Wednesday, July 24, 2013

DIY Green Cleaning Products

Green Cleaning Products
Today's environment is full of chemicals that are known carcinogens, which are linked to health problems such as breast cancer. Stores offer an array of household cleaning products that contain health-damaging chemicals. But our home is one place where we can control exposure to chemicals. Have you wanted to cut down on chemicals in your house by making your own cleaning products? This week we're privileged to have a guest post by Jennie Zraick whose done a complete make-over in her cleaning products.

One of my goals this past spring was to implement the use of homemade cleaners. They have less chemicals and cost pennies compared to commercial brands. Follow my Do-It-Yourself (DIY) recipes to make your own.

General Cleaning
A friend who sells essential oils got me some Thieves Household Cleaner concentrate. Love it! No getting high while cleaning the shower plus leaves a nice scent in the kitchen and other rooms. Otherwise, I use baking soda for cleaning. I purchased a Parmesan cheese shaker for the baking soda, making it a little easier to sprinkle on surfaces than using a scoop.

Dishwashing Machine Detergent
I've been using this detergent recipe in my dishwasher and can't tell the difference between it and the store bought brand:

1C Borax {20 mule team? Do I get 20 mules to come and clean?}
1C Baking Soda
1C Hot water
3 drops essential oil {I used tea tree oil because I had it on hand and it's a disinfectant}

Put all the ingredients in a glass jar and stir until the ingredients are dissolved. Don't put the lid on and shake it. The hot water will make the lid pop off (painful lesson learned when making gravy one time). 

It does tend to gel and clump a bit so give the jar a good shake, then pour it into the dishwasher as directed.

Use white vinegar as a rinsing agent if you need one.

Laundry Detergent
This recipe is modified from The Frugal Girls:

1/2 C Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda {not Baking Soda}
1/2 C Borax
1/3 Bar of Fels-Naptha Soap grated {Substitute Ivory soap, but use the whole bar}
Hot water

Divide the ingredients between 2 quart-size mason jars and fill with hot water to dissolve ingredients (you can put it in a blender to help everything dissolve). This makes it concentrateduse only 1Tbsp per load.

Add a couple of drops of essential oil (like lavender) for a nice scent. If you use a fabric softener, try using white vinegar instead. Several women swear by it. You can also cut dryer sheets in half.

Hand Sanitizer 
One thing that gives me the willies is the obcessive use of hand sanitizers. Especially when kids use it. A common ingredient is propylene glycol, a known carcinogen. YIKES... and its absorbed through your skin! They have their place, but I see people slathering them on constantly! This hand sanitizer recipe makes me feel a little better:

1 C aloe vera gel {get the 100% aloe vera gel with no added colors}
1-2 tsp witch hazel
25 drops tea tree oil

Mix together, adding more witch hazel until you like the consistency.

I hope this is helpful.

Thanks, Jennie. You are the DIY Queen.

Any questions? Or perhaps you have your own DIY cleaning product you'd like to add.