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©2010 Shanna Lea (formerly Shanna Ohmes)
Did you know commercial cleaning products can be toxic to you, your children and your pets? Cleaning products can be expensive too, and they add toxins to the environment. And for all the hype, they usually are no better at cleaning or killing bacteria than safer, natural products.
Advertising has convinced us to spend billions of dollars on products to clean countertops, floors, toilets, laundry and dishes with “extra-strength” chemicals to protect us from a seemingly endless onslaught of dirt, grime and bacteria. Do we ever stop to ask why? Is there a safer solution?
Chemical cleaners are dangerous to your health. Just look directly on the bottles: are the words DANGER, POISON, or WARNING….on the label? When you use these cleaners, they taint the air you breathe. They leave residues on your laundry, dishes and carpets with chemicals that you will continue to breathe in or touch with your skin long after the cleaning is done.
Did you know:
- Individual chemicals for cleaning products are not well regulated?
- These cleaning products go to market without being independently tested to confirm their safety.
- We require all the ingredients in food products to be labeled. But companies that make these cleaning products don’t have to?
- They don’t even have to prove that the new chemicals they use are safe.
- The chemical compounds in cleaners have been recently invented. Our bodies have not had a chance to put up a defense against the side effects of being exposed to these chemicals.
- The chemicals have been ill-tested. What are the long-term effects on our health and the environment?
- Immune system disorders, reproductive disorders, cancer, allergies, asthma and other illnesses are associated with common household cleaners.
Basic ingredients for making your own safe natural household cleaners:
- White vinegar
- Baking soda
- Washing soda
- Castile soap
- Essential oils—citrus oils like lemon or lime are natural degreasers and anti-microbial. Pine, Tea tree and Eucalyptus are antibacterial. Since essential oils are highly concentrated oils from herbs, and some are not to be ingested, be sure to keep these away from children and pets. Because they smell like foods, some essential oils could be tempting for children to try to ingest. Only use pure therapeutic grade essential oils, as they are unadulterated and safest to use.
- Spray bottles
- Or you can buy eco-friendly products
When looking for green products, remember that the words “natural” or “green” do not always indicate they are safe. If you also see the words “Avoid contact with skin” or “use in a well-ventilated are”, then there are still chemical ingredients that are best avoided.
Herbal Dishsoap Recipe
Liquid castile soap
10 drops lavender essential oil
8 drops rosemary essential oil
4 drops eucalyptus essential oil
Fill a 22-ounce squirt bottle with castile soap. Be sure to dilute according to directions if you have the concentrate. Add the essential oils and shake well. It’s ready to use! Just shake before each use and squirt 1-2 tablespoons to the dishwater. Wash your dishes as usual enjoying the calming scent of lavender.
Citrus Dishsoap Recipe
If want a citrus scent, use these essential oils instead:
20 drops lime essential oil
10 drops sweet orange essential oil
5 drops citrus seed extract
Proceed with the recipe above.
Automatic Dishwasher Powder
2 cups washing soda
2 cups borax
20 drops lavender essential oil
Combine the washing soda and borax. Blend in the essential oil well and store in a plastic container. For each load of dishes use 2 tablespoons of the dishwasher powder.
Cost of Household Cleaners
You know how expensive household cleaners are to buy. Looking at these recipes for making your own, you can see many of these will cost you pennies to make compared to how frequently we need to buy the commercial varieties at their price. In this economy, it’s a win-win situation! You can save your hard-earned cash and live more naturally!