You can replace your household cleaners. In fact, for the most part, it’s pretty easy to do.
But before we talk about how to clean without chemicals, let’s take a moment to discuss why you should clean without chemicals.
While modern household cleaners make cleaning easy and effective, that efficiency comes with some unintended costs. The chemical ingredients found in most cleaning supplies (Phthalates, ammonia, triclosan, chlorine, perchloroethylene, sodium-hydroxide, 2-butoxyethanol, and quarternary ammonium compounds to name a few common ones) can take a toll on our health.
Ironic, we know. We envision that antiseptic kitchen cleaner warding off harmful bacteria and leading to better health for our families. But in reality, these chemicals are too often doing their own harm.
What negative effects can conventional cleaners cause?
- Skin irritation
- Sore throat
- Breathing difficulties such as asthma flare ups
- Development of drug-resistant bacteria
- Exposure to carcinogens
Perhaps most concerning for those of us interested in hormone health is the damage that these cleaners can do to our natural hormone balance. Many of the chemicals in these cleaners are known, powerful xenoestrogens (substances that mimic estrogen in the body). This type of exposure is a common factor in estrogen dominance and other hormone imbalance issues.
If all that sounds like a good reason to go natural, then let’s get into some easy-to-create cleaning replacements. Lucky for you, most of what you need can be found in your pantry already.
White vinegar works great for leaving your windows streak free. Simply mix equal parts water and white vinegar, and you’ve got an easy and effective Windex replacement. If you miss the fresh sent, just add a bit of lemon juice. The lemon juice also helps to remove streaks.
Combine 2 tbsp. of olive oil, 1/4 cup of white vinegar, and 1/4 tsp. of lemon juice. Shake these ingredients well to create an emulsion, and we pledge, you’ve got a top notch furniture polish.
Add 3/4 cup of olive oil and 1/2 cup of lemon juice to a gallon of warm water. The resulting mixture will both clean and polish wood floors.
Apply white vinegar to tile with a sponge and immediately add baking soda to the tile and grout. Leave the mix adhered for a few minutes before scrubbing with a brush or sponge, and rinsing with warm water. The longer you allow the vinegar and baking soda to set, the more effective the result.
Add 1/2 cup of white vinegar and 2 tbsp. of baking soda to 3 cups of water. The resulting mixture makes a great go-to for kitchen and bathroom cleanup.
Cleaning soap scum can be particularly frustrating, especially when it comes to glass shower doors. But this solution will actually get the job done better than any store brand that we’ve encountered. In fact, this trick is so effective, you may even look forward to this chore.
In a normal size bowl, simply mix 1 tbsp. of dish soap with 2 tbsp. of apple cider vinegar. Fill the bowl with warm water and stir by hand. With a non-scratch scrub pad apply the mixture to soap scum stains in a circular pattern. You will actually be able to feel the surface smoothing as you apply. Simply rinse to remove.
Make Your Home-Made Cleaners Even Better
These natural cleaning options can be enhanced by the inclusion of essential oils, especially if you find the odor of vinegar to be unpleasant. Essential oils are also believed to have some antibacterial properties. Oils should be added sparingly though. A little can go a long way.
That’s not too bad right?
A little mixing at the beginning and you’re off to the races. Plus, with a stockpile of some of these basic ingredients, you’ll never run out of a cleaner in the middle of the household chores.
Another benefit: You’re going to save some money.
Those name brand cleaners add up over time. Going natural isn’t always less expensive, but when you decide to clean without chemicals, you do save.
One way to use those savings is to invest in a quality set of spray bottles. Having the right equipment is a crucial part of beginning to clean without chemicals. If your spray bottle is constantly breaking down on you, you’re going to get frustrated.
Click here to see some quality generic spray bottles from Housables on Amazon.
That’s all there is to it. You really can get a quality clean without the fancy chemicals in the bright, bold packaging. With these simple solutions, you’ll save some money, and feel good about avoiding the negative impact of chemical cleaners.
To learn more about the impact of cleaners and other environmental factors on our hormone health, check out our article "The Xenoestrogen Dilemma."