Many household cleaners contain harmful chemicals that are not good for our health or bodies. This is why it’s always better to make your own cleaners. They are so easy to make and are much better for everyone in your home. You can also buy more natural options for your cleaners, if you don’t have time to make your own. Before we get into how to make the DIY all natural cleaner, let’s go over some common toxins found in household cleaners.
To extend the shelf life of cleaning products, companies add parabens. They are a preservative that helps bacteria from growing in any product they’re added to. Parabens are known to mimic the functions of estrogen. Which can increase fat deposits, decrease muscle mass and contribute to reproductive issues in both men and women. It can increase the risks of breast cancer as well.
To increase the spreadability of cleaning products and to retain the scent more, companies add in phthalates. They are endocrine disruptors and are harmful to the environment as well. They can cause early puberty in girls and low sperm count in men.
Triclosan is used as an anti-bacterial agent in household cleaners. Overuse of triclosan in our society has contributed to bacteria that is resistant to antibacterial cleaners. It is a known hormone disruptor that can cause hormone imbalances and reproductive issues as well.
Ammonia is used in many cleaning products such as window cleaners, floor waxes and bathroom cleaners. It can cause lung irritation when it’s fumes are inhaled, which results in coughing, wheezing, or shortness of breath (to name a few). People who have asthma are at increased risk of experiencing these side effects.
Bleach/Chlorine or Sodium Hypochlorite
Bleach based cleaners are common in household cleaners, especially bathroom cleaners. If mixed with other cleaners containing ammonia, it creates a toxic gas. This gas can be deadly, depending on the amount of gas released and duration of exposure to the gas. It is more likely to cause lung irritation such as coughing wheezing, or fluid buildup in lungs. It can also cause nausea and burning, watery eyes. So don’t mix any store bought cleaners to avoid this happening.
Bleach itself is risky to have around simply because it is a hazardous chemical. If children or pets are in the home, it is a possible hazard for them to get into and harm themselves. You can disinfect more naturally with vinegar or with isopropyl alcohol for more difficult disinfecting jobs.
Quaternary Ammonium Compounds or QUATS
QUATS can be found in anti-bacterial cleaners. These compounds are skin and lung irritants. They also contribute to the issue of bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics and anti-bacterial cleaners.
Making Your Own D.I.Y. All Purpose Cleaner
Luckily, it’s very easy to make your own D.I.Y. All Purpose Cleaner at home for a fraction of the cost of an all natural cleaning product. I make the recipe in a large spray bottle (roughly 32oz). I only use 4-6 ingredients in my recipe, depending on if I want to add isopropyl alcohol or lemon juice to the recipe. (Note: of you add lemon juice and have cats in the house, you will only want to use it on surfaces that the cat will not be on. You wouldn’t want to use it on the floor)
What You’ll Need:
- 32 oz spray bottle
- 3 cups filtered water or distilled water
- 2 tbsps castille soap
- 1/2 cup isopropyl alcohol (optional)
- 1/4 cup lemon juice (optional)
- 15-20 drops of essential oils of your choice (I use lemongrass and rosemary)
Add all the ingredients into the bottle and gently shake to mix. Give it a little shake before each use as well. You can spray this DIY all natural cleaner on the surface to be cleaned and let it sit for a couple minutes before scrubbing to make it a little easier. The vinegar will break down the dirt and grime so you don’t have to scrub so hard.