DIY Non-Toxic Cleaning

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!

Multi-Purpose Cleaner

  • †††††††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.

Disinfectant Cleaner

  • 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.

Floor Cleaner

  • 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 free 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.

Minimalism and How To Detach From ‘Things’

When I first became interested in minimalism, I thought that I needed to get rid of most of my possessions, and live out of a backpack.  And for a time, I did do this. But during my journey with minimalism, I’ve realised that is not about restrictions. It is about freedom.

Freedom from clutter.

Freedom of time.

Freedom from being overwhelmed.

Freedom of consumerism.


Minimalism is a tool to rid yourself of life’s excess in favor of focusing on what’s important- so you can find happiness, fulfillment, and freedom.

– The Minimalists

Why are we so attached to ‘things’?

In my opinion, this attachment comes from our innate hunter-gatherer mindset, and the marketing industry uses this to its full potential.  We are bombarded by adverts, every day.  Companies want us to buy, buy, buy.

And. We. Don’t. Need. To.

I’ve bought things in sales, purely because it’s on sale.  50% off isn’t actually 50% off, if you don’t “need” the item.  It’s 50% more!  Because you probably would never of bought the item if it wasn’t on sale.

Now let’s talk about ‘needs’.

There are 6 basic things that humans ‘need’.  Air, water, food, shelter, sleep and clothing.  Companionship could be added here, but let’s focus on the very basics.


Everything else could be classified into ‘wants’.  For example: a television; a car; a microwave; a guitar; the latest phone.  That’s not to say that these things aren’t important to certain people, but they aren’t necessary for basic human survival.

Have you ever heard of the hedonic treadmill?  Basically humans have a sort of happiness homeostasis.  When you buy something, your ‘happiness’ level might increase, but it very quickly returns to a standard level.  The hedonic treadmill theory suggests that the pursuit of happiness is like walking on a treadmill- you keep walking to stay in the same place.  I think this is really interesting, because it might explain why we feel like we need certain items, but then tire of them quickly.  We are always on the ‘hunt’ for more.

If we clear away all the things that we don’t use, or no longer serve us, it can be so freeing!  

I used to have a wardrobe of clothes and shoes full to bursting.  However, the same thing happened to me every morning…’I’ve got nothing to wear!’  I really struggled to let go of my clothes, I was so attached to them,  I didn’t understand why.

I began researching and came across a lady called Marie Kondo.  Her method is to empty your entire wardrobe onto your bed- this was an immense task for me!  You then gradually go through each item one by one, and hold it in your hands.  If the clothing does not ‘spark joy’ then get rid!  (Don’t be wasteful and chuck it in the bin- donate to your local charity shop/sell/give to someone that would truely love that piece of clothing).  This ‘spark joy’ notion can be used for all things in your house/garage.

When you par back your belongings to the essentials, you can begin you live a more meaningful life.  You are in control of what you bring into your home.  Don’t let your possessions own you.  Detaching from things will not happen overnight, it is a lifelong process, and I am loving the journey that it is taking me on.

I hope you have enjoyed reading this!

Sending you love and light,

Louise 🙂 x