We all want our homes to look and smell beautifully clean but if you are using typical store bought cleaners your health could be at risk. Many of these products contain harmful ingredients such as DEGBE (diethylene glycol monobutyl ether), bleach, formaldehyde, phenols and many many more! Even when the products are clearly labeled as ‘non-toxic’ they may still be harmful to you and your family. Surprisingly a lot of ingredients that are allowed on our shelves here in the U.S. have been banned in other countries, such as DEGBE (according to www.ewg.org). Here is a tiny taste of some of the ingredients hidden in our cleaners:
* DEGBE – Can irritate and inflame the lungs.
* Bleach – Can corrode material, irritate the eyes, nose, throat and lungs.
* Formaldehyde – Can irritate the eyes, nose, throat and lungs.
* Phenols – Can over time damage respiratory and circulatory systems.
Many of these side effects can be temporary but continual long term use can cause more severe health concerns. So why risk these side effects when you can use simple, easy DIY cleaners which can save you money? It may seem easier to just pick up a bottle of cleaner at the store but if you are able to take just a few more minutes and make it yourself, you will be improving the health of your entire family, including your pets. And it’s easy I promise!
Here is my multipurpose cleaner recipe. I use it on pretty much everything except it is not ideal on wood furniture. I will post a wood furniture polish soon!
When I’m in a hurry I will clean my entire bathroom and/or kitchen with it. Also check out the tub scrub recipe that cuts grease and soap scum.
All you need is a spray bottle and the following ingredients:
Works great on windows and hard surfaces, such as the kitchen and bathroom.
* 1 Cup Vinegar
* 2 Cups Water
* 1 Teaspoon All Natural Dish Soap or Castile Soap
* Essential Oils (Optional) – tea tree, lemon, grapefruit, wild orange or lavender are my favorites.
Combine all ingredients in a spray bottle. I like to mark where the ingredients go because it makes life easier. Then it is so simple to refill my spray bottle. The multipurpose spray will keep for several months in the spray bottle.
UPDATE: I recently learned you could mix 1/2 cup vinegar with 1/4 cup hydrogen peroxide for a antibacterial cleaner. I have been using it and it is amazing. So that is another option for an all purpose cleaner. The hydrogen peroxide will lose it’s cleaning power if exposed to sunlight so either store in a dark place or use a dark colored spray bottle with this mixture.
A side note about this cleaner: Studies have shown that vinegar and Castile soap can cancel each other out with their cleaning properties. However I have found that this recipe works really well! I would definitely recommend adding tea tree oil to help with antibacterial cleaning as it has been known to kill staph infections. Vinegar is known to kill salmonella but will not touch staph.
Give it a try! One thing about all natural cleaners is that you may need to put a little elbow grease into it. Sometimes it is worth a little extra scrubbing to avoid inhaling chemicals. So put your back into it and live cleaner and healthier!!
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