Sustainable living

Non-toxic DIY home cleaning

A lot of you try to stay healthy and promote a healthier and even safer environment around you by choosing what you eat and consume, regular workouts, vitamin intake, and so on. Some of you try to do it more sustainably than others by being more conscious of the packaging and how the product was made, what impact it has on the environment and similar.

However, not many of you are actually conscious and pay attention to every single thing that can have an effect on your health. Sure it is hard to keep an eye on everything and we believe that you are doing your best.

We are here to point out one thing that you may or may not know that has an impact on your overall health and can have a negative impact on it and that is – your cleaning products.

Why are cleaning products a threat to your health?

Cleaning products that you can find in your home are typically loaded with toxic ingredients and polluting substances that have an impact on long-term health and a lot of which contain ingredients harmful to the lungs.

We are going to point out a couple of the substances that are lurking around your home from the cleaning products.

Watch out for products with ingredients such as:

PERC – or Perchloroethylene is a neurotoxin which some institutions have classified it as ‘possible carcinogen’. It is often found in spot removers or carpet cleaners. It can cause dizziness, sleepiness, nausea, loss of appetite, and disorientation.

Triclosan – an aggressive antibacterial agent that can promote the growth of drug-resistant bacteria. It can be found mostly in liquid dishwashing detergents and antibacterial soaps.

QUATS – or Quarternary Ammonium Compounds that pose the same problem as triclosan by helping breed antibiotic-resistant bacteria and can be a skin irritant.

Ammonia – usually found in all-purpose cleaners, products for sinks or glass cleaners. It is a powerful irritant and when mixed with other toxic ingredients like chlorine can cause serious breathing problems and even be fatal.

Chlorine – can be found in toilet bowl cleaners, laundry whiteners and mildew removers. Chlorine bleach liquid and vapors can irritate the skin, eyes, nose and throat. You should never mix it with another household cleaning product.

Sodium hydroxide – also known as Lye and can be found in oven cleaners. It is very corrosive and if it touches your skin or gets in your eyes, it can cause severe burns.

These are some of the toxins that lurk into your household products and that can be very dangerous. So why would you want them near your home or in the air that you are breathing?

The effects of these cleaning substances

On one hand, they have terrible effects on you and because of that, a lot of institutions and organizations have taken up investigations about them. Cleaning ingredients vary in the type of health hazard they pose.

Some cause acute, or immediate, hazards such as skin or respiratory irritation, watery eyes, or chemical burns, while others are associated with chronic, or long-term, effects such as cancer.

On the other hand, these products have a bad impact on the environment as well. After “serving” you and your home, they go down the drains into sewers and then are discharged into nearby waterways.

The good thing is that there isn’t evidence of threats on the water quality because they break down into harmless substances. However, nearly all of the products are packed into plastic bottles and most of them are not even recycled after usage remaining problematic for the environment.

Effective & non-toxic homemade cleaning products

So, why bother buying toxic chemicals and rubbing them in your home, when you can make your own household cleaning products?

Most of the ingredients for your homemade cleaning products can be found in your home already, so that is a good start.

1.     All purpose cleaner

Mix:

  • ½ cup vinegar
  • ¼ cup baking soda
  • 2 liters of water.
  • Add a few drops of essential oil if you don’t want the smell of vinegar.

However, the smell will disappear within a few minutes after laying it on a surface. This all-purpose cleaner can be used all over the home to wipe down surfaces, and sanitize your home. Or you can take some orange peels and soak them in vinegar for 1-2 weeks. It doesn’t smell afterward.

Use for removal of water deposit stains on shower stall panels, windows, bathroom mirrors, etc.

2.     Stain remover

Mix:

  • ¼ cup white vinegar
  • ¼ cup bicarbonate of soda
  • squeeze a little liquid soap
  • 2 cups of water.

Shake and keep it in a spray bottle. Spray directly on stain, let sit for several minutes, and clean with a brush or sponge using warm soapy water.

3.     Drain cleaner

When you have a clogged drain just pour some amount of bicarbonate of soda and after pour white vinegar. The two ingredients will react together and break fatty acids, unclogging you drains. After a couple of minutes pour hot water down the drain for cleaning everything out and it’s as simple as that.

4.     Oven cleaner

Before applying the past, go through the interior of the oven with a watery sponge.

Mix:

  • ¾ cup baking soda
  • ¼ cup salt
  • ¼ cup water

Mix it into a thick paste and then spread it in the oven. You can let it sit longer, even over the night if you have any thick, greasy spots.

5.     Microwave cleaner

Place a small cup of vinegar and a squeeze lemon juice from half a lemon into the microwave. Turn it on for 2 minutes. Do not open immediately when it is done, but let it steam for a couple of minutes on the inside. After, open the microwave and just wipe down the inside of it with a damp cloth.

6.     Window and mirror cleaner

Be sure not to use this on hot days or warm windows as it can leave a stain.

Mix:

  • 1 part white vinegar
  • 4 parts water
  • Essential oil drops (optional, but for a fresh scent).

You can use a crumpled newspaper or a cotton cloth to clean. And be sure to use the black and white newspapers, not the colored ones.

7.     Toilet bowl cleaner

Mix:

  • ¼ cup baking soda
  • 1 cup vinegar.

Leave to sit for a few minutes and then scrub with the toilet brush. For rust stains, spray with vinegar and leave overnight before brushing with baking soda.

8.     Air freshener

There are a lot of ways to get rid of the smelly air and all those store-bought products are just covering the smell and leaving nasty substances in the air.

  • House plants are a good way to reduce odor in homes. And you can read more about house plants in our previous blog here.
  • Keep fresh coffee grounds on the counter
  • Have dried herbs lying around
  • Mix baking soda with lemon and leaving it in small dishes can also absorb odours.
  • Just slicing up a lemon and leaving it lying around.

Have a look at our online shop to see and read more about our sustainable phone necklace covers.