Are Your Cleaning Products Toxic?

Just in time for SPRING CLEANING!!! For years, I loved the way my house smelled after it was cleaned! Pine Sol and lemony furniture polish...they just made it seem super clean. But as I got deep into my research about autoimmune disease, I realized how destructive and counter-productive those store-bought cleaners are. There are lots of studies linking cleaning and skin care products to autoimmune diseases, particularly hormone related ones, like thyroid disease. Since store-bought products can be so damaging to your body, I make my own so I know exactly  what's in them. Whatever goes on our floors, counters and other areas of our homes, also gets in to the air and can eventually make its way onto our food.

Our bodies absorb much more than we are aware of. For example, our feet have the biggest pores of any part of our bodies and quickly absorb whatever chemicals we are walking on. And another reason to use homemade products...they are so much less expensive than what you buy at the store. Really...SO MUCH!! I went cold turkey and threw out all the store-bought products and started making replacements, one by one. The sweet woman that helps me clean, was a little wary of all the new products the first week. The second week, she asked me to write down all the recipes because she liked them so much more and wanted to start using them, too!

So do I miss that clean smell?? Well, as it turns out, my house smells even better! I use essential oils in all my supplies so I still get the lemon and pine and eucalyptus and whatever other smells I choose. And the best thing is that I know the “smells” that I add are pure and actually good for us!  When you make your own supplies, be sure you use the highest quality ingredients. Otherwise, you are defeating the purpose. For instance, I would not use grocery store brand essential oils to add to my cleaners. Find oils that you can be 100% certain where they come from and can trust. I am sure that no pesticides were used in the farming, and no middleman was used in the distillation and bottling process. Also, the oils I use have anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties and I also use unscented soaps, like castile. If you buy things that are already scented with lavender or other fragrances, they are probably not pure oils so, again, that’s counter-productive. Get the unscented ones and add your own oils.

Everything I use has great cleaning properties and is healthy and smells good! I also love to use Thieves Household Cleaner. It’s an all-in-one concentrate that can be used for anything from the refrigerator to the windows to spraying down toys. One 64 oz bottle of Thieves will make 128 30 oz bottles of cleaner for about .88 a bottle! Pretty good deal, huh? And it smells delicious! It’s a great immune booster to have in your home! The more Thieves in my home, the less germs!

I use a website to verify the toxicity and chemical dangers of cleaning products and skin care products. If it scores more than a 3, I don't use it. Today I saw that Meyers dish soap scored a 9 for development and reproductive toxicity! And that was a product that I always thought was clean. Marketers are very good...reminder to myself that I always need to double-check! Some of the recipes I use are below. Remember, if you use any citrus essential oil, because of the phytonutrients that eat petrochemicals, they will eat through plastic. So just use glass for those! Of course, you can substitute any essential oil for the smell you love.  

If you don't want to make the cleaners, just use the Thieves Household Cleaner for everything. One bottle for every part of your house!

Toilet-bowl Cleaner: 1 c vinegar 3-5 drops lemon essential oil

Stone and Granite Cleaner: Mix half 3% hydrogen peroxide and half filtered or distilled water 5-20 drops of eucalyptus or pine essential oil

General Household Cleaner: 8 oz filtered or distilled water 4 oz vinegar 15 drops tea tree essential oil 15 drops lemon essential oil

Glass and Window Cleaner: 1 part vinegar to 4 parts filtered or distilled water 3-5 drops lemon essential oil

Soft-Scrub: 1 c baking soda ¼ unscented Castile Soap 1 T hydrogen peroxide 3-5 drops lemon or orange essential oil Mix in mason jar. 

Pine-Sol: 1 T Castile Soap 4 c distilled or filtered water 10-15 drops pine essential oil

Soap Scum: 1 c vinegar- heat on stove but don’t boil ½ c dish soap- mix in and stir 15 d citrus oil- add and mix Put in squeeze bottle (like shampoo bottle). Since you are putting it in plastic, use it up. Let sit on soap scum for a while then wipe off. 

Mildew and Mold in Bathroom: Mix 10 drops of each in a glass spray bottle: Clove essential oil Thieves essential oil Lemon essential oil Fill the remainder of the bottle with vinegar. 

Stainless Steel Sink: 1/2 c Baking soda 1/2-1 c Vinegar 1-3 drops Lemon or orange peel Olive oil or coconut oil- just enough to wipe down sink Sprinkle sink with baking soda and use a soft sponge to work it in, in a circular motion. (Baking soda will not scratch stainless steel.) Rinse the sink with vinegar, and it will bubble and fizz as it disinfects and removes hard water stains. Lightly rub with sponge and rinse with water. Rub the sink with lemon or orange peel. Buff the sink with a paper towel and a small amount of olive oil or coconut oil to keep it shiny! 

Dishwasher Detergent: There are lots of toxic chemicals in detergent so be careful what you are washing your dishes with! 1 c baking soda ¼ c citric acid ¼ c coarse salt 10-15 d lemon essential oil (adds sparkle and shine) distilled vinegar Mix first three ingredients in glass container and add essential oil. Fill compartment in dishwasher when ready to run a load. Use 1 t for average loads and 1 T for extra greasy, dirty loads. 

Microwave: Pour about ½ c water in glass bowl. Squeeze lemon into the bowl. Microwave for 3 minutes, then let stand for 5 more minutes. Don’t open the door until end of the 5 minutes. Be careful opening door as it will be very steamy! 

Oven Cleaner: 2 T castile soap, unscented 1/4 c vinegar 1 1/3 c baking soda 1-3 drops essential oil- I use lemon!   Make a paste of baking soda, castile, vinegar and essential oil and rub it all over oven, including glass. Let it sit for several hours, depending how dirty it is. Wipe off with a sponge.

Do you have any recipes for cleaning supplies that you love?