If you spill something on your counter or floor, you likely have some variety of “all-purpose cleaner” that you reach for, and it is most likely in a spray bottle.
But many of those chemical-laden cleaners are questionable at best and unsafe at the worst – their labels are festooned with warnings about accidental ingestion, inhalation of fumes, eye contact, skin contact, and so forth.
However, you are able to use the empty containers of these cleaners to hold your own home-made, nonpoisonous cleaners. Just make certain that you dispose of the contents responsibly (contact your local Environmental Protection Agency or solid waste authority) and wash out the bottle thoroughly if you decide to re-use.
Here are three recipes for all-purpose, non-toxic cleaners for your house. 2 of them are sprays and the other is a creamy scrubber. While they're non-toxic as far as cleaners go, it is not a good idea to ingest them or allow your toddler get into them unsupervised (after all, these recipes smell yummy!). But these cleaners are safe enough for your kids to help you clean with your supervision.
Lemon or Peppermint Creamy Scrub
In a 1-quart container (you can reuse an empty mayo jar or plastic yogurt container), mix:
- 1 cup baking soda
- 1/4 cup borax laundry booster
- 1 tablespoon liquid, biodegradable soap
- 5-10 drops lemon or peppermint essential oil
Add water and stir until you reach a thick consistency that can still be poured, similar to a thick milkshake. The thicker the consistency, the more powerful the cleaning power. Use this scrub to clean your bathroom and kitchen sinks, bathtub, faucets, and anyplace you'd use conventional soft scrubbers.
All-Purpose, Germ-Killing Spray
In a 1-quart spray bottle, mix:
- 1/2 cup of white vinegar
- 3 cups of water
- 10 drops of grapefruit seed extract or tea tree oil
- 1 teaspoon of biodegradable liquid soap
- 10-20 drops of lavender or lemon essential oil
Shake this spray well and utilize it on sinks, countertops, floors, or any smooth surface and rub with a cloth. For difficult stains on a hard surface or baked-on mess (such as in an oven or microwave), sprinkle baking soda over the stain or gunk and spray with the above spray until the baking soda is thoroughly dampened.
Allow it to sit for 15-25 minutes, and then rub with a cloth. The stain might demand some elbow grease, but the crusty stuff should come right off. You are able to even utilize this spray on windows.
Oil Soap Spray
In a 1-quart spray bottle, pour:
- 1 tablespoon of oil soap (found in the cleaning aisle of your local store)
- 10-15 drops of your favorite essential oil
Fill the bottle with water. Agitate well and utilize on floors (wood, vinyl or linoleum), cabinets, stoves, and so forth.
Now you are able to consider your house truly, naturally clean – not toxically clean!