Cleaning the Natural Way

I’ve been slowly moving towards less toxins in my home. This is quite the daunting task as our modern world is absolutely filled with chemical-laden products that aren’t good for us or our children. And even when we think we’re purchasing something “natural”, we may not be. It can make a girl just want to give up! I have had my moments of despair, of feeling like the little bit I am doing isn’t good enough, but making little changes slowly is still better than throwing in the towel and not changing anything.

My main strategy has been to replace products as I use them up. Initially this meant I was purchasing safer, more natural products than the conventional ones I had been using. But, as I referenced above, it’s hard to know whether these things ARE really non-toxic. A lot of times these products can cost a lot more as well. My family is on a tight budget so it’s hard to choose between buying the more expensive, natural cleaner or being able to purchase more fresh produce, for instance.

dr bronners peppermint soap

This led me to consider making my own natural cleaners. Just type natural or homemade cleaners into a search engine and you’ll instantly have lots of information and recipes to do this. I really just wanted to keep it simple though. Ideally I wanted to find a recipe to make a nice multi-purpose cleaner that was antimicrobial for kitchen and bathroom cleaning. I found what I was looking for on the Something Simple blog. You can check out the whole post if you’d like for more information, but the basic recipe I tried is as follows:

  1. Start with an empty 32 oz spray bottle. (I purchased one at Lowe’s for about $2.)
  2. Add a good-sized squirt of Dr. Bronner’s (I had peppermint on hand so that is what I used.)
  3. Add about ten or so drops of lemon essential oil for disinfecting power
  4. Fill the rest up of the bottle with water.
  5. Start cleaning!

I was immediately so thrilled by the scent! Conventional cleaners are SO strong and burn your nose and throat, not to mention give you a headache. This cleaner smells like sweet, fresh air. I almost wanted to spray it just to smell it! I used it right away on my kitchen countertops and was happy with the way it cleaned those and loved the way it gave my kitchen a refreshing smell as well.

The real test, I knew, would be my bathrooms though. I used it to clean my daughter’s bathroom first (tub, toilet, one sink). I sprayed the tub first to give it a little time while I cleaned the rest of the bathroom. This only took a couple minutes but in that time, the cleaner had started to work and I was able to easily wipe away the dirt/soap scum from the tub. Next I used it on the master bathroom (two sinks, toilet, jet tub and stand alone shower). I, once again, sprayed the tub and shower down first to let the cleaner get to work. One of the things I have trouble cleaning on my tub is the jets. They are hard to get to and get yucky fast. I was really happy with the way the cleaner cleaned these. I had an easier time using this cleaner on them than other store bought cleaners so that was really nice. The shower is probably the hardest part of my house for me to clean but I felt like I could satisfactorily get it clean with this. I will say, though, that the shower was the one area that I wasn’t thrilled with. Still, if I can clean everything else with this cleaner and find something better for the shower, I’d be thrilled!

I did find a wonderful shower cleaner recipe on Pinterest. It’s great for bathtubs, too so that is what I use for those and then use this cleaner for most of my other cleaning.

All in all, I was very happy with my little experiment. I’d love to hear how you clean without all the chemicals and your favorite homemade recipes in the comments!

This post has been edited from a previous version published as a guest post at I Thought I Knew Mama.

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