Over the last few years, I have made a conscious effort to cut back on the amount of toxic chemicals I use in my home. Switching out my conventional products for natural or homemade versions was difficult at first but now has become second nature. I don’t have a lot of extra time so all the products that I make are versatile and can be thrown together in just a few minutes. While I do make a lot of my own natural home products, there are some things I prefer to purchase to make my life a little easier.
Cleaning products were the first thing I switched out when I began trying to cut down on the extra toxins in my home. It seemed like a logical place to start since most cleaning products contain a crazy amount of harmful chemicals. The more research I did the more appalled I was at the side effects these chemicals can have on our bodies and the environment.
The natural cleaning products listed below are what I make and use in my own home. I love that I know exactly what ingredients they contain and can be confident that they aren’t causing harm to myself or my family.
- All Purpose Cleaner: Instead of buying multi-surface sprays, I just make Lemon and Basil All- Purpose Cleaner. This all-purpose cleaner definitely lives up to its name. I use it on kitchen counters, appliances, floors, and pretty much every bathroom surface except mirrors. It is very effective a leaves a fresh citrus scent wherever I use it.
- Glass and Mirror Cleaner: My homemade glass cleaner works very well for cleaning mirrors, windows, and any other glass surface. It is a great alternative to Windex.
- Dusting: Microfiber cloths are perfect for dusting, not to mention completely chemical free. The dust clings to the microfiber instead of flying all over the room. If there is a particularly dusty area, I will do a quick spray of Lemon and Basil All-Purpose Cleaner on the cloth before I wipe it down.
Making homemade laundry soap is a huge money saver and cuts out a lot of toxins from your home but the downside is that it is time consuming and a lot of work. I actually did make my own for a couple of years because conventional laundry soap has so many harmful ingerdients but I really disliked doing it. So when my family’s natural skincare company, Grandma’s Lavender, started making laundry soap I jumped on the opportunity to use it in my own home.
- Laundry Detergent: I love Grandma’s Lavender’s laundry soap. The ingredients are all natural and the lavender scent is amazing. If you are superwoman and have more time and energy than me, this is a great recipe for homemade laundry soap. It is the one I used to use and found it to be very effective.
- Dryer Sheets: I stopped using dryer sheets altogether and replaced them with wool dryer balls. Dryer balls keep static from forming in the laundry and also help decrease drying time. They don’t add any scent to the laundry though so I also use these lavender dryer pouches. Combined with the laundry soap, they add a wonderful lavender scent to whatever I am washing.
- Stain Removal: Fels Naptha soap bars are great for getting out tough stains. I simply run water over the stained area, scrub the soap bar over the stain for a few seconds, and then use my fingers to rub it in a little more. Let the soap sit on the stain for a few hours and then throw it in the wash.
I avoid using antibacterial hand soaps in my home. Instead I make my own foaming hand soap. This soap is moisturizing and completely chemical free!
Follow this easy recipe to make your own hand soap.
- Add 1/8 cup almond oil to a foaming soap dispenser.
- Fill the bottle halfway with castille soap.
- Fill the remainder of the dispenser with water and add 10-15 drops of essential oils.
- Shake to combine.
Scented candles used to be my favorite way to make my house smell amazing. That is until I learned how toxic they are and how many harmful chemicals they release into the air when lit. Most candles emit toluene and benzene when lit which can cause brain, lung, and central nervous system damage. The following are a few natural ways that I now use to add fragrance into my home.
- Diffuser: Diffusing essential oils is my go-to method for getting rid of unpleasant odors. I like this diffuser from Amazon and purchase all my essential oils from Mountain Rose Herbs.
My favorite essential oil combinations are:
Clove and Orange
Peppermint and Lavender
Ylang Ylang and Lemon
- Stovetop Potpourri: Another great way I love to add fragrance to my home is to make stovetop potpourri. The ingredients include a sliced orange, cinnamon sticks, and fresh cranberries. Add all the ingredients into a saucepan, cover with water, and heat on low. It is so simple to throw together and can simmer on the back burner all day!
I have come a long way in cutting out chemicals from the products I use in my home but I am by no means perfect and still have plenty of room for improvement. Dishwasher soap, toilet bowl cleaner, and shampoo/conditioner are some of the things I have yet to find an adequate chemical free or homemade replacement.
If you are looking for more ways to clean your home naturally, I highly recommend checking out this DIY Natural Cleaning Challenge from Live Simply. This ebook offers over 50 different recipes for homemade cleaning products. It is a great resource if you have been wanting to make the switch to natural cleaning products but don’t know where to start. Click here to view more details
What is your favorite homemade or natural product that you use in your home?
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