When our family decided to go zero waste, one of the first things I looked into was DIY cleaning products. I researched the products that I was using like bleach, window cleaners, fabric softeners and surface sprays and was shocked by the dangerously toxic ingredients that I was spraying around my home everyday. The hidden toxins in the products I was using were linked to cancer, asthma, respiratory problems, hormone disruption, reproductive issues along with other health issues.
I quickly decided that I wanted a non-toxic, greener cleaning routine for my home, as I didn’t want to subject my family to the potentially harmful effects of nasty chemicals. The thought of my children taking a bath in the residue of toxic chemical cleaners completely freaks me out, so I decided to detox my cleaning products.
Do you find that you have a cupboard full of cleaning products for all different purposes?
I use four main homemade non-toxic cleaning products, that work great and also smell awesome! I’m a mama of two and I know that many people may not think they have the time to make their own cleaning products. However, the recipes below are super quick and easy and, as they are non-toxic, children could help to make them with you!
- 2 cups water (boiled and then cooled)
- 2 tbsp of castille soap/eco dish soap
- 5 drops each of tea tree and lemon essential oils
- Pour into a glass spray bottle or reuse an empty cleaning spray bottle
- Give it a shake to mix.
This multi-purpose cleaner is non-toxic and can be used all around your house. I find that a 500ml spray bottle is the perfect size bottle.
- 1 1/2 cups white vinegar
- 1/2 cup water (boiled and then cooled)
- 5 drops each of tea tree and lemon essential oils.
This disinfectant cleaner can be used with just vinegar, but I like to add water and essential oils to reduce the smell of vinegar.
I use this on harder to clean areas like sinks, drains and around the bathroom. I do tend to use the multi-purpose cleaner first for sinks, showers and baths.
Avoid use on: granite, marble, stone, iron or wooden surfaces.
- 9 litres hot water
- 1/4 cup white vinegar
- 1/4 cup baking soda
- 1 tbsp castille soap/eco dish soap
- 5 drops each of tea tree and peppermint essential oils.
Mix all of the above ingredients into your mop bucket. I find that this floor cleaner has a streak finish on my floors and it also smells amazing.
Glass & Mirror Cleaner
- Equal parts of water (boiled then cooled)
- Equal parts of vinegar.
Spray on glass and mirrors and wipe with a dry glass cloth (not microfibre) and keep wiping until there are no more streaks.
Zero Waste Cleaning Tips:
- Cut up old clothes (that are in too bad condition to sell/donate) to use as rags
- By cleaning frequently, you will reduce the need for heavy cleaners
- Avoid plastic scrubbing brushes. I use biodegradable dish brushes , which I find are more durable than the previous plastic dish brush (the ones where you just change the heads, but still have lots of plastic waste).
- Avoid ‘wipe’ products, you do not need them! Use rags/cloths etc. that can be washed, they are better for the environment and your pocket.
- Opt for compostable cloths/‘sponges’, that you can cut into small pieces and add to your compost bin.
- Bulk buy your white vinegar- it will save you money in the long run.
- Don’t underestimate fresh air – open your windows rather than using toxic air fresheners.