Lately, we’re bombarded with the notion of non-toxic and natural living; this includes our home and cleaning products. We have so many websites, magazines, and bloggers encouraging us to do better and clean up our act. But, it can get really overwhelming. What products are actually natural, do they really work and how do we find the best products without breaking the bank or our backs?
No one wants to use chemical filled products that are damaging to our health, but not many people want to take the time to conduct in-depth research on the matter and provide us with easy, simple and cheap alternatives either. That’s why we came up with 5 easy swaps that we can make to our cleaning routine right now, which will make our homes safer, cleaner and healthier places to be.
1. Dryer Balls
Let’s face it, we all hate doing laundry. It takes up hours of our day and then we have to fold and put it away too – come on! I might not be able to solve the age-old laundry problem, but I can help make it more eco and health conscious. Sure, dryer sheets make our clothes smell nice, but are filled with artificial fragrances that can be harmful to our health and breathing. They are also packed with toxic chemicals such as formaldehyde and acetaldehyde (a toxic compound of ethanol).
Dryer balls are a cost-effective and easy solution to this problem. Most dryer balls are made of wool and many sites claim they last up to 1,000 loads. If you do laundry as much as me, that probably means they would last upwards of a decade! Wool dryer balls can be found pretty much anywhere, from Amazon to Etsy. They can be added to a load of laundry, just as you would a dryer sheet, to help cut down dry time, static and keep our clothes soft. Used to that fresh laundry scent? Not to worry, you can simply add 5 to 7 drops of essential oils to the dryer balls to create your own custom scent. Personally, I like to use lavender or bergamot.
2. Air Freshener | Room Spray
Air fresheners and deodorizers are chockfull of artificial fragrances and harmful phthalates, which can be disruptive to the body and cause reproductive abnormalities. This includes all air fresheners, such as plugins; sprays and even those jelly beads.There are so many natural alternatives to combat odour and freshen up our homes – this should be a super easy and quick swap!
There are a lot of plants that can naturally clean the air. Just by adding a little greenery to our homes, we can get cleaner air and feel like we’re living in our own little garden. Spider Plants and Peace Lilies both help to remove formaldehyde and carbon monoxide from the air and are super low maintenance.
Don’t have a green thumb? No worries, there are lots of natural air freshening sprays too.
DIY Deodorizing Spray:
- 3/4 cup water
- 2 tablespoons vodka or rubbing alcohol
- 6 drops melaleuca essential oil (aka tea tree oil)
- 8 drops lemon essential oil
- 4 drops eucalyptus essential oil
Combine in a glass spray bottle, shake well, and spray as needed.
3. Microfibre Cloths
Paper towels might be super absorbent, but they’re also super wasteful and are a one-and-done product. We have to throw them away after only one use and while they’re super convenient, they’re a huge waste of paper, not to mention a massive money suck as well.
Microfibre cloths, made with durable, dense fibres, will not only hold up through hundreds of washes, but they also have the ability to remove dirt, oil, dust and more from hard surfaces without any additional cleaning sprays.
4. All-purpose Cleaner
Traditional all-purpose cleaner is made up of tons of toxic and harmful chemicals. We spray our kitchen counters, bathrooms, and tables with these cleaners, filling our house and our bodies with lots of nasty ingredients. This can’t lead to anything good!
Essential Oils are amazing for naturally cleaning our homes. They are antibacterial, they reduce odour and can even help in removing stains. Vinegar and baking soda are also amazing for cleaning stains and surfaces. There are tons of DIY recipes using the ingredients I just mentioned, but there are also so many amazing natural cleaning brands available to us at the grocery store and online that it seems silly not to make this swap.
DIY All Purpose Cleaner
- 1 cup white distilled vinegar
- 2 cups water
- 20 drops lemon or orange essential oils
Combine in a glass spray bottle (use within 1 month)
5. Hand Soap
While we don’t technically clean our homes with antibacterial hand soap, we do use it to wash our hands, and then we touch our food, mouths, kitchen utensils etc. Hand soap indirectly affects almost all aspects of our home and our health. Traditional hand soaps contain Sodium Lauryl Sulfate or SLS, parabens, synthetic colors and ethanol to name a few.
Regular castile soap diluted with water is a fantastic natural and cost-effective alternative, just like many other natural products we spoke of, there are so many new and emerging natural brands on the market now that we can pick up and try out. We could even try a different brand or DIY soap in each room of the house until we find one we absolutely love.