Friday, November 4, 2011

Cleaning Your Healthy Home

Years ago I had to come up with a solution to not be breathing all of those store bought chemicals. A cleaner that would kill germs without hurting me and my family and leave my home sparkling clean. I have tried a lot of store "green" solutions that are expensive and I haven't liked them either. I am also not fond of having my house smell like vinegar. So, I did a lot of research and came up with a few solutions that I have been using for the last 6 years & love! These cleaners you can make for less than $1.00 per bottle.  Here they are: First the disinfectants: streak free, they smell great and clean everything from kitchen counters, floors, mirrors, toilets to floors, walls, etc.. The first cleaner consists of hydrogen peroxide - 3% (mixed 50/50 with water), tea tree oil, lemon oil and lavender oil. I haven't suffered from sinus discomfort for over 6 years since I started using this solution, and my home is sparkling clean. I also love the aroma therapy as I am cleaning. Any spray top will fit the 32 oz. brown, round peroxide bottle. You can find these round type peroxide bottles at Walgreens. Also, you will need to find a nice spray top that will make cleaning easy. I like the Home Depot spray bottles you can get in the cleaning section.  They are high quality and will cost around $3.79  You can find Rubbermaid bottles at Target, but my favorite are the ones at Home Depot.  You will  need 70% rubbing alcohol for the 2nd cleaner.  Cleaning with both the peroxide cleaner and the rubbing alcohol cleaner are economical and earth friendly. You will also need the essential oils listed below. You can buy them on iHerb or get them at your health food store.  The oils will last you for what seems like forever. Important: Keep peroxide cleaner in the dark brown peroxide bottle to preserve strength.



Lemon oil, tea tree oil and lavender oil are all great additions to your healthy cleaners.
 
Hydrogen peroxide kills bacteria, mold, mildew and fungus. It is non-toxic, which is safer for pets and children.

Tree oil turns out to be one of the most useful of all essential oils, especially as an antiseptic. The antiseptic, germicidal, antifungal, antibacterial immune-boosting qualities of Tea Tree oil make it applicable to a wide range of health conditions. In addition, the antiseptic benefits of the oil allow its use as a natural cleaner and disinfectant within the household environment.

Lemon oil is a wonderful disinfectant as well. It is believed that inhaling lemon oil helps in increasing concentration and alertness - we can all use that!!

As a disinfectant, lavender is effective against the bacteria causing diphtheria, pneumococcus, staphylococcus, and typhoid. Lavender oil is moderately antifungal but because it is so well tolerated, it can be applied directly on the skin, such as for athlete's foot or other fungal skin infections. It is soothing to the nervous system and a great tension reliever! We can all use that too:)

70% rubbing alcohol has antiseptic qualities that enable it to kill bacteria. It can also remove oils and grit from hard surfaces. Cleaning with isopropyl rubbing alcohol is both economical and earth-friendly.

The other cleaner I use is just plain baking soda. I put it in a container that has holes in the top and sprinkle it in my sinks and in my toilet bowl. I also clean my stainless steel pans with it. You can find the clear containers in a lot of grocery stores and even The Dollar Store. I purchase the larger size baking soda which is a super value. It is a great cleaner because it has scrubbing power without scratching surfaces, and it can deodorize and has antiseptic and disinfectant properties as well. Baking soda (or bicarbonate of soda, as it is also known) is a naturally occurring material, present in most organic life forms. It can be "made" from sodium carbonate, or soda ash. The soda ash is dissolved in a carbon dioxide rich solution, and sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) precipitates out.


You can also make your own cleaning towels from cotton t-shirts.   Below you will find the recipes for the cleaners and directions on how to make the cotton white cleaning towels from materials you probably already have.

Enjoy good health in your home!

PURCHASE ESSENTIAL OILS FROM iHerb (Click on links below)
Aura Cacia Lavender Essential Oil $8.21
Aura Cacia Lemon Essential Oil $3.95
Aura Cacia Tea Tree Essential Oil $5.98

 Anti-Bacterial Household Cleaner #1 (Peroxide)
Printable Recipe
Start with a 32 oz. peroxide bottle. You will need to remove half the liquid and then fill the part that has been removed with water. You will now have 16 oz. of peroxide and 16 oz. of water in the bottle.

Add: 10 drops of lemon oil (lemon is an antibacterial, deodorizer and disinfectant)
Add: 10 drops of tea tree oil (tea tree is an antiseptic, antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal)
Add: 5 drops or of lavender (anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and for scent purposes)

Shake before using.  This cleaner is safe on any surface and even cleans mirrors.
 
Anti-Bacterial Household Cleaner #2 (Rubbing Alcohol)
Printable Recipe
1/4 cup 70% rubbing alcohol (anti-bacterial)
Add:  5 drops lavender essential oil (anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and for scent purposes)
Add:  3 drops of liquid dish soap

Add all ingredients to spray bottle and then add water to the 25 oz. mark.
This cleaner is safe for your granite countertops and throughout your home, including mirrors. Shake before using.

Cotton T-Shirt Cleaning Towels
You will need:
 Cotton T-Shirts that you are no longer using.  I like white ones, but you can actually use any color.

Plain white t-shirt.

Start by cutting off the sleeves.

Cut off the bottom seam.

Measure the length and cut across the middle.

Cut off the top section of the t-shirt.

Even out the sides.

Cut  into 4 pieces and enjoy your new cleaning towels.
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83 comments:

  1. Thank you for this post. I'm going to iherb next to order the oils. I like Mrs Meyers products(especially the Iowa Pine scent) but it gets so pricy.

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  2. Veganhomemaker, Thank you for your comment. You are right, it gets so pricy buying healthy cleaning products. The Aura Cacia essential oils also carry a Pine Scent and it is only $5.74 for the bottle. The bottle will last you forever and ever. Here is the link on iherb http://www.iherb.com/Aura-Cacia-Pine-Enlivening-0-5-fl-oz-15-ml/34018?at=0 Please let me know if you buy it and how you liked it. You could use it in either of these cleaners to replace the lavender:)

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  3. Great post! Thanks so much for this. I am always looking for natural cleaners that I don't need to buy. Do you have any tips for unclogging drains besides baking soda and vinegar? That hasn't been too affective for me.

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  4. The most expensive type of kitchen countertops is granite and it’s indestructible. It cannot be scratched easily and it’s not affected by heat. Granite is available in many stunning, natural colors. Laminate countertops are classy and affordable.

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  5. Foodfeud, have you tried boiling water along with the baking soda and vinegar. That has worked many times for me to clear the drains:)

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  6. Debbie,
    I got my oils from iherb yesterday. My girls loved helping me "mix up the potions" and I love how they smell and work! Thanks for a money saving tip!
    I also found a cleaner for stainless steel---2 parts white vinegar, 1 part water, a few drops of dish soap. Works great on my fridge!

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  7. Thank you for sharing these green housekeeping tips! Indeed, conventional house cleaners may contain chemical ingredients that can be hazardous to our health. I'm glad you made the switch.

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  8. Thank you for these cleaning solutions. I've found those rubbermaid bottles to be the best also. What is the reason for two cleaning solutions? Are there different uses for the peroxide vs. alcohol solutions? Can the peroxide cleaner be used on granite?

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  9. Made the rubbing alcohol cleaner today, works great! Having a hard time finding a 32oz round peroxide bottle, all I saw at the stores today were square bottles, I'll keep looking.

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    Replies
    1. Hi Elizabeth, you can find the round peroxide bottles at Walgreens if you have them where you live:) They are harder to find now.

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  10. Since you used a rotary cutter when cutting the t-shirts, does that stop them from "curlng" when after you wash and dry them?

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    Replies
    1. The rotary cutter is just for ease of cutting and getting more perfect squares. I don't think it helps in "curling", but I haven't had any problems with curling.

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  11. awesome post. I love the rubbing alcohol one. I add 3 drops of lavender oil, 2 drops orange citrus oil, and 2 drops of eucalyptus oil. It smells like an aveda salon when I clean. Works better on windows then windex:) I'll never go back to regular cleaners again. Thank you...

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    Replies
    1. I am so glad you tried the rubbing alcohol cleaner. The rubbing alcohol cleaner is also my favorite. I love the combinations you added and have actually used all of those myself:) They are perfect together. GREAT JOB!!

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  12. can you mix the tea tree oil and lemon oil with the alcohol cleaner as well? My daughter doesn't like the lavender oil smell, but I don't want to throw it out. I'm always worried about mixing different oils.

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  13. Is the effectiveness the same if I leave out lavender and lemon oils? My daughter is allergic to citrus oils and the lavender makes my husband sneeze... :/

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    Replies
    1. Hi Christina. Yes, you can totally leave out the essential oils in these cleaners. The essential oils add extra support for cleaning and the aroma therapy factor is nice, but not needed:)

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  14. The cleaning towels are a great idea. I am using them to wipe down my car after washing it.

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  15. What is the purpose of having 2 different cleaners? Can you mix peroxide with alcohol?

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    Replies
    1. The purpose is to just give several different options:) They are both good.

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  16. In the recipes that call for liquid dish soap, I use Dr. Bronner's castile soap. It is all natural, gentle on skin, good on the environment and is available in a variety of scents like lavender, almond, sweet orange and peppermint. It works great on windows, kitchen and bathroom counters, and even the stove top.

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  17. Hi there! Thanks for the tip. I decided to not dilute the hydrogen peroxide to make it stronger and it really works if you need to remove soap scum. Some that had been there for YEARS has started coming off! Especially wonderful since I am disabled and cannot scrub the tub the way I would like to. I ran out of lemon oil so used orange oil instead. Thanks again for the info. Now my bathroom is sparkly and smells terrific. :-)

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  18. Have you ever used 1/2 alcohol and 1/2 water with essential oils as a fabric/room refresher?

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  19. Great thing to keep your home healthy to live in with.

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  20. I have used a peroxide based acne treatment on my skin at night, and it bleached out the color on my pillow cases! Have you ever had the peroxide cleaner discolor anything?

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  21. Lavender Solution is really useful for your house, This cleaner that would kill germs without hurting anyone or also the other member of the house and leave my home sparkling clean..

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  22. I recently have began using alcohol in a spray bottle diluted to clean mostly everything. I use it full strength on the real tough jobs. It tackles dirt and grime and no need to rinse because it evaporates fast. Living with roommates it is a must have for me. It kills germs and is budget friendly. Also, the hydrogen peroxide is a great frugal alternative to bleach for disinfecting and whitening.

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  24. Great ideas. I cut up my husband’s (old) trousers and make them into cleaning cloths as they are lovely and soft-I just hem the edges with a funky colour on my machine with a zig zag stich. As he wears them until they have holes and are unwearable it is a good use of the rags.

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