Have you been considering making your own household cleaning sprays? I had contemplated it for years before making the switch. I’m so happy that I finally did.
Why do I clean with vinegar?
Vinegar’s acidity is what makes it such a versatile cleaning companion. Thank to its acidity, vinegar is a great degreaser which can remove soap, hard water stains, or even function as an adhesive remover. I feel safe using it in my kitchen and in places that I prepare and clean food like in and around our refrigerator, blender, sink, dishwasher, coffee pot, and stove since it’s completely non-toxic. Vinegar is also extremely inexpensive and I can regularly find it sold in glass, making it a plastic-free cleaning solution. While I find it useful for nearly every surface of my house, please note that vinegar may be too acidic for natural stones like marble. It can damage them and cause them to lose some of their glorious shine. I will share a natural stone countertop cleaner soon!
Why do I encourage non toxic cleaning?
It all started with a conversation I had with my husband last year. He mentioned to me that the blueberry pancake scented candle I had lit was “toxic” and “going to make us sick.” Quite dramatic, no? Slightly annoyed, and uninterested in doing the research myself, he started to read off an article to me about just what fragrance and cleaning products do. And the take away: they greatly disturb your delicate endocrine system. I remember thinking to myself; but …. I need these familiar scents in our home, they make me so happy. And then I peeked over at our infant son. His development > my need for a home that smells like blueberry pancakes. We all want a clean and comfortable home, and I am more than passionate about sharing some insight on how we have achieved that balance.
Our bodies run off of a network of hormones that regulate most everything that we do. Hormones control our development, metabolism, and behavior. In the past, I always thought about my health being aligned to my diet and physical activity, mental health status, but I never considered my hormones. Now, I always think of my glands and endocrine system when making purchases for our products and home. There are wonderful apps (like thinkdirty) that can help you understand if the ingredients in your favorite products are toxic or not. I was really surprised by the cleaner I used to buy, which was lavender scented and was marketed to be “natural”.
Avoiding artificial fragrance, plastics, and cleaning smarter can greatly decrease your daily exposure to endocrine disrupters. Research shows that even small exposures to these chemicals can be significant. While cleaning to freshen up our homes, many of us are introducing pollutants into the home with harsh chemical products. To complicate matters, companies are not required to place the ingredient list on the bottle.
Now, I make all of our own household cleaners, laundry detergent, and soap. I am all for cleaning smarter. And my motto is “keep it glassy”. I love to store my cleaners and diy products in glass because it radiates a higher vibe to me. Food tastes better when it’s stored in glass, drinks taste better when sipped from a glass. We sense that things are more luxurious when they’re stored in natural elements. Nothing lures me in like a glass bottle with a bamboo top. In this case, this reusable glass bottle with a fresh homemade cleaner looks great in my kitchen and never produces waste because I plan to use it for the rest of my lifetime.
Why do I add essential oils?
Essential oils add so much happiness to my life. Aromatherapy has been a surprisingly joyful experience in our home. Not a day goes by that I’m not using them everywhere possible. And since starting to make my own products for my home, they add a spa-like vibe with their dreamy and sometimes energizing, sometimes calming scents. I used citrus, lavender and rosemary because the combination smells so clean. And citrus has antibacterial properties to aid in cleaning dirty surfaces.
I have to be completely honest, a few years ago I tried to infuse just citrus peels in vinegar and let it sit for two whole weeks. I was bummed when I couldn’t bring myself to use it regularly because the vinegar smell was still overwhelming to me. Essential oils and herbs bridged the gap between making diy do-able to extremely useful and beneficial. This cleaner smells dreamy and effectively cleans many surfaces in our home. If you know me in real life, you know I like my house sparkling!
A simple diy sustainable cleaning solution made from vinegar, herbs and essential oils
- White vinegar
- Lavender essential oil
- Rosemary essential oil
- Dried lavender
- Fresh rosemary sprig
- Citrus peels (I used bergamot)
- Fill a jar (1 1/2 cups) with white vinegar
- Infuse with dried lavender, fresh rosemary sprigs 40 drops of essential oil (20 lavender, 20 rosemary) and citrus peels for two weeks
- Strain your citrus peels, lavender, and rosemary out of your jar
- Transfer 3/4 into a spray bottle, and fill the remaining 1/4 with water
- Clean away!
I hope you enjoy your weekend and start infusing! Your three homes (body, house and planet) will thank you for it.