Cleaning with no chemicals

Cleaning with no chemicals

Cleaning with no chemicals 1024 1024 Alternative Kitchen

Today’s home cleaning products can contain a range of chemicals harmful for both ourselves and the environmental. A big culprit in harmful cleaning agents comes from VOCs or volatile organic compounds, which are compounds that can easily turn into vapors or gasses. Exposure to VOCs is unavoidable when cleaning supplies contain them, and can occur by inhalation or touching a surface that has been recently wiped down.

There are a number of eco-friendly cleaning solutions available, that use fewer harsh chemicals and more natural sources, like sodium lauryl sulfate for example, a plant-based solvent.

However, here are two cleaning recipes that go one step further – you can make them yourself. These DIY cleaners can handle dirt and grime virtually everywhere in the home (laundry and windows need other types of cleaners though) and they’re so safe, kids can join in the cleaning too. The shelf life for both is about 6 months.

General cleaning spray

This can clean bathtubs, tiles, counters, the little one’s high chair tray, the microwave, floors and more. 

  • 1.5 L (6 cups) water
  • 60 ml (¼ cup) liquid castile soap
  • 5-10 drops essential oils, e.g., thyme  (optional)

Mix the ingredients and pour your simple but very effective “all-purpose cleaner” into a labelled spray bottle. This is quite a big batch, so you’ll likely need several bottles.

Note: Try to avoid liquid castile soap that contains palm oil. There are also some liquid castile soaps that already contain organic essential oils. Thyme is very good at inhibiting bacterial growth. Cedarwood, lavender, lemongrass, rosemary and tea tree all have anti-fungal properties. 

General cleaning scour 

Cleans bathtubs, tiles, toilets, sinks and more. Can handle mould and mildew as well.

  • 420 ml (1 2/3 cups) baking soda
  • 60 ml (¼ cup) liquid castile soap
  • 60 ml (¼ cup) water

Combine ingredients in a bowl and stir until the mixture has the consistency of whipped cream. Use immediately or store in a labelled, air-tight container. Rinse well after applying.

Cleaning mould and mildew

A colony of moisture-loving spores, mould grows on caulking, in grout lines, on shower curtains, tile surfaces, and in the corners where your walls meet the ceiling. It can affect air quality, and is not something you want around the family. Mould and mildew prevention is the key, and reducing humidity is the bottom line here. Keep areas like the bathroom very well ventilated.

01 – Your new general cleaning

Follow the recipe above. Apply with a sponge or rag, let sit for 15 minutes for heavy duty jobs, rinse and wipe clean.

02 – Vinegar

A spray bottle of undiluted white vinegar can work wonders. Vinegar is a strong acid that can etch tile or grout, so be careful. Use it only on the caulking and rinse off well. Do a test patch first if you’re not sure.

03 – Liquid oxygen bleach

This is diluted hydrogen peroxide, often found in the laundry aisle. Apply with a spray bottle or follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

DIY cleaners