One of my favorite units I studied in Aromatherapy was Green Cleaning. It’s rather reassuring to know you can effectively clean your home without breathing in toxic fumes, or getting dangerous chemicals on your skin. Nor do you have to worry about your children doing the same. You can even have them take on some of the household cleaning! (My favorite part!)
The list of nasty ingredients in our cleaning products is immense. I won’t be listing many of them in this short post, but I will add a link at the bottom if you are interested in learning more, or scaring yourself to death! It really is scary when you start digging, and it will, most certainly, cause you to rethink your use of certain products.
Here are just a couple of the "biggies" that caused me to make some changes in our home.
Synthetic fragrance added to cleaners can cause respiratory irritation, allergies, headaches, irritated eyes, and, in some cases, exacerbate the symptoms of asthma.
Some products contain chemicals that are considered “hormone disruptors”. Those alone can carry some seriously scary consequences, such as various types of cancer, and birth defects. These hormone disruptors can also block or mimic the actions of hormones, and increase the rate of certain cancers.
Drain cleaners, and toilet bowl cleaners, contain some of the most dangerous chemicals. Chemicals such as chlorine and ammonia produce noxious fumes that are irritating to the eyes, nose, throat, and lungs. They can also cause serious damage, like burns and dermatitis, to the skin.
Lest we forget, many of those chemicals go down our drains and into the sewage system, and possibly ending up in our waterways if they cannot be broken down. This, of course, poses an enormous threat to wildlife and fish. I shudder to think of my kids eating meat or fish contaminated with chemicals!
The choice to switch to Green Cleaning is not only safer for our families, and wildlife, but has incredible health benefits! Eliminating toxins and chemicals in our home environment can be life-changing for some allergy and asthma sufferers. By adding certain essential oils, especially those lovely citrus oils, you can be boosting your, and your families, immune systems! Not to mention your home will smell amazing!
Below are just a few fabulous swaps for some of the products you may have in your home. Feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have a product you would really like a Green Cleaning swap for. I ‘d be thrilled to give you some great ideas!
- 1 cup baking soda (Great for absorbing odors!)
- 20 to 30 drops of your favorite essential oil/oils
- Set in various rooms in your home
- Set water, in a pot, on the stove to simmer
- Add 12 to 15 drops of essential oils
ALL-PURPOSE CLEANING SPRAY
- 2oz water
- 1 tsp Castile Soap
- 1/4 cup Vinegar
- 2 tbsp Isopropyl Alcohol (or 100 proof alcohol if you prefer)
- 25 to 30 drops of essential oil/oils (Our Sunshine blend is perfect, and smells amazing!)
- 4oz spray bottle
- Shake before use.
TOILET BOWL CLEANER
- 1/4 cup baking soda
- 1 cup vinegar
- 15 drops of essential oils (Again, our Sunshine blend would rock!)
Pour the mix in the bowl and let it sit for 15mns before scrubbing.
*You can add Citric Acid to this recipe for hard water stains.
FIZZY BOWL BOMBS
- 1 1/3 cup baking soda
- 1/2 cup citric acid
- 1tsp water
- 30 drops Lavender Essential Oil
- 20 drops Peppermint Essential Oil
- 30 drops Orange, Mandarin, Lime, or Lemon Essential Oil
Mix baking soda and citric acid first, then add water (you may need to add a touch more water if the mix isn't sticking together well.
Poor into ice cube tray, silicone mold, or muffin tins and let them dry for a minimum of 3 hours.
- 2 cups water
- 3 tbsp Castile Soap
- 30 drops of our Resistance Blend
- 8 oz spray bottle
DRAIN DE-CLOGGER (Recipe from PopSugar)
- 1/4 cup baking soda
- 1/4 cup salt
- 1/4 cup Cream of Tartar
- 2 cups boiling water
Mix the first three ingredients together and pour into the drain. Pour in the boiling water and let it sit in the drain for an hour. Rinse with cool water.
*If you don't have any luck with this recipe you can try 1 cup baking soda and 1 cup vinegar. Allow it to sit overnight, then pour 2 cups of boiling water down the drain.
The Environmental Working Group is an excellent resource for information about dangerous products and safer alternatives. They even have a grading system for most household products on the market.