Over the past two years I have been on an amazing journey learning about sugar and processed food and the effects it can have on our bodies. However, I have also discovered it’s not only what we put ‘IN’ our bodies that can affect us but what we put ‘ON’ our bodies that could be harmful. Cleaning products are a billion pound industry but I don’t feel it is wise to assume they are safe.
For many years now we have become accustomed to going to the supermarket to buy our household cleaners. It’s just what everyone does and so that’s what I did. Until I started to really learn about the body; I did not realise the harmful effects household cleaners could have on my system. Recent studies suggest that toxic chemicals could affect people with asthma, autism, childhood cancer, leukaemia and they could reduce the sperm count as well. I now realise that I made an assumption that household cleaners are safe because of their availability.
Since we moved into our new house over a year ago I have become conscious of the products I use to clean the house. We are now trying to use gentler, natural cleaning products such as baking soda, vinegar, liquid soap and essential oils for most of our household cleaning. I find that these homemade natural cleaners are as simple and as effective to use as commercials brands.
Natural products are not harmful to the environment and they are not hazardous to our health either. Although these cleaners come from nature, they can still be harmful if swallowed. It is important to keep them out of the reach of children. They can also be skin irritants so you should protect your hands with gloves when cleaning.
Here are the natural products I use to clean my house and how I use them. For cleaning our vinyl floors I mix 1 cup of vinegar and a few drops of tea tree oil into 1 gallon of water. Vinegar and tea tree oil are great natural disinfectants and the essential oils make the house smell great.
The next commercial products I have replaced since moving home is window cleaner. Instead of spending a fortune on products from the shops I have began to use 3 teaspoons of white vinegar with a litre of warm water. Also I add a few drops of lemon essential oil to add a great scent to the mixture. I use a spray bottle and spray onto the window and to wipe off I use a micro fibre cloth.
When hoovering the house I add a cotton wool ball with a few drops of lavender essential oil into my bag less vacuum. It leaves the house smell fresh and clean. I remember trying this in our last house. When my husband came home from work he actually commented on how nice the house smelt. I also add a few drops of lavender oil to the washing. It makes a difference to the wash. Plus I always buy organic essential oils where possible as they are 100% pure oils.
In our new house we have inherited granite worktops and when we moved in they felt dirty. I later realised, after investigating granite on the internet, that they were in fact not dirty but need to be cleaned with a non acidic cleaner. Then I researched natural cleaners and found a great recipe for using on granite. Add 3 tablespoons of rubbing alcohol, 2 cups of water and 1/4 cup of castile soap, plus 20 drops of tea tree oil. Again the tea tree oil makes a great disinfectant while making the house smell clean.
All of the ingredients in these recipes can be bought online and the recipes are really simple. I still have a cleaner who comes in once a week but I still like to clean the worktops in our kitchen and hoover up under the table. When you have a three year old, under the table gets messy. Occasionally, I like to mop if we’ve had a spill and to clean the windows. I can honestly say that these cleaning products work just as well if not better than any commercial products and our house still smells clean if not fresher. The added bonus is they are cheap too. Well worth a try.