learn about natural cleaners

Natural cleaners


There are literally thousands of house cleaning products on the market today, all claiming to kill 99.9% of germs or bacteria. In theory, this is great; however in reality, these products do more harm to our bodies than good.

But while the chemicals in cleaners foam, bleach, and disinfect to make our dishes, bathtubs and counter tops gleaming and germ-free, many also contribute to indoor air pollution, are poisonous if ingested, and can be harmful if inhaled or touched. In fact, some cleaners are among the most toxic products found in the home.

Did you know that nearly 80% of the chemicals found in everyday cleaning products have not been tested for long-term effects? By using these products, you may very well have a clean house today, and possible cancer in the future.  The Cancer Prevention Coalition lists hundreds of toxic and deadly chemicals that are in household cleaners on their website.

The toxic fumes that you breath in from these products could be one of the main reasons for the headaches, fatigue, body aches, soreness, tiredness, and a number of other common ailments that most all of us experience.  Take a walk down the cleaning isle in the grocery store, do you instantly sneeze?  Use toilet bowl cleaner to remove rust and get some on your hands, it will burn until you rinse it off!  Clean a bathroom without proper ventilation, you will see right away that it isn’t safe.

When it comes to cleaners, the consumer has little to go on beyond the warning labels that manufacturers are required to put on their products. The labels DANGER, WARNING and POISON give only a very general idea about the seriousness of the unknown substances a product contains.

No law requires manufacturers of cleaning products to list ingredients on their labels or to test their products for safety. It’s up to you the consumer, to make sure your home is not only clean, but also nontoxic. Unfortunately, it isn’t easy to identify which products contain these hazardous ingredients.

While cleaners are the only household products regulated by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission under the Federal Hazardous Substances Labeling Act, their sellers aren’t required to reveal these products’ ingredients. These ingredients are considered “trade secrets,” so government regulations are actually designed to protect this proprietary information, not to protect human health or the environment.

We can’t just blindly believe that products are safe just because they are widely available and for sale. Cigarettes are sold, and yet we know the effects they have on the body. They are proven cancer causers.  Just because something is labeled as natural does not mean that it is safe. Let me remind you that arsenic is a naturally occurring substance and yet, it kills. There is no law or set of guidelines to instruct companies as to how they can or can’t label products with use of the word “natural”. Don’t let that word persuade you at all. It means nothing on a commercial product.

What convinced me to make the switch is that I was looking at my baby as she was crawling all over my freshly cleaned floor.  Of course she would naturally put her hands in her mouth after crawling.  All those chemicals were entering into her body.  All those times I would clean my bathroom with bleach and have to turn the fan on to not breathe the fumes.  Most of these were going right into my children’s play areas and they were breathing them in.   Why would I want to subject my brand new baby to all those toxic fumes?  Natural products work just as good without any of the harmful chemicals.

By making your own natural cleaners, you will know each and every ingredient in the bottle.  If that isn’t enough to convince you to want to make the switch, how about do it for the money.  Making your own all natural cleaners is very frugal and cheap.  This will save you much money over the years.

These are tried and true recipes that our family has been using exclusively for years.  It took some getting used to, as we were used to the scented varieties of chemicals at the store.  It left behind a few streaks, but it quickly dissipated into the air.  It also smelled vinegary at first but those smells also disappeared.

All natural wood cleaner

1 part olive oil

1 part lemon juice

Keep this handy in a large squirt bottle.  Use for wiping onto your wood furniture.

Scouring powder

2 parts baking soda

1 part salt

1 part borax

Mix the following together in a bowl and pour into an empty parmesan cheese container.  Sprinkle on damp surfaces and scrub with a sponge.


Window/mirror cleaner

1 c water

1 c alcohol

1 c vinegar

2 squirts of castile soap

4-6 drops of essential oil, optional

Shake all in a squirt bottle. Use a microfiber cloth to wipe.

All purpose cleaner

2 teaspoons castile soap

5 T vinegar

2 teaspoons of borax

1 teaspoon of baking soda

4 cups of hot water

4-6 drops of tea tree oil

4-6 drops of peppermint essential oil

Mix the above into a large spray bottle.  I would recommend adding all of the ingredients with the water being last.  The vinegar will react with the baking soda causing it to bubble up.

Vinegar and tea tree oil have natural anti-bacterial properties.  We don’t always add the peppermint oil, unless we have it on hand.
















Take a break from using your store bought items and switch to these for a few weeks.  It will take some time to strip your mirrors from the chemicals in the store bought cleaner, so don’t be afraid if it leaves streaks.  It is just the build up from the chemicals.  It just takes time.