Homemade green cleaning products – Part I

Today I’m writing about a thing that I like very much: green cleaning.
I few months ago I watched a documentary that opened my eyes about how much unnecessary chemicals we put into our homes. It’s called Chemerical (it’s on Netflix). They challenge a family of five, addicted to cleaning products, to only use natural things to clean the house. I was surprise to learn that products that we use at a daily basis, like dishwasher soap, liquid soap and multi-purpose cleaners, are filled with dangerous chemicals components.

An example: conventional dishwasher detergents have in their ingredients polyethylene and alcohol alkoxylates. Most of the time, when we take the dishes off the dishwasher, there are still fragments of these chemicals in our plates, glasses and forks. And yes, we end up ingesting them. In a long-term period, this ingestion can cause diseases like cancer, reproductive effects, respiratory effects, damage to DNA, digestive system effects and skin irritation

Also, the majority of dish soaps contain phthalates, which can lead to reduced sperm count in men and possibly even liver cancer (source).

I was very impressed to know all this stuff and I wanted protect me and my husband as soon as possible. I read a lot of articles and for that day on vinegar, water and baking soda became my best friends. I found lots of nice and simple recipes on the internet too, and I’ll share them with you.

I’ll break this post in 3 parts, so it won’t be too long. In this first one I’ll show you how to make a multi-purpose citrus cleaner and a liquid dish soap.

So, lets begin! First, the multi-purpose citrus cleaner.

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All-purpose cleaners can contain hazardous chemicals such as ammonia, ethelyne glycol monobuytl acetate, sodium hypochlorite and trisodium phosphate. These chemicals can irritate the skin, eyes, nose and throat; and can also be highly poisonous when swallowed. Then you ask me, “but how would I ingest all-purpose cleaners”? Well, imagine you cleaned your counter top with this product. Then, you decide to make a food that has direct contact with your counter top, like if you need to knead dough to make bread, pizza or something like that. These chemicals go into your food and you don’t even notice.

I got this easy and very effective recipe in a very nice website called Lexie: Naturals. I absolutely love this! It’s good to clean the counter tops, the stove, fridge, toilet bowl and even wood floors. And it’s pretty easy to make too!

You’ll need:

  • Glass container
  • Orange peels (Or any other citrus fruit peels,  I used mandarin and lime. Makes it smell great plus it adds cleaning power.)
  • 2 tbsp. salt (I used sea salt)
  • Vinegar
  • Water
  • Essential oil – optional (I used tea tree and sweet orange)

1. First peel the orange, lime or any citrus fruit. If you don’t have glass containers you can fill any containers that you have.

2. Add the salt to the peels and let them sit for 20-30 minutes (or longer).  This will pull the oils from the peels and will make your cleaning solution stronger.

3. Fill the containers with vinegar and water.  I usually fill with 1/2 vinegar and 1/2 water You can also add water at the end when you fill the spray bottle if you feel like it’s too much vinegar.

4. Put a tight fitting lid on the jar and let the solution sit and be pretty for 2-3 weeks.  The longer it sits the better.

5.  Strain the solution and fill a spray bottle with your 100% natural citrus cleaner!

 

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P.S: Some people think that if they use vinegar to clean, their house is going to smell like salad. Don’t worry, the vinegar evaporates completely in seconds, leaving no smell at all.

And now, the liquid dish soap. Pretty easy too, it’s from the blog The Humble Homemaker. The nice thing is that we use the citrus cleaner is this recipe! I love this soap, it does the job very well.

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You’ll need:

  • 1/2 cup liquid castile soap
  • 1/8 cup water
  • 4 drops essential oil scent of choice (I used sweet orange and tea tree)
  • 1 tsp. homemade all-purpose citrus cleaner (1tsp. of vinegar can be an alternative here if you don’t have your homemade citrus cleaner yet)

1. Just mix everything together and store it in an old liquid dish soap bottle or any container that you have in hands! I used an old (but very clean) shampoo bottle. That’s it! Now you have a phthalates-free liquid dish soap!

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My “peace & love” liquid dish soap

I hope this encourage a lot of people to make their own cleaning products. You’ll go green and plus, you’ll save a lot of money!

On my next post, I’ll show you how to make a dishwasher detergent, so stay tuned 🙂

Gabriela

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2 thoughts on “Homemade green cleaning products – Part I

  1. Pingback: Homemade green cleaning products – Part II | Outland at Home

  2. Pingback: Homemade green cleaning products – Part III | Outland at Home

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