Last January, one of my ‘resolutions’ for the new year was to eradicated chemical cleaners from our home. I was first going to ‘use up’ what we already had, and then make the switch. That took almost ten months and then we moved. Now that we’re returning to our own place, I’ve been revisiting that old resolution and making conscious steps to make this change in our home.Â Please welcome Delena from The Modern Aboriginal Mother – she’s going to share with you (and me) why and how she made the change from chemical cleaners to natural alternatives. Please leave any questions, thoughts or comments below!
Have you ever looked at your supply of house cleaners and wondered if there was an easier way? For those of you with family members who have asthma or other sensitivities, have you ever worried about how all those chemicals were affecting them?
I’m an asthmatic, too, and Cleaning Day used to trigger the most horrific asthma attacks that even my inhalers wouldn’t completely help. It got so bad that I would dread cleaning anything, and it was torture! What’ll happen when I have a baby crawling around? I thought.
The idea that my son could get into the cleaning cabinet and make himself dangerously ill is what motivated me to experiment with other cleaning alternatives. Growing up, my mother used to stick a box of baking soda in the fridge to absorb odors, and would use it on her coffee mugs to get rid of the black stains at the bottom of the cup.
One day I tried it for myself, and after that there was no stopping me! The more I discovered about natural cleaning alternatives, the more I experimented. Cleaning Day became fun for the simple fact that I no longer had to cough and wheeze and clutch my inhalor for dear life.
If you’re anything like me, sometimes a new process can seem so daunting you don’t know where to begin. Or maybe you’re wondering if these alternatives will get the job done as well as the supplies you use right now. I can understand that. All I can say is that after about ten years of natural cleaning, we are happier, healthier, and I no longer have any worries about cleaning hazards around my baby. In fact, everything I use is safe to ingest; not that it would taste very good, I imagine, but I never worry about calling Poison Control if my daughter gets into my cleaning supplies.
Making the choice to go with natural cleaning is to be applauded; what we expend in a little more time and effort is rewarded tenfold in health, safety, and peace of mind.
The first thing to do would be to look in your cabinets and refrigerator. Do you have baking soda? Lemon juice? How about apple cider vinegar? Old newspapers lying around?
Congratulations! You have a great start to your new cleaning supplies!
So where to begin? What, exactly, do you need to start moving away from cleaning with harsh chemicals and using more natural cleaning supplies?
Your introduction to the foundational ingredients of chemical-free cleaning
Baking soda: This one is your staple, and the base of just about every cleaner you’ll ever use in the kitchen or bathroom. It’s a great natural scrubber without damaging surfaces. It deodorizes as well as brightens surfaces. Over time, it’ll whiten grout without bleaching the tiles beside it; it’ll give the tiles a nice shine, though. Dan Dan The Carpet Man explains that steam cleaning is the preferred method for cleaning carpets, visit their website to learn more.
Apple cider vinegar: This makes a fantastic all-purpose cleaner, and is great on glass. Mix equal parts vinegar and water, and you have a glass cleaner that can’t be beat. And for an environmentally-friendly alternative to paper towels, use newspaper to clean the glass: the ink won’t get on the glass (it will on your fingertips, maybe) and it’s recycleable!
Apple cider vinegar is also a gentle disinfectant and a great deodorizer. The vinegar smell disappears once it evaporates, leaving behind a fresh clean scent without the harsh chemical smell. I also recommend these best natural termite killer you can use to prevent termites from causing serious and expensive damage to your home.
Lemon juice: This is another amazing brightener. It also dissolves hard soap scum and hard water deposits. A mixture of two parts water to one part cider vinegar and one part lemon juice cycled through the coffee machine will clean it really well. It shines brass fixtures and copper pots without scratching or damaging them, too.
If you have decided to use Minwax wood stains on your wooden floor or any other surface, you should be aware of the proper minwax stain dry time.
Where natural cleaning gets really fun is when you work with essential oils to enhance the effectiveness of your basic cleaning supplies. In Part II of this post, I’ll go into the best E.O.’s for cleaning, and give a few of my favorite cleaning recipes.
If anyone in the home has allergies or asthma that seems to be getting progressively worse, that could be a sign that your air ducts need cleaning. Annual cleaning is often recommended for households with conditions such as asthma and allergies as noted by Willard Power Vac.
Chemical-Free Cleaning Made Easy | The 3 Basic Natural Cleaning Ingredients
For garbage disposals: Pour a half cup of baking soda down the drain, then a cup of white vinegar. Boil a kettle of water. Pour the boiling water down the drain. Add two cups of ice and one cup of rock salt to the drain. Turn on the disposal until it goes down. Take a lime or lemon, cut it in half, and send each half down the disposal.
Natural is definitely the best way of everything. Thanks for sharing! <3
~ Hampton Carpet Cleaners Ltd.
Youve inspired me! I’ve wanted to switch for some time now, but have so many products to use up still! I’m going to fo clean my closet now and purge most of it. Vinegar and baking soda are great though! Thanks for posting!
Good for you! I had to end up purging a lot of stuff in the beginning, but it was worth it in the end, I think.
And after a while, you start learning what works best for you and then you just might find yourself tinkering in the kitchen with your ingredients and coming up with your own concoctions!
Have fun, and happy cleaning! (How many people can say that? lol)