The public is beginning to become more aware of the chemicals in the products we use every day. Not only do these chemicals harm our personal health and wellbeing, but they harm our environment and our planet.
Often times the cleaning solution we are looking for can be found in our own pantries, and it’s not a bottle of 409. You can save your health, your environment and your wallet with these simple, all-natural recipes. Plus, they smell great (no more pungent artificial cleaner fumes that you’re afraid to inhale).
Do they kill 99.9999% of germs? No. But is complete sterilization something we really want in our homes, or just our hospitals?
These home cleaning recipes will perform everything you need them to without overdoing it.
Homemade All-Natural Hand Sanitizer
Store bought hand sanitizers can be pretty harsh, but this recipe uses all natural ingredients to get the job done in a pinch (although the best cleaning method is the classic soap and water). These three essential oils are known to have specific bacterial, viral and fungal-fighting properties. Witch hazel serves as an antibacterial agent due to its high alcohol content. It can be omitted if you prefer to make your sanitizer alchohol-free.
Stir everything together and store in a cool place out of direct sunlight for up to one month.
Homemade Naturally Scented Fabric Softener
Most commercial fabric softeners contain chemicals and are harmful for the environment. This recipe uses baking soda, which neutralizes acidic substances in stains, makes whites whiter, removes odors and is safe on sensitive skin – not to mention affordable and eco-friendly.
Mix everything and store in a jar with a tightly fitted lid. Add 2-3 tablespoons to your laundry before rinsing.
Homemade Mosquito Repellent
Many people are opposed to using repellents containing DEET, and for good reason. This harsh chemical is highly toxic and should not be coming in contact with out skin. Luckily, you can now make your own repellent at home. Various scientific studies have proven lemon eucalyptus and neem essential oils to be just as effective as DEET when it comes to repelling insects, and vanilla extract, soybean and coconut oil have been shown to increase effectiveness of the repellent when used in combination with the essential oils.
-25 drops lemon eucalyptus or neem essential oil
-1 tsp real vanilla extract (quality is important; the compound vanillin is what increases repellent effectiveness)
-4 oz witch hazel OR 2 oz witch hazel & 2 oz soybean or coconut oil
Mix everything together in a spray bottle with a tightly closed cap to prevent leaks. Apply to clothes and exposed skin.
Homemade All-Purpose Cleaner
Most home cleaning products are stronger and harsher than they need to be. Instead of sterilizing everything with toxic chemicals, this all-natural solution is much gentler while still getting the job done.
Mix all ingredients in a spray bottle and fill the rest of the bottle with water. Shake before use.
Homemade Reusable Lemon Dust Rags
Anyone that lives with dogs or in a windy, dusty part of the country knows that there’s always something to be wiped down for dirt in the house. This recipe will do just the trick without toxic chemicals or a waxy residue, and the lemon scent is oh-so-refreshing.
-2 cups of water
-2 cups of white vinegar
-2-3 drops of olive oil or lemon essential oil
-Dustcloths, rags, cut up cloths/towels
Mix the liquids together thoroughly. Soak the rags and wring out excess liquid, lying them flat. Peel the lemons and place some pieces of the peel on the rags. Roll up the rags with peel inside and store in a glass jar with an airtight lid. Boil regularly after use and reinfuse with olive/lemon oil.
Homemade Silky Chemical-Free Shaving Cream
Industrial shaving creams can leave skin itchy and irritated due to harsh chemicals, not to mention harm the environment when it’s flushed down the drain. With a little elbow grease, you can make your own that will leave your skin silky smooth and chemical free.
-2/3 cup Shea nut oil or Shea butter
-2/3 coconut oil
-1/4 cup olive oil or grapeseed oil
-10-20 drops of essential oils of choice (neroli, lavender or chamomile are my favorites)
-2 tablespoons of baking soda
-Contents of 2 vitamin E capsules (optional)
Melt coconut and shea oil together, then turn off the heat and mix in the olive/grapeseed oil. Add essential oil. Pour into container of choice and put in fridge to harden. Once set, remove and let soften a little. Add baking soda and vitamin E capsules and beat with electric mixer until fluffy (like frosting). Store in a cool, dark area for up to one month.
Note about essential oils: essential oils are highly concentrated and should never be applied directly to the skin or consumed internally. To test for allergies before use, dilute one drop in several tablespoons of a carrier oil and test on the skin. Since they are so highly concentrated, a small bottle of less than an ounce will last a very long time.