DIY cleaners are all the rage – and with good reason. You probably already know that most commercial household cleaners contain dangerous chemicals. Don’t take this lightly – these chemicals are really REALLY bad for people, babies and pets. In fact they are much more dangerous that the bacteria or grease than you are using them to get rid of.
These chemicals have been shown to cause cancer, fertility and hormonal issues, respiratory problems, and ultimately end up in our water supply.
Toxic chemicals in cleaning sprays can easily be aspirated or absorbed through the skin without you noticing. When this happens a few times a weeks for years, the effects can add up and cause some major bodily damage.
Easy Non-toxic DIY Cleaners
Luckily, safe and effective cleaning solutions are not only a great idea for your health, they are also very cheap and fast to make – and not all of them contain vinegar, which can leave a yucky smell behind (despite being a powerful cleaning agent). With a few easy-to-find ingredients, you can safe money, time, and your health.
I’ve been making my own cleaning supplies for years. My house is not only cleaner (because I love using my own products and clean more often because of it!), but I’ve probably saved hundreds of dollars along the way. It’s easy to get started – all you need to do is google-up a few recipes and find one that works best for you.
Root & Revel is a clean-living blog with TONS of great recipes for easy DIY cleaners and household supplies, to replace potentially toxic commercial versions. This is a great place to start.
If you don’t feel like getting crafty, Thieves is a brand that makes concentrated non-toxic cleaning solution that you dilute with water before using, so the bottle lasts a long long time. Each batch ends up costing roughly the same as the same amount of DIY cleaning solution.
Essential Oils in DIY Cleaners
Many recipes call for essential oils – they help with cleaning and conditioning wood and stone, and can be antiseptic and antifungal, plus they make your house smell amaaaazing!
But not all essential oils are created equal.
I like to use Lemon Essential Oil from Young Living in my cleaning recipes – while some essential oils aren’t safe for skin or internal use, these oils are so pure you can eat them and use in skin-care products. This also means that if you get the cleaning solution on your skin, you are perfectly safe. Always check the rating on your essential oils before using them! The lemon essential oils has a light uplifting scent that is antibacterial, antifungal, degreasing, and conditioning – and since it’s an essential oil it doesn’t contain any harmful acids that could eat away at your granite countertops!
When you use essential oils, always use them in glass or metal, never plastic. Plastics can leach chemicals into your cleaning solution over time, and essential oils may speed up this leeching process. These glass spray bottles are perfect for a classy DIY cleaner. The amber tint also keeps light from degrading the essential oils.
My Favorite non-toxic DIY cleaner
There are a few truly non-toxic all-purpose cleaning agents out there, including Sal Suds from Dr. Bronners. It has excellent reviews and uses pine oil as a powerful cleaning agent.
Dr. Bronner’s comes with a relatively hefty price tag, so I opt for a less-glamorous pine-oil cleaner: good-old pine oil solution, diluted with lots of water, with a few drops of lemon essential oil add to it. Commonly sold as Pine-sol, it is simply concentrated pine oil with soap and water. It is a strong degreasing agent, antibacterial, anti-fungal, and conditions wood. It is also safe for granite and stone, unlike vinegar.
The addition of lemon essential oil rounds out the pungent pine smell, which otherwise can be overwhelming. Essential oils are much safer than added “fragrance” to commercial lemon-scented products.
Two tablespoons of pine-sol, 15 drops of lemon essential oil, plus 14 ounces of water is all you need to make your house smell and look perfectly clean and fresh without any harsh chemicals. It’s also unbelievably cheap to make: about $0.10 per 16oz of cleaning solution & I find it works even better than commercial chemical cleaners. a $2 bottle of pine sol will last you a few years.
Do you have a favorite non-toxic DIY cleaner? Share your tips in the comments below!
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Disclaimer: All opinions and recommendations in this post are 100% honest and my own, even though I was given an essential oil to experiment with for this post. It also contains affiliate links. For more information please see the disclosure policy.