One look at the supermarket’s aisle for cleaning products reveals chemicals, chemicals and more chemicals! Sure, these products will remove dirt, grime, and bacteria, but why would you replace them with more toxicity!? We at Apple Park encourage every home to be as free from chemicals and toxic substances as much as possible, so we’ve developed this list of some great cleaning recipes that are eco-friendly and easy!
Ingredients you’ll need: distilled white vinegar, baking soda, essential oils, hydrogen peroxide, lemon juice, tea tree oil, vegetable-based soaps, vegetable-based detergents, glycerin, grapefruit seed extract, and club soda. If your tap water is hard, you’ll want to use purified water (or switch out soaps for detergents).
- General Household Cleaner: Vinegar and water mixed together. Vinegar is an excellent disinfectant, deodorizer, and anti-fungal agent. To disinfect countertops (especially when exposed to meat), spray on vinegar followed by hydrogen peroxide. Cutting boards can be cleaned using lemon juice.
- Sinks & Showers: Create a cleaning paste with baking soda and liquid vegetable-based soap or detergent. Scrub-a-dub!
- Windows: ½ cup vinegar, 2 cups water, optional squirt of liquid soap – put in a spray bottle and use a newspaper. Other alternatives are to use club soda or lemon juice.
- Drains: Start with ½ cup of baking soda, then 1 cup of white vinegar. The kids will love this home-made volcano! Follow this with ¼ cup lemon juice, and finally 1 gallon of hot water.
- Air Freshener: 5-10 drops of fragrant essential oils on a nice-looking open container of baking soda. Also, improve air quality with lots of effective plants.
- Spots!: ¼ cup liquid detergent, ¼ cup glycerin, and 1½ cups water. Put in a squirt-bottle, and spray on spots, whether on clothing or carpet, and remove ink, jellies, you name it! Don’t use too much – it takes a lot of rinsing to get it out.
- Carpets: It’s important to keep carpets clean with babies and toddlers. For spills: cornmeal sops it all up! Let it sit 10-15 minutes and vacuum. Deodorizer: sprinkle baking soda all over, let sit a few hours, then vacuum. Squirt vinegar and sop up with old towels. Steam clean as needed, especially if it’s been awhile!
- Floors: A little vinegar and water, that’s it! You can also substitute vinegar for liquid soap.
- Toilet Bowls: The best recipe we’ve found is by Karen Logan (link below) – Mix ½ cup liquid soap and 2 cups baking soda. Then add ¼ cup water, 2 Tb vinegar, and ½ tsp. tea tree oil. Use a 22-oz. squirt bottle. Shake well before using.
- Polishing Metal: Lemon juice or vinegar combined with salt. Let it sit overnight.
- Ovens: Sprinkle water over surface, then cover with baking soda, spray water over it again and let it sit overnight. Wipe up grease in the morning, then use liquid detergent or soap on a sponge to get the rest.
- Dishwasher: Sprinkling baking soda on dishes before washing replaces the first cycle detergent, and cuts the second cycle amount in half. Add a teaspoon of lemon juice to the load to cut greasy loads.
Many of these effective cleaning recipes come from Clean House, Clean Planet by Karen Logan, which we highly recommend. This list is a great place to start – but there is so much more! We encourage you to remove all the toxic products from under the kitchen sink or anywhere in the house. Chlorine bleach is the number 1 poisonous substance children under 6 are exposed to – do you really need it in your home?