It’s Spring time, finally! I’m hopping for joy right alongside that giant white rabbit we call “Bunny”. As the daffodils and hyacinths begin popping up with their vibrant color, I’m thinking it’s time to spruce up the house.
Because I’m often asked what cleaning solutions I use (especially what I use to replace chlorine bleach and disinfectant cleaners), I’ve decided to share a “Works For Me Wednesday” here on Eco Child’s Play. I don’t want to bring toxic cleaners into my home where my children sleep, eat and play, do you? Give these solutions a try, I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised!
Basic household cleaning- (based on 16 oz bottle size, alter amounts as needed)- you’ll need a clean recycled spray bottle, your choice of 1/8 cup apple cider vinegar or 1/8 cup lemon juice, fill the remainder of the bottle with water. Spritz and wipe down with a damp Skoy cloth. Toss the Skoy into the microwave to sanitize afterward so its clean and ready for the next time. We use this on counter tops, tables, chairs, to clean spots off the floor, wiping down the walls, etc…
Garbage disposer odor solution- toss a couple lemon or lime slices and grind up. Rinse. Your disposal will smell citrus fresh.
Wood floor cleaner- Mix equal amounts of white vinegar and water, add 1/2 teaspoon tea tree, eucalyptus, or peppermint oil. I like to use this in a spray bottle to wet the floor and then go over it with my washable microfiber floor pad.
Natural “magic eraser” for walls and hard surfaces- take a damp Skoy cloth, fold it in half and half again, sprinkle baking soda on top and gently rub the marks away.
Window cleaner- 1 teaspoon vinegar and 16 oz water in a clean, recycled spray bottle. Use a microfiber cloth and do not clean windows in direct sunlight or they will dry quickly and streak. Don’t under-dilute vinegar because it can etch glass overtime.
Air freshener- place plants out around the house… several in each room, Peace Lily and Snake plants are two great air cleaning plants. Dried potpurri sitting out in bowls (make your own from rose petals or cinnamon). Peppermint, eucalyptus or tea tree oil (or your favorite smell) in a warmer or on the stove in a small pan of water.
Disinfectant- Keep a spray bottle of (standard household) hydrogen peroxide on hand. Wipe the surface clean of debris, then spritz with hydrogen peroxide and allow to sit for several minutes. Wipe clean. Spritz with a solution of 1 tsp tea tree oil in 16 oz water. Allow to air dry. Another option is to wipe surfaces with pure lemon juice and allow to dry. Only use disinfectant when needed (like after cutting up raw meat and bouts of virus or diarrhea). Overuse of disinfectant can be counter-productive and can lead to resistant strains of bacteria. (No complaining about waiting for liquids to dry, chlorine bleach needs a full 30 minutes in contact with a clean surface to kill bacteria.
Housecleaning wipes- cut up microfiber or organic cotton to desired wipe size (6×6 or so), place in a container with a lid (we have an old diaper wipe tub laying around that is the perfect size for this), pour a solution of 1/8 cup vinegar, 16 oz water and 1/2 tsp essential oil over the wipes until saturated but not dripping. Close lid and let rest until ready to use. Once you use a cloth, toss it into the laundry.
Of course, the Vinegar of Four Thieves is also a popular natural cleaner. Did I mention how inexpensive it is to make your own cleaners versus purchasing commecially prepared (and potentially toxic) cleaners.