Cleaning Products

The Benefits of Using Natural Cleaning Products

 The benefit of using safer cleaning products is that you’re not exposing your children, your pets, and yourself to the chemicals that can disrupt multiple systems throughout the body and have potentially negative health effects.

  • Many of the chemicals utilized in traditional cleaning products are known to have a biological effect on the body, impacting the hormone, endocrine, respiratory, and immune systems. They can be inflammatory, and/or affect your genes, and/or predispose you to cancer. (Christian Gonzalez, N.D., a naturopathic doctor and non-toxic living expert).
  • Respiratory issues are particularly major—so much so that a 20-year studyfound that the prolonged use of certain cleaning products can be as harmful as smoking 20 cigarettes per day. It’s already known that cleaning product fumes may trigger attacks in people with asthma, but they can also induce the development of asthma and other respiratory problems in otherwise healthy individuals.
  • Children are far more vulnerable to chemical toxicity, as their bodies are still forming and growing. There are a growing number of childhood illnesses that trace their origin to chemical irritants. Pets are also at risk; when they walk through a freshly-washed floor that’s been cleaned with chemicals, they’re likely getting the liquid on their paws and they lick their paws.

 

We are exposed to an overwhelming number of chemicals/ toxins every day which enter our body via ingestion, inhalation or absorption through the skin. We are further adding to this toxic burden through the regular use of cleaning products and detergents. The chemicals from these products enter the blood stream and require detoxification by the liver for removal. This places extra stress on the liver and supporting organs, to filter out the toxins. The majority of these toxins are fat-soluble and can be stored in fat or muscle tissue for years. The occasional exposure to these chemicals may not have a profound effect, however long-term repetitive exposure increases the risk of toxicity and adverse health outcomes. A medical colleague of Dr Sandra Cabot who specialised in autopsy, told her that the most common chemical toxin found in cadavers was detergent.

 

The average household will have approximately 250-300 chemicals in the form of cleaning products, garden products, handyman products or detergents. Some of these chemicals have such severe acute toxicity, they necessitate treatment in the emergency department for chemical burns or accidental ingestion. In Australia, there are poor government regulations to control which chemicals (or how many) are put into these products.

  • Disinfectants: Often contain ethanol, formaldehyde, chlorine and ammonia and can cause organ damage and depression.
  • Multipurpose cleaning products: Linked to dermatitis, rashes and chemical burns.
  • Carpet cleaners: Can cause loss of appetite and dizziness in the short-term, and liver and central nervous system (CNS) damage in the long-term. Perchloroethylene, often found in carpet cleaners is a known human carcinogen.
  • Air fresheners: Purposefully sprayed into a confined space, the aerosolised particles enter the blood stream quickly through the lungs and can cause nerve deadening and release chemicals inside the body that can damage the heart muscle. They can also cause allergic lung reactions.
  • Chemical perfumes: The contents of a parfum or fragrance in any commercial product including the fire-retardant materials in your sofas and in your clothes do not have to be included on the ingredients label. Therefore, it is free license to manufacturers to add whichever chemicals they like. Avoid products which have these labels on the ingredients. A recent U.S. study revealed that many of the top-selling commercially scented cleaning products – including air fresheners, laundry detergents, fabric softeners, dryer sheets, disinfectants, dish detergents, all-purpose cleaners, soaps, hand sanitizers, lotions, deodorants, and shampoos – emit more than 100 volatile organic compounds (VOCs), including some that are classified as toxic or hazardous by federal laws. Even products advertised as “green,” “natural,” or “organic” emitted as many hazardous chemicals as standard ones

Floor cleaner 

  • 7 liters hot water
  • 2 tbsp castile soap
  • 5 drops pine/tea tree or essential oil of choice

Gentle cleanser with soap

 Gentle cleanser for any household surface

  • 2 cups distilled water
  • 2 tbsp castile soap
  • 15 drops essential oil (lavender, mint, tea tree, orange)
  • Spray bottle

All-purpose cleaner with vinegar

You can use it on the counters, bathroom vanities, kitchen surfaces, floors, and even mirrors; it doesn’t streak!

  • 16-ounce glass spray bottle
  • 8-ounces vinegar
  • 20-25 drops lemon essential oil
  • Distilled water
  1. Add essential oil and vinegar to a glass spray bottle and top off with water.

All-in-one purpose cleaner

 Use it in the bathroom, on your kitchen counters, on your walls, and on your appliances for a thorough, all-natural clean! 

  1. Add the borax, washing soda, and castile soapto the glass bottle.
  2. Pour two cups of hot water into the bottle and shake well to incorporate the ingredients.
  3. After mixing, remove the top and add the essential oils to the spray bottle. Replace the top, then shake lightly again.
  4. This spray is perfect for cleaning up greasy smears and smudges. The washing soda cuts through tough grease, and the essential oils will add a beautiful shine.

 Toilet bowl cleaner

  1. Add essential oils and vinegar to spray bottle and top off with water.
  2. Spray in the toilet and let the mixture sit for a few minutes.
  3. Sprinkle with baking soda and then scrub with a toilet brush.
  4. This takes away that nasty ring, leaves a sparkling bowl, and eliminates odours.
  5. Try these DIY toilet cleaning bombsfor hands-off cleaning!

DIY toilet cleaning bombs

  • 1 cup baking soda
  • 1/4 cup citric acid
  • 1 tablespoon liquid soap
  • 30 drops essential oils (lemon or wild orange)
  • Bath bomb moulds or silicone moulds
  • Spray bottle
  1. Mix the baking soda and citric acid together in a mixing bowl and stir well.
  2. Add essential oils in the bowl and mix well.
  3. Pour the liquid soap into a spray bottle and mist the powder mixture with it. You want to get the mixture wet enough that it holds together when you squeeze it together, but not soaked.
  4. Press the mixture into a small bath bomb or silicon mould.
  5. Allow the mixture to completely dry overnight or until harden.
  6. Pop the toilet cleaning bomb out of the mould and store in an airtight container or bag.

7 Easy Ways to Get Rid of Mould in a Shower

1. Clean Mould in the Shower with Pure Vinegar

Vinegar contains a mild acid, which makes it a fantastic option for all sorts of cleaning tasks. It cleans silver and other metals, it works on dirty clothes, and it’s an excellent choice when you want to kill mould and mildew.

Clean Mould with Vinegar

  • 1 pair of rubber gloves
  • Cleaning cloth or sponge
  • 1 small scrub brush or old toothbrush
  • 1 spray bottle
  • White vinegar
  • Fill the spray bottle with vinegar. Wearing the gloves, spray the affected area with the vinegar solution until it is damp but not saturated. Let it sit for a few minutes and wipe the area clean.
  • The mould should lift away. For stubborn mould, spray it until damp, allow it to sit, and then scrub the area with the brush. Wipe the scrubbed spots clean.

2. Clean Mould with Vinegar and Baking Soda

If pure vinegar doesn’t get rid of your mould in the bathroom, you can add baking soda to clean your tub. Baking soda, also called bicarbonate of soda, reacts with the vinegar and produces an energetic cleaning action. Cleaning mould with vinegar and baking soda is ideal for all types of surfaces in the bathroom, kitchen, basement, and on your deck outside. Even if you don’t have a mould problem, vinegar and baking soda are an ideal cleaning solution.

Vinegar and Baking Soda Solution

  • 1 spray bottle
  • Vinegar
  • 1 pair of rubber gloves
  • Scrub pad or brush
  • 3 cups baking soda
  • 1 cup of water
  • Fill the spray bottle with vinegar. Combine the water and baking soda into a thick paste, and paint it on all mouldy spots. Spray the paste with vinegar and scrub until the mould is gone.
  • Rinse and dry the tile and grout. You can use this DIY shower sprayto clean your sinks and toilet bowl and get mould off, as well!

3. Knock Out your Shower Mould with Hydrogen Peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide is an antifungal agent and cuts right through your mould problem. Peroxide attacks mould and bubbles it away – you can apply peroxide to clean mould in the bathroom if vinegar doesn’t do the job. This recipe shows you how to get rid of black mould in shower tiles and curtains safely and efficiently with peroxide.

Remove Mould with Hydrogen Peroxide

  • 1 spray bottle
  • 1 part hydrogen peroxide
  • 2 parts water
  • 1 pair of rubber gloves
  • Cleaning pad
  • Combine water and peroxide in the spray bottle. Spray the solution on affected spots, and let it sit for a few minutes. Scrub the places with the pad, rinse, and dry. Wear old clothes when using peroxide, as peroxide spills can stain.
  • If you recently replaced the grout in your tile, you may have leftover residue on your tiles. Cleaning grout hazeis easy with this peroxide and water recipe. Wipe the solution on the tiles to remove grout haze and leave your tiles shining again.

4. Clean your Shower Tiles with Vinegar and Dish Soap

Dish soap is another versatile cleaning product you can use on all kinds of grime and toxic mould. When you combine it with vinegar, it gets even more powerful. This recipe is especially useful because it incorporates tea tree oil – it not only is tops at removing mould but also leaves your shower doors and tiles smelling fresh.

Vinegar and Dish Soap Recipe

  • ½ cup white vinegar
  • 1 cup of water
  • 2 tbsp liquid dish soap (‘Dawn’ soap recommended)
  • 15 drops tea tree or other essential oil
  • Spray bottle
  • 1 pair of rubber gloves
  • Scrubbing pad
  • Mix the water, vinegar, and oil in the spray bottle. Apply the solution to all areas that need cleaning. Let it sit for at least five minutes, and then scrub, rinse with hot water, and dry.
  • To keep your shower mould-free, spray your shower walls and shower curtain with the solution every day. This recipe can also be effective as a house wash solution to rid your home of mould and grime.

5. Clean Mould in Shower Grout Naturally with Borax

Borax is a step up from vinegar or peroxide. If you need to know how to clean your shower head or clothes, look no further than Borax. It cuts through grease and dirt with ease, and it makes a superior bathroom-mould cleaning solution, too.

Borax Mould Cleaner

  • 1 pair of rubber gloves
  • 1 gallon of water
  • 1 cup Borax
  • Mix the water and Borax in the spray bottle. Spray any mould, and let it sit. You don’t have to rinse Borax off, so it keeps working for a long time.
  • Use the solution as an after-shower spray to prevent mould growth.

6. Step up Your Mould Cleaning with Bleach

Sometimes you need to bring out the potent agents to get rid of mould. When your mould shrugs off vinegar, peroxide, or Borax, you can turn to bleach. Bleach is a strong disinfectant. It’s so powerful that the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency recommends cleaning flooded homes with it for mould remediation. You can harness that power for shower mould removal.

Mould Cleaning with Bleach

  • 1 part bleach
  • 2 parts water
  • Spray bottle
  • Rubber gloves
  • Safety glasses
  • Respirator
  • Scrub pad or brush
  • Don all safety gear. Mix the bleach and water and add it to the bottle. Spray the bleach solution on mould stains, let it sit for a few minutes, and scrub. Rinse the area and dry it.
  • Bleach produces toxic fumes, so make sure that your bathroom has adequate ventilation. Turn on the exhaust fan and open all windows. If you are not sure if your bathroom has sufficient ventilation, use the respirator.

7. Big Guns – Beat Your Mould with Bleach and Baking Soda

As a last resort before reaching for the commercial cleaners, consider trying bleach and baking soda. Baking soda cleans, and bleach disinfects – the two cleaning products combine to make the best homemade grout cleaner you’ll find and will stop mould growing on tiles. Always make sure that the bathroom is well-ventilated and that the bathroom fan is running when you use this product. Wear old clothes and all safety gear, including the respirator if needed.

Bleach and Baking Soda Solution to Get Rid of Mould

  • 2 cups baking soda
  • 1 cup bleach
  • Paintbrush
  • Rubber gloves
  • Respirator
  • Safety glasses
  • Plastic wrap
  • Pour the baking soda into a container and add the bleach by drops until you have a thick paste. Use the paintbrush to apply the paste to all grout and porous surfaces that need cleaning and cover each painted spot with the plastic wrap.
  • Wait for a few hours, remove the plastic wrap, and clean off the dried paste. Repeat if needed.
  • Nobody enjoys having to clean mildew from shower tiles, but a shower free of black mould is vital to your family’s safety. With help from this guide, you can win your next struggle with mould and enjoy a clean bathroom.

Furniture Polish Cream

  • 1 cup jojoba oil
  • 4 tbsp beeswax pellets
  • 4 drops eucalyptus essential oilx
  • 4 drops lemon essential oil
  • Pint-sized glass jar
  • Bamboo skewer
  • A couple of clean, soft cloths
  • Place the jojoba oil and beeswax pellets in your pint-sized mason jar. Fill a small saucepan with a few inches of water, then place the mason jar in the pan. Put the saucepan on your stove over low heat, and stir the mixture using a bamboo skewer until the mixture has melted completely.
  • Remove the pan from the heat, and carefully remove the jar. Add the eucalyptus and lemon essential oils, and mix thoroughly with the skewer.
  • Let the mixture cool for an hour or two on your counter, then transfer it to an airtight container for storage.

Using Your Homemade Furniture Polish

Before polishing your furniture, make sure it is clean of any dirt, grime, or dust. You don’t want to accidentally trap dust and dirt in your furniture’s finish! When you’re ready, use a soft cloth to apply a small amount of polish to the surfaces of your wooden furniture. Buff the polish to a shine with another clean, soft cloth.