Remarkably, most household messes can be resolved using three do-it-yourself cleaning recipes. All of the ingredients you’ll need can easily be found in your local grocery store—and most are even food-grade. And that’s really important for a few reasons...
First and foremost, traditional cleaning products can be bad for your health. According to a study by the Environmental Working Group which examined 2,000 popular household cleaning products, 53 per cent of them contained ingredients that are known to be harmful to the lungs. When you’re cleaning—especially in confined spaces like a shower stall or oven—you really don’t want to be inhaling toxic solvents, sprays or aerosols.
What's more, if you share your home with kids or pets, you probably don't like the idea of coating the surfaces of your home with a chemical cocktail of mystery ingredients.
The goods news? It’s totally unnecessary. You can clean and sterilize your home, top to bottom, effectively and safely with very simple ingredients.
An all-purpose Castile soap cleaner
1. 30 ml (1 ounce) of pure, liquid Castile soap
2. 425 ml (14 ounces) of water
3. Optional: 10-12 drops essential oil
Combine water and liquid Castile soap in a spray bottle. If using an unscented soap, feel free to add your preferred essential oil to the blend. (Lemon, orange, thyme or lavender are good options.) Label the bottle and store in a cool place for up to a month.
You can use this all-purpose cleaner for cupboards, counters, oven tops, appliances like your fridge, shower stalls, toilet bowls, bathtubs and more.
Why is Castile soap considered all-natural?
Castile soap is considered natural as it’s derived of plant oil. It’s named for a region in Spain because traditionally, it was made from olive oil but today you can find it made from coconut, hemp and sunflower oil. Take special care to avoid palm oil unless you can be sure it was sustainably harvested.
An all-purpose baking soda scouring paste
1. 60 ml (1/4 cup) of pure, liquid Castile soap
2. 60 ml (1/4 cup) water
3. 420 ml (1-2/3 cups) baking soda
Mix the baking soda with the Castile soap and water. Blend until the combination becomes a thick, smooth consistency. Apply where needed and allow it to set for 30 minutes before wiping clean. For big jobs (like baked-on oven residue), let the blend sit for eight hours or overnight.
Removes stains from countertops, tackles baked-on oven messes and banishes shower and tub grime...and more.
Why is baking soda such a good household cleaner?
Baking soda, aka sodium bicarbonate, causes dirt and grease to dissolve in water, yielding this mildly abrasive cleaner that’s great for stain removal and tough grime. It also neutralizes acids and bases, meaning it eliminates odors, rather than just covering them up.
Vinegar and water glass and mirror solution
Blending vinegar and water means never needing a commercial glass cleaner again. It also serves a good general surface disinfectant, especially when lemon is added.
1. 250 ml (1 cup) white vinegar
2. 250 ml (1 cup) water
Blend equal parts white vinegar and water in a spray bottle. Label and store in a cool place for up to 8 weeks.
Why is vinegar effective?
Vinegar is a by-product of plant fermentation and contains 5 to 10% acetic acid which is an effective solution for breaking down grease and mold while hindering the growth of some bacteria.
Blend a disinfectant:
Add fresh lemon-squeezed lemon juice to the blend to create an all-purpose disinfectant for non-porous surfaces.
Important note before cleaning with vinegar...
- Never mix vinegar with bleach (it produces a toxic chlorine gas).
- Do not use vinegar on natural stone (like marble or granite countertops), waxed wood or cast iron.
- Use vinegar sparingly on tile with exposed grout; prolonged exposure can degrade it.
- When cleaning stainless steel surfaces, use undiluted white vinegar; adding water and essential oils will leave streaks.
- There’s absolutely no need to mix vinegar with Castile soap or baking soda. While not dangerous, adding vinegar will render the active ingredients in the soap or baking soda less effective than when used alone.
PS: What about your laundry?
Did you know that annually more than 750 million plastic laundry jugs end up in our landfills? Tru Earth has the solution.