6 Steps to a Naturally Clean Home
Are you overwhelmed at the thought of transforming your home into a naturally clean, non-toxic environment?
When I had little ones crawling around on the floor, I was far less worried about the dirt than I was about the cleaners I was using like carpet fresheners and cleaning sprays. The thought of them putting their little fingers in their mouths and rubbing their eyes after crawling around on the carpet or the kitchen floor bothered me more after I cleaned than before!
Plus my kiddos had super sensitive skin and for a while we dealt with eczema plaguing two of my boys. At the time there weren’t many options in my neck of the woods and most people just gave me the advice of slathering on goop that really just covered up the issues.
I turned to making my own cleaners. It took a lot of research and I got a ton of criticism, but now when I look back I am so glad I stuck with it!
Here are some easy steps you can take to have a naturally clean and non-toxic home.
6 Steps to a Naturally Clean Home
Commercial cleaners are packed full of allergens, toxins, and irritants. According to the EWG, asthma, cancer, reproductive and developmental problems can be direct results from using and inhaling these commercial cleaners.
1. Start small.
When you first start out on this natural living journey, it can be easy to feel like you want to toss out everything you own in favor of more natural alternatives. This can quickly become an overwhelming task and it can cost a lot of money!
Instead of suddenly turning over your entire life, start small. Pick one area in your home, or even just one cleaner to replace. Get in the groove of using or making that one natural cleaner and once you have that down, move on to the next thing. It won’t take long before you notice that your home is transforming into a naturally clean environment.
2. Stock up on inexpensive natural cleaning ingredients.
If you head into a health store or search the “natural” section at your local grocery store, you will probably want to forget it all when you compare the price of all the natural cleaners to what you have been using. Even on Amazon, when you first look at those prices, it seems daunting to switch over.
The good news, though, is that most homemade natural cleaners are far less expensive than conventional store bought products.
Think of how inexpensive baking soda and alcohol are. Start stocking up on simple, inexpensive ingredients. These are a few I always have on hand:
- baking soda
- distilled white vinegar
- cheap alcohol (try vodka, not the rubbing kind) and
- hydrogen peroxide
3. Make “all-purpose” cleaners.
With conventional store-bought cleaners, marketers make sure you feel like you need a different cleaner for each area and item in your house:
- counter tops
- toilet bowls
You name it! But with just a couple good natural cleaners, you will discover that you can clean virtually every surface in your home. No more need for 30 bottles of yucky poisons under your kitchen sink.
Here’s an easy DIY post with six different recipes: dish soap, dishwasher detergent, foaming hand soap, disinfectant wipes, soft scrub, and even dryer sheets. I’m a fan of Cleaning Essentials products, too. (Here’s my post all about them.)
The natural cleaners that I like for my house and family may not work for you. Experiment with different cleaners and give yourself permission to not like a certain recipe. Experiment and find what is right for you and your family.
For example, you might not like a certain odor. Some people, or their husbands (ahem), are sensitive to the smell of vinegar or you may not like the thought of keeping vodka under the kitchen sink!
5. Give it time.
If you are completely new to natural cleaners, it can take some time to adjust to using them. Relax, you’ll get the hang of it. It will become second nature to reach for certain essential oils to add to your cleaner or mix up a batch of homemade laundry detergent.
It can seem like a lot all at once, but do your research and try one recipe at a time.
6. Keep the recipes handy.
When you find a recipe you like, tape it to the inside of the cabinet where you keep your supplies or even to the side of the bottle so it’s easy to find. (And let me just mention, this is part of what I love most about Cleaning Essentials: the bottles have the recipes on them!)
I found that I am far more likely to make my own rather than reach for the old store bought cleaners if I have the recipes and ingredients in my house!
Resources for learning more
The Naturally Clean Home by Karyn Siegel-Maier – This is a small book with a powerful message. Karyn gives you the research and practical recipes to transform your home into a natural environment.
The EWG’s Guide to Healthy Cleaning
The EWG’s Household Cleaner Ratings and Ingredients
The EWG’s Guide to Cleaning Supplies and Your Health
Actually, I don’t do ‘green’ cleaning at home. Sometimes I buy eco-friendly products but that’s all. I’m not sure that homemade cleaners work, especially for extremely dirty areas, like ovens and microwaves. But I admire the idea of a naturally clean home and I’m open for experiments 🙂
Thanks for the post!