I can’t fathom a chore that anyone can say is their favorite. After all, a chore is a chore, and most often it is a requirement to keep our home clean and our sanity in place. My son keeps me busy and I’m always running around trying to do a million things at once. So when it comes to cleaning the house, I want something convenient and easy for me to use. But I’m also concerned with the effects of chemicals infiltrating into the air as well as the long term effects of smelling them as I’m using them.
These days you can find all sorts of cleaning products on the market. The choices can be overwhelming when it comes to finding something that is both effective and safe to use. Recently, I’ve been trying to learn more about DIY (Do-It-Yourself) products as they are more cost effective and possibly time saving. DIY household cleaning products are also a good way to make in bulk and oftentimes they are ingredients you already have on hand. The most common natural cleaning ingredients are ones you probably have seen or heard, or are using already. Those include lemon, vinegar, and baking soda. But in the world of wonderful herbs and plants, there are many other ingredients you can use to clean, disinfect, and scent your home with. Essential oils can be found at most natural grocery stores as well as online. Let’s start with the basics and go on from there.
General household ingredients:
Lemon – one of nature’s most powerful plant. It contains high concentration of Vitamin C, which has been proven to be effective in prevention of many types of bacteria and viruses. As a cleaning agent, the natural antibacterial agent can disinfect many household products. Lemon can also naturally cut through grease and grime. Tips: After using lemon in your cooking, slice up slivers of lemon peel to put in your sink disposer. Turn on your disposer and let the lemon peels do their work to disinfect, clean, and leave a fresh scent afterwards.
Vinegar – another powerhouse in disinfecting and controlling bacteria. Because of its natural acidity, vinegar can break down unwanted smells in the air as well as a great de-greaser. It’s best to use white vinegar as it’s colorless and won’t interact with the surfaces you are cleaning on. When mixed with baking soda, the concoction creates one of the most useful and non-toxic cleaning product available. Tips: Mix vinegar and water to wash and clean fruits and vegetables. With it’s antibacterial properties, vinegar can clean fruits and vegetables in a more safe and non-toxic way.
Baking Soda (Sodium bicarbonate) – a natural mineral that is broken down to be used for cooking and cleaning, baking soda has numerous uses that are safe and effective. Because it has a slight abrasive texture, baking soda is great mixed with water or vinegar to shine certain metals, household surfaces such as stove tops, counters, and dark stains. It is also effective in whitening laundry and bringing out organic stains. Tips: Do not mix baking soda with acid as it can cause a bad chemical reaction. Use lesser parts baking soda when mixed with water or vinegar. Do not add baking soda to other household cleaners.
Lavender – one of the oldest plants in the world. Lavender has a calming and soothing fragrance that is a favorite for many uses. Typically it is the essential lavender oil that is used as a cleaning agent as the process in extracting the oil from lavender plants produces antibacterial and antiseptic qualities. Because of it’s soothing scent, many people put lavender oil in mixtures of vinegar and water to dilute the strong scent of vinegar. Tips: Gently boil lavender oil or lavender plant in water to create a calming and sweet fragrance throughout the house. When choosing lavender oil, make sure to purchase essential oils of lavender as they are the most pure forms of lavender.
Tea Tree Oil – another powerful plant with amazing healing and cleaning properties. The Tea Tree oil derives from the Tea Tree and not associated at all with the tea leaves that we drink. Tea Tree oil has many beneficial properties including antibacterial, antimicrobial, and antiseptic. When mixed with other carrier oils, the Tea Tree oil creates a pleasant scent when used for cleaning. Tips: Tea Tree Oil is not safe for consumption. Keep away from children as it can cause discomfort when imbibed.
Eucalyptus Oil – eucalyptus oil may be a bit harder to find but they work wonders on disinfecting around the house. Plus the scent is rather pungent so it’s a great deterrent for certain insects in your house. Tips: Use the essential oil of eucalyptus to repel insects by dabbing some on your windowsill, along the edges of your floorboards, and in your laundry when washing old linens. It is particularly useful in getting rid of dust mites.
Peppermint – another powerful herb for its antibiotic and antiseptic uses. Great for cleaning and refreshing bathrooms as the antimicrobial properties helps to get rid of germs and smells. Tips: Peppermint oil works well with other natural essential oils including lavender, lemon, and rosemary.
There are numerous ways you can use the ingredients listed above. I’ve only compiled a basic list of the most commonly used ingredients found in natural cleaning products. When mixed into a solution, it is best to use them right away and store them where you normally hide cleaning products as the sun can alter the effects of certain essential oils. And be sure to label them too so you’ll remember what they are used for. Perhaps one of the most common natural and non-toxic household cleaning solution is vinegar and water. Although vinegar will leave a sour smell after cleaning, it’s best to use either lavender or peppermint to disguise the smell and to leave a fresher and more pleasant scent.
I keep tons of baking soda in our house for its many uses. Even if you were to look online, you’d find hundreds of different uses for baking soda. I love using baking soda on my carpets as I sprinkle a good amount before vacuuming. It leaves a clean scent and my carpets feels lighter and fluffier. So whatever natural ingredient you decide to use to clean your house with, always be sure to test them out first before general use.
Disclaimer: The product(s)were sent to the author for review by the manufacturer/PR. All reviews on “Happymomblogger” remain unbiased and unpaid and are the sole decision of the author. The opinions of these product(s) were not influenced in any way, shape, or form. As always, please read the ingredients carefully when trying new products.
Please read the labels and ingredients carefully and follow all manufacturer’s instructions (if any). The products selected for the giveaway were generously donated by the companies/PR to help readers learn more about their products. The winner’s choice in using/consuming these products are entirely up to the winner and will not hold the author and her family liable nor the companies/PR liable. These products are made with non-toxic ingredients but always be safe with what you use and consume.