Ahead of her workshop on October 15th we asked Alice from Scott’s Apothecary to give us her take on Natural Cleaning Products.
When I started reducing chemicals in my home, DIY cleaners were one of the first things that I made. DIY cleaners are easy to make, work well, and are safer for kids (not to mention everyone in the house!).
Cleaning with DIY cleaners isn’t very difficult and doesn’t take much time either. You can clean the entire house with a pretty simple (and cheap) list of ingredients.
A lot of commercial cleaners are pretty toxic. We often think the stronger it smells of chemicals the better a job it is doing of cleaning, but we just don’t know what they are doing to our bodies and research is coming out how it could be seriously damaging in the long term.
Some of the harmful ingredients you may find in chemical cleaners include:
· chlorine bleach
· disinfectant or sanitizer
· fragrance (also found in scented candles & washing powder, fragrances are often petroleum based and have been found to contain endocrine disruptors and neurotoxins)
· petroleum-based ingredients (usually end in -ol or -ene; glycol, phenol, benzene)
· surfactants (even some naturally derived ingredients are harmful to aquatic life)
So, what can you do to reduce you and your family’s exposure to these harmful ingredients?
You can buy some brilliant brands now that are free from many of these toxins, but the alternative, making your own, takes minutes and costs a fraction of the price!
My cleaning bucket under the sink consists of:
· white vinegar
· liquid castile soap (I use Dr. Bronner)
· natural salt
· bicarbonate of soda
· essential oils: lavender, lemon, orange, tea tree & eucalyptus and rosemary are all brilliant natural disfectants, whilst rosemary is a natural preservative
· some glass spray bottles
From these ingredients you can make cleaners for most purposes. Less waste, less money, and a lot less chemicals.
1. VINEGAR: Vinegar is great for cleaning because of its high acidity level. It is naturally anti-bacterial can remove sticky build up, dissolve soap scum, get rid of rings left by hard water, and cut grease. Vinegar can also kill salmonella and E.coli.
2. BICARBONATE OF SODA: great for absorbing bad smells and removing stains, making it a go-to for your natural cleaning. Baking Soda is a mild alkali and can cause dirt and grease to dissolve easily in water for effective removal.
3. VODKA: a natural disinfectant, this is a great one to combine with vinegar for extra cleaning power.
4. CASTILE SOAP: is gentle, safe, and leaves surfaces squeaky clean. Castile soap is highly concentrated making it cost-effective because you only need a little bit each time you clean, and each bottle will last you a long time.
Multi -purpose cleaners with vinegar
For a 500ml glass bottle
100ml white vinegar
325ml purified water
20 drops essential oil (optional)
- Mix together all ingredients and replace lid, shake well before use.
Best before: because of the water in this recipe, this will last for around 1 month, so make a small batch if unsure you will use all of this recipe in this time.
- Windows: Add a tsp of washing up liquid to this recipe for a very effective window cleaner
- Wood: halve the recipe and add in 2 tbsp olive oil to polish wood
DO NOT USE VINEGAR ON:
-Marble and granite surfaces, hardwood floors, stone floor tiles, irons.
Note: if you have dogs and cats in the house, a lot of essential oils can be toxic, so for nice smelling cleaners I recommend infusing vinegar or vodka in citrus peels or dried herbs to get the benefit of the ingredients whilst not being toxic to animals.
If you fancy making your own products then book your spot here. I’ve booked mine!