Tired of trying to clean house while holding your breath?
Dangerous chems and irritants jammed into everyday household cleaners can sap the zing out of your spring cleaning. We offer some truly natural alternatives and tips. And PSST….we promise you that they actually work as good or better than the other stuff!
Eco-Friendly Cleaning on a Budget
Why this matters
- Household cleaners are packed with chems that can make you cough, cry, or even disrupt cell growth.
- Extra chems pollute our waterways and cause huge loss of animal and plant life.
- Who needs all these bottles cluttering up the cabinets?
Ready to try?
- Watch the episode to get the deets on cleaning that’s good for mama earth, and good for you, mama.
- Wanna check whether a cleaning product is “greenwashed” (i.e.: is just dressed up to look green)? Check the Healthy Cleaning Guide from EWG before you buy.
- Put together your own DIY eco-cleaning kit or try some of Jen’s favorite products.
Jen B’s All-Purpose Eco-Cleaning Kit
- White Distilled Vinegar
- Baking Soda
- Olive Oil
- Castile Soap
- Essential Oils
- Empty Spray Bottle
- Old t-shirts or cloths
All Purpose Cleaner (That means glass, too!)
Doesn’t get much easier than this! And unlike conventional chems, vinegar actually kills viruses like colds and the flu.
- Combine equal parts distilled white vinegar and water into a spray bottle.
- Add a drop of your favorite essential oil to fill your house with delicious scents.
Drain Cleaner: Baking Soda + White Distilled Vinegar
That volcano science experiment you did back in grade school is actually helpful in the grown-up world, too.
- Pour 1/2 cup of baking soda into drain
- Pour 1 cup of white distilled vinegar into the drain
- Plug or cover drain quickly so reaction takes place below the surface
- Wait 5 minutes then pour 1 cup of very hot water down the drain to flush it out
This may take more than one application for extra grimy ovens, but just put some elbow grease into it and your golden.
- Spray down the inside of your oven with water.
- Pour baking soda straight from the box all over the oven until it’s about 1/4 inch thick on the bottom.
- Wait for a few hours.
- Use an old t-shirt or cloth to wipe up the paste that has formed.
Olive Oil Furniture Polish
The recipe below helps especially well for wood, but you can use olive oil for polishing stainless steel too (no vinegar required). Just spread olive oil on the surface, wait a few minutes, then buff it out! Just make sure for both wood and stainless steel, you get rid of the crumbs and chunks before applying oil.
- Combine 1 cup olive oil with 1/4 cup white distilled vinegar in spray bottle.
- Spray mixture onto an old t-shirt or cloth (not on the surface).
- Use an old t-shirt or cloth to polish the wood.
Degreasing Floor Cleaner
IMPORTANT: Vinegar and castile soap are both super awesome at floor cleaning, but be sure to use them one after the other instead of mixing up the solution beforehand. That way, the acidic vinegar and basic soap don’t cancel each other out and make a lumpy mess.
- Combine 2-4 tablespoons of castile soap with a few drops of your favorite essential oil.
- Mix with 1 gallon hot water in a large container.
- If floor is greasy after mopping with this combination, go over floor with equal parts water and vinegar.
Jen’s Favorite Products
- Branch Basics – Run, don’t walk. Yes folks, this stuff is THAT good. It cleans absolutely everything, but I love it the very most for its stain removal powers. For kids who drink green smoothies, a husband who loves a good greasy pizza, and me who tends to be a klutz with any open container of anything, holy moly this stuff is the shizzle.
- Truce – Use these yummy products to get things smelling good. Love that it ships sans water – what’s the point of shipping water around when you can add it at home? And it offers powder refill options to save on plastic bottles. ($7 / 32 oz bottle)
- EO All In One – Love how versatile this semi sudsy soap is; I tend to use it for dishes and washing the floors. ($16 / 32 oz bottle)
- Concrobium – Gets rid of mold problems without bleach, then creates a barrier to keep more from forming. ($8 / 32 oz bottle)
- Eco-Me Air Freshener – Maximo has fully tested the vanilla air freshener and I approve. ($3 / 3 oz bottle)
- Bon Ami Powder Cleanser – same formula since 1886, a low price, and a top environmental rating – use instead of Comet or Ajax. ($5 / 14 oz bottle)
On a personal note
I feel a bit OCD when doing laundry, making sure to remove the dryer lint after each load (which also reduces fire hazards and helps dryer run more efficiently), and even stopping it midway to clean it if there are fluffy towels inside. Do you have an OCD cleaning confession? (Confess in our comments section.)
A Deeper Dig
When Jessica Alba launches a line of “toxin-free” cleaning (and baby) products, Nightline investigates whether all the concern is necessary.
Our Fresh Pick
Don’t buy into the “antibacterial” hype! Put the brakes on breeding superbugs with this alcohol-based hand-sanitizer. It’s completely non-toxic and scented with lovely peppermint and rosemary essential oils.
Did You Know?
70% of dust particles are made up of dead skin flakes?