5 (Truly) Quick + Easy Non-Toxic Cleaning Solutions [That Actually Work]
It’s that time of year for spring cleaning! I love the days when it’s warm enough to open up the windows, let the fresh air breeze in, and freshen up a neglected space in your home. Yesterday I tackled our upstairs bathroom and did a good, thorough, deep clean of the entire space. The room isn’t very big, but it took hours and now it feels like a brand new room!
It got me thinking about all the the cleaning solutions I use in my home. A decade ago, I bought whatever cleaning product I needed at the grocery store, the ones filled with toxic ingredients and have a strong, chemical-y smell. While I enjoyed a good deep clean, I could just feel the fumes from the cleaning solutions fogging up my brain and would get sick of the smell. Once my kids were born, I started making a conscious effort to switch out whatever I could in my house from toxic to low- or non-toxic alternatives.
There is tons of research out there on how cleaning products with VOCs (volatile organic compounds) can cause a variety of health problems, including respiratory issues, allergic reactions, infertility and development complications, and even cancer. I found this great resource that includes some information about WHY you should check to see what your cleaning products are made of and they also have a rating system. They rank different products from Verified, or A all the way down to F based on their health and environmental impacts. I highly recommend you check out the information on that site and take a look at the toxicity of your products. And if you don’t want to bother with my homemade recipes, you can use that tool to help inform your decisions of what products TO buy!
I genuinely *LOVE* the recipes I’m about to share. Every single one of them can be made in 1-2 minutes (I’m not exaggerating). They will ALL save you money compared to the store bought stuff (whether you buy the cheapest, most toxic product OR invest in the cleanest, low-tox brands). And they are all much, much gentler on our bodies and environment. And yes, they all [ACTUALLY] work. I’ve been testing these recipes for 10 years and these are the -BEST- ones. It’s a win-win-win-win for me. Let’s dive in! A couple of things to note:
I have tried several different recipes for an all-purpose spray and this is definitely my favorite! I use this spray on countertops, stove top, inside my microwave, cupboard doors, my sink, and more! I love the amber bottle that I keep it in with the recipe taped right on there so it’s super easy to make every time we’re out. This literally takes less than 1 minute to make and it’s super cheap. This saves you time, money (like $3-$5 worth of money per bottle), reduces your use on plastic, AND you can clean worry-free knowing you’re not spraying endocrine disruptors and toxic fumes into your OR your children’s airways!
1 cup water
1 cup vinegar
1 teaspoon dish soap
*essential oils of choice (I use about 10 drops)
Move over Pledge (which scores anywhere between a C and F on EWG rating system). One of my kid’s chores is to dust. I love that I can hand him this bottle of homemade dust spray and not worry about what he might be breathing in as he helps around the house.
1 cup water
1/2 cup vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil
*essential oils of choice (about 10 drops, lemon is a great scent to use here!)
Toilet Bowl Cleaner
This is one of the easiest and fastest recipes on my list. All it is is equal parts baking soda and Borax with several drops of essential oils. I do:
3/4 cup baking soda
3/4 cup Arm & Hammer Washing Soda
30ish drops of essential oil
I pour this all in a mason jar, shake it up, and voila! Sprinkle some in the toilet bowl, let sit for 5-10 minutes and then scrub with a brush.
Many of the Swiffer mopping cloths or hard floor cleaning solutions rank D or lower on the Environmental Working Group ranking system. That’s why I love this EXTREMELY easy alternative when I mop my floors. I fill up a bucket with hot water, pour in some white vinegar (about 1/2-1 cup), a dollop of dish soap, and essential oils. I’ve never even written down a recipe for this one. I just estimate my measurements. It’s *ALMOST* as easy as just pouring in some kind of toxic floor cleaner. With this recipe you have to grab one extra bottle? But with no measuring, it’s super simple.
I use this floor cleaner on our vinyl kitchen floor, tiled bathroom floor, and laminate dining room floor and it works great on all of those. I have NOT tried this on our brand new real hardwood living room floors yet! I will update as I try it!
A good glass cleaner is another solution I have tried many different combinations for and recently found one that I actually love. I don’t have a bottle for this one yet – I’m just using the most recent bottle that I bought (honestly, probably 3-4 years ago) and keep reusing that one.
2 cups water
2 tablespoons vinegar
2 tablespoons rubbing alcohol
*essential oils if desired
Let me know which recipe you’re thinking of trying and if this has been helpful to you! This is my first post about my adventures in non-toxic living and would love to share more if there is an interest for it! Honestly this is something I’m really passionate about and feeling very confident in making these changes for me and my family. This stuff is so important I just can’t keep it to myself. Enjoy and happy non-toxic cleaning!
For further reading and more ideas for low-tox swaps, check out Low Tox Life by Alexx Stuart!
I also recommend checking out this instagram page. She has a lot of great information about healthy swaps you can make when it comes to food, beauty products, and cleaning products.
And check out my favorite blog, The Foundation Blog, where Kate shares a wealth of knowledge about non-toxic living and sustainable choices.