the EPA estimates that the air indoors is 2-5 times more polluted than outdoor air? 2-5 TIMES! This is mostly due to chemicals found in most cleaning products. Don’t poison your home, make your own non-toxic DIY cleaners!
DIY cleaners don’t have to be boring, or ineffective. And they are so much better for you!
Why make DIY cleaners?
- DIY cleaners are easy. Most DIY cleaners have only a few ingredients. You can simply mix a couple ingredients together. Some you can do in quantity, and keep in a spray bottle and use as needed. Others you can just mix in a bowl whenever you need them. Either way, they usually take literally minutes. Even quicker than running to the store when you run out of a cleaner!
- DIY cleaners will save you money. Commercial home cleaners can be pretty expensive, especially when you try to get the “natural” or non-toxic ones. With DIY cleaners, you can just buy a few main ingredients and keep them on hand. It can save you a trip to the store, and isn’t that what this self-reliant thing is all about? Making your own can save you some money!
- DIY cleaners are (usually) non-toxic. Most store-bought cleaners have so many toxic ingredients. Read your labels. If you can’t pronounce most of the ingredients, you probably shouldn’t be putting it on your kitchen counters!
- DIY cleaners are safer. This goes along with being non-toxic, but it’s so important it warrants being said again. So many commercial cleaners aren’t safe to breathe. Lots of them say to only use with proper ventilation, and others say you have to wear gloves. Limit skin contact, keep away from children. Too many warnings for me!
- DIY cleaners put YOU in control. When you make your own, you are in control of what goes into them. Don’t like vinegar? Leave it out. Don’t like borax? Ditch it. You can research whatever ingredient you want to put in your cleaner to make sure it’s acceptable for you. You get to decide!
What do you need to make DIY cleaners?
There are some very common ingredients in DIY cleaners. Most are pretty cheap. Some are a little more, but have so many uses around the home. Here are some of the items I always keep at home to make my cleaners.
- Baking soda. Baking soda is one of the cheapest ingredients to use for DIY cleaners. At only about $.60/box, it’s so frugal and has a lot of uses (both in baking and in cleaning!) It has a mildly abrasive texture that makes it perfect for gentle scrubbing.
- Vinegar. I always keep both white vinegar and apple cider vinegar in the house. They are both antibacterial, and make excellent gentle cleaners. The smell is a bit overpowering sometimes, and lots of people don’t like it. I don’t mind usually. If it’s too off-putting for me, I add a couple drops of essential oils to it.
- Hydrogen peroxide. This is a staple in my medicine cabinet, but it cleans so much more than wounds. It’s a very gentle and effective cleaner. It kills bacteria on surfaces and gets blood out of clothes. Definitely a necessity around my house!
- Dawn dish soap. Ok, ok, this one isn’t totally chemical-free. But it is a very gentle soap that I consider ok to use in my home. It has that little duck on it, saying they use it to save wildlife, so it can’t be THAT bad, right? Right?? Not totally sure how I feel when companies “say” it’s safe but don’t really back that up. But I’m still ok with this soap.
- Lemons/lemon juice. Another very cheap ingredient to have on hand is lemons and/or lemon juice. You can usually get a couple lemons for a dollar, and lemon juice is very cheap to buy even a big bottle! Lemons have citric acid, which is a completely safe acid that helps remove grease and disinfects.
- Borax. This ingredient sparks a little debate. Some people don’t like it, and of course it says keep out of reach of children and pets. It is considered a pesticide. But really, you only use a little and it would only be harmful to ingest pretty large quantities. I consider it a fairly safe ingredient and I use it in my home. I read an article on www.smallfootprintfamily.com on borax that I agree with. It’s right here if you want to check it out. Borax isn’t something I would want to use in my personal care products, but I think it’s fine for laundry and scrubbing floors.
- Washing soda. This is just baking soda that has gone through a little more processing. As in, it’s baked. You can make your own by baking a sheet of baking soda. Thus, it costs more than regular baking soda. But it is an excellent additive to homemade (or even commercial, if you must) laundry soap.
- Castile soap. Castile soap is very gentle, and is made with no lard or animal fats. It is usually made with olive or coconut oil. Castile soap is a little more expensive in the liquid form, but it’s great! I use castile soap in a lot of my own body care products, and use strictly a bar of castile soap in the shower. It is also a great home cleaner that doesn’t leave a residue like some soaps do.
- Essential oils. Individually, essential oils aren’t too expensive, considering you usually only use a few drops in each product that you make. Collectively, however, you can get into lots of money if you want to buy ALL of the essential oils! I love essential oils, but my budget doesn’t allow me to buy too many. So I try to keep a few basics around.
Lemon essential oil is perfect to add to DIY cleaners, as it is antibacterial, antiviral, and has a fresh clean scent. Tea tree essential oil is great to use for grout cleaning. It is antifungal and keeps mildew away, as well as fights germs and bacteria. Lavender essential oil is great to use in your laundry detergent. It’s especially great for washing your sheets, as it helps calm and promotes sleep. Thyme essential oil is an extremely powerful antibacterial agent, and would do well for cleaning the home while there’s sickness running rampant. Honestly you could go crazy with the essential oils, but if you stick to a few main ones, you can keep your DIY cleaning budget under control.
Making your own DIY cleaners is a perfect way to help take control of your family’s health. Clean your home with safe, effective, frugal, non-toxic DIY cleaners. Don’t poison your home!
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