Cheap And Non-Toxic Household Cleaners

non toxic cleanersI love cleaning.  Seriously.  I clean every day. I also love knowing it’s done in a safe, non-toxic way.  I am very mindful of what I use around my home.  We all also know I am cheap. Thankfully the two happen to go together quite nicely.  Here are the products I use around my home, their effectiveness, and why you should use them too.

1. Hydrogen Peroxide.  If you’re not currently using this, I urge you to run to your nearest dollar store and pick up a bottle.  Or twelve.  Trust me.  You’ll thank me later.  It’s a miracle cleaner.  It is an excellent, odorless disinfectant. I use it to clean everything- cutting boards, kids toys, bathtub, kitchen sink, floors, and even as a bleach alternative in the laundry. I screw a sprayer on to the bottle, spray surfaces, let it sit a few minutes, and wipe away.  You’ll know it’s working because it’ll bubble.  I like imagining the bubbles are devouring the germs.

2. Vinegar.  Another amazing liquid.  Not only does it kill bacteria, it shines wood floors, cleans windows to a streak free shine, softens laundry (That’s right. It’s a fabric softener.  Slip a cup into the rinse cycle.  I promise your clothes will not smell like a giant salad.), and even repels fleas and ticks from your pets.

3. Baking Soda.  Combine it with a little water to form a paste and you have an amazing scrub.  I use this paste to clean my stove top. It also deodorizes rugs and removes smells from fridges. Sprinkle a little on your carpet, let sit 15 minutes then vacuum. Baking soda mixed with vinegar makes an excellent drain opener.

4. Dr. Bronner’s castile soap.  Love this in peppermint.  It can literally be used for anything from washing dishes, laundry, floors, and even your hair. This is the most expensive of the products I use.  It averages about $10 a bottle, but it lasts quite a long time.

5. Lemons. They smell lovely and are fantastic for cleaning windows, removing grease stains from clothing, and killing germs from cutting boards.

These are the only cleaning supplies I have in my home.  They are cheap, effective, and take up very little space.  What amazing, natural products do you use?

 

Homemade Lavender Deodorant

My bathroom cabinet currently contains four half used natural deodorants.  I had high hopes for each one.  In the end, they all let me down.  I’ve been trying for years now to stop using conventional deodorants.  They are chock full of toxic chemicals (aluminum, parabens) that cause anything from Alzheimer’s to breast cancer.   I’m not comfortable with this.  So I scoured the interwebs for a natural, cheap homemade option.  I took that knowledge, mashed up a few ingredients I already had in my cabinet and voila! A natural, cheap, EFFECTIVE deodorant was born.

What You’ll Need-

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2 TBSP baking soda

6 TBSP arrowroot (or cornstarch)

2 TBSP coconut oil, melted

10 ish drops essential oil of choice- I used lavender for this batch.

In a bowl combine all ingredients.  Mash into an empty deodorant container or leave it in a small jar.  Let it set a day or so to firm up.  Apply to underarms, let it soak in and go about your business.

Coconut oil liquifies at 76 degrees so I’ll generally use this recipe until the heat of summer hits.  Once it does, I’ll make another batch and add a little beeswax to keep it firm.  You could leave out this step and store the deodorant in the fridge.

There are a few things to keep in mind when transitioning to a natural deodorant.  One, it won’t keep you from sweating.  Sweating is what helps your body rid itself of toxins.  Embrace it.  You won’t smell.  This was a tough one for me as I absolutely hate to sweat.  I think I’d hate to have cancer more, though. Two, your body will go through an adjustment period (usually a week or so) now that your glands are no longer being blocked.  I urge you to wait it out.  Your body will thank you.

Homemade Lavender Laundry Detergent

100_1210We generate a lot of laundry in our house.  A LOT.  Between having a toddler and tending large gardens, I’m basically washing a load a day.  The cost of laundry detergent and electricity to dry them can add up pretty quickly.  Especially if you’re buying unscented, specially for sensitive skin brands.  Being the extremely frugal and practical person I am, I went online and researched homemade options.  There are many recipes out there for homemade detergent.  I find this recipe to be the best at getting out food, garden and oil stains.

 

What You’ll Need-

1 1/2 bars of your favorite soap, grated

1 C Borax (20 Mule Team) *Most stores carry this.  I buy it at Walmart.

1 C Washing Soda *I also buy this at Walmart.  In a pinch, you can take a 1 1/3 C of baking soda and bake it at 425 degrees for about an hour to make washing soda.

1/2 C baking soda

4 C water

1 5 Gallon bucket

essential oil- optional  I like lavender.

Instructions:

1- Pour 4 cups of water in a pot.  Add the grated soap and melt over low heat. I do this with an old pot I no longer use for cooking.

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2- Grab your 5 gallon bucket and fill it halfway with warm water.  Stir in the Borax, washing soda, and baking soda until it’s dissolved.

100_1225 Frankie likes to supervise.

3- Add the melted soap and stir.

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4- Fill the rest of the bucket with warm water.

100_1249 Frankie also likes to sleep on the job.

5- Add essential oil by the drop until you’re satisfied with the scent.

I usually divide this into smaller bottles to make it easier to use.  Be sure to shake the smaller bottles, or stir if you’re leaving it in the bucket, before each use.  You can also skip step 4 and use less per load.  Skipping this step will make a more concentrated detergent.

I’ve estimated using my own detergent to cost 3 cents a load.   Commercial detergents cost roughly 21 cents a load.  That’s a pretty big savings.  Also, a 5 gallon bucket lasts nearly 6 months.  It’s one less thing on my shopping list.

Once you’ve washed your laundry and it’s now smelling super, hang it up outside to dry.  If you’ve not slept on line dried sheets, you’re missing out on an amazing experience.

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