Why Ditch Store-Bought?
One of the main reasons consumers opt to make their cleaning products is for the price. In 2018, the average person spent $92.05 on store-bought soaps and detergents alone. The price would be much lower compared to the cost of a whole gallon of Castile liquid soap, which costs about $40 at Amazon and can last a long time when used to create a safe all-purpose cleaner.
Besides the price, consumers are also creating a safer environment for themselves, their pets, and their children. According to lung.org, many household cleaning supplies can hurt our eyes and throats or cause headaches. Store-bought products contain carcinogens, which can even cause cancer. A study done in 2016 by the Environmental Working Group found that almost half of the 2,500 products they reviewed were rated “poor” on ingredient disclosure, and only about one in seven earned a grade A or B for low environmental toxicity. Some of the products that received an “F” include Citrus Magic All-Purpose Cleaner, Fresh Citrus, which sounds almost like a natural alternative; Clorox Commercial Solutions Disinfecting All-Purpose Spray; and Clorox Commercial Solutions Formula 409 Glass & Surface Cleaner.
The Benefits of Natural
Natural cleaning products include baking soda, white vinegar, essential oils, and soap, and most of these products are very effective at killing bacteria without the harsh chemicals of store-bought products.
For example, according to Donna Duberg, assistant professor of clinical laboratory science at Saint Louis University, white vinegar is excellent for killing E. coli, salmonella, and shigella bacteria passed in contaminated food or water. And because vinegar is so acidic, it’s incredible at handling grease, stains, buildup, soap scum, water brines and glue.
Another example of a great natural cleaner is tea tree oil. Studies have shown that tea tree oil is antimicrobial, antiseptic, and anti-fungal and has been used for these effects for almost 100 years. For these antibacterial reasons, tea tree oil is excellent in natural surface cleaning recipes and as a natural bathroom cleaner recipe.
To get ready for natural spring cleaning, use this guide from Fern Green’s “Natural Home Cleaning: Over 100 Ways to Clean Your Home Naturally.”
Ingredients You'll Need
Distilled white vinegar: This product can kill germs and tackles grease and challenging stains.
Baking soda: Baking soda soaks up nasty odors and is abrasive on surfaces.
Castile soap: This gentle, vegetable-based soap is an effective grease cleaner.
Lemons: Lemons are great for adding antibacterial properties to your homemade cleaning products and smell fresh.
Rubbing alcohol: Kills germs, mold, and mildew.
Essential oils can mask harsh smells and give extra antibacterial properties.
Products You'll Need
Caddy: This is a great way to organize your natural cleaning products and offers a convenient way to move them from room to room as you clean. Cleaning caddies can be found at many stores; Amazon, Walmart, and Ace Hardware are good places to start looking.
Spray bottles: Buy glass spray bottles if you can so you don’t use plastic, which is terrible for the environment. You can buy bottles in large packs and try to find some with labels so you know precisely what natural cleaning products you’re using. Try these from Amazon.
Microfiber cloths: These are great for wiping glass and windows, dusting, polishing wood, and wiping stovetops, countertops, and bathroom areas, as long as they are washed immediately after. The cloth’s tiny fibers pick up more dirt and food residue than regular towels. Plus, you help to save the environment by not using paper towels. Buy large amounts of microfiber cloths at websites like this.
Reusable rubber gloves: Gloves come in handy when cleaning the kitchen and the bathroom. They can protect your skin and offer a better grip when cleaning slippery things. Opt for two pairs rather than just one; this way, you’ll know which are for the bathroom and which are for other, cleaner home areas. Try this eco-friendly pair of reusable rubber gloves.
Scrub brushes: Having scrub brushes ready for tough stains and buildup on carpet or hard surfaces helps to cut down on the time it will take to clean the tough spots. They also help in tricky situations, for example, when there’s mold or mildew in between bathroom tile or burnt food buildup on the stovetop or microwave. Try these different-sized brushes, or go the all-natural way with bamboo brushes.
A funnel: This is optional, but it does come in handy when mixing your natural spring cleaners.
Once you have all your natural spring-cleaning supplies, it’s time to start! Choose a day when you have energy so you don’t feel overwhelmed by the tasks ahead. Begin by mixing your natural spring cleaners and labeling them correctly. Then, you can formulate a plan like the one created by Merry Maids. Here is the outline:
- Clean out the pantry.
- Wash kitchen cabinets.
- Deep-clean oven and stovetop.
- Move the fridge and sweep/mop/vacuum underneath it.
- Deep-clean fridge. Don’t forget to wash the outside door handles.
- Sweep and mop floors.
- Dust and wash mirrors, windows, frames, and decorative items.
- Vacuum upholstery.
- Vacuum lamp shades.
- Dust furniture and fixtures.
- Wash all throw pillows.
- Dust and polish furniture.
- Vacuum and shampoo carpets.
- Wash all bedding and pillows. Use a guide like this by Valet Maids for washing pillows and blankets.
- Flip the mattress if applicable.
- Deep-clean under the bed.
- Dust lamps.
- Clean windows and mirrors.
- Mop/vacuum/sweep floors.
- Clean and disinfect the tub and shower.
- Wash bathmats.
- Dust and replace decorative items.
- Wash/replace shower liners and shower curtains.
- Disinfect and clean the toilet.
- Sweep and mop floors.
- Clean windows and mirrors.
Natural cleaning is as effective as cleaning with store-bought products and safer for children and pets. Making your cleaning products is also cheaper; you won’t have to make as many trips to the store. Use this natural spring-cleaning guide to get your home into shape for the months to come.
Choosing a healthy plant-based and vegan diet is most beneficial when it comes to:
Higher levels of energy;
Aids in energy and overall happiness;
Provides a sense of comfort and relief;
Could prevent major diseases such as obesity and diabetes;
Accomplish weight-loss and management; and
Improves mental and cognitive functioning.
There are really no excuses not to try healthier habits in your everyday life. If you are a man or woman looking for specific benefits of adopting healthier habits or just want to know about the general healing properties of herbs. Please remember to comment or post any health questions, or contact us directly!
Also, feel free to share any of your favorite recipes to make and share it with the Assuaged community on our ➡️ Share A Recipe ⬅️ page!