Wellness 101: You can always find a way to make a store-bought product on your own. Sure, it might be slightly different when you DIY. But chances are it will have less ingredients, or at least none of those icky chemicals that can be toxic to our bodies.
Some household cleaners (not all) are filled with harmful ingredients. And while more research is needed to identify which chemicals are bad, and which are not, and how much of what our bodies can tolerate, there are still plenty of signs urging us to put down the spray bottle and rethink our cleaning routines.
One of the most dangerous aspects of some chemicals is their ability to disrupt our endocrine system. In other words, they may be able to signal our hormones to do some funky things. A recent study published by the American Chemical Society identified common pollutants that accumulate in house dust as triggers for pre-fat cells to turn into mature fat cells and attract more fat to be deposited (1). While the study only investigated the effects of house dust on mice, the conclusion still begs the question–can house dust and other environmental pollutants play a role in the development of obesity?
If that’s not motivation to clean, I don’t know what is! I won’t pretend to understand the complex interactions between man-made chemicals, humans, and the environment, and I won’t go so far as to say all cleaners or chemicals are inherently bad. But instead of getting rid of chemicals with other chemicals, consider making your own cleaners, using some of nature’s most powerful disinfectants: essential oils! Plus, they smell SO good!
Old habits die hard, and sometimes you may want that Clorox to get the job the done. But who’s to say you can’t start changing your cleaning routine, or at least try one bottle at a time? Right?!
Read on for some ridiculously easy (and ridiculously effective) DIY cleaners with essential oils!
Here’s what you’ll need:
- White vinegar
- Baking soda
- Fragrance-free/”clear” dish soap (I use this kind. That price is for a pack of 6–don’t worry, it’s NOT that expensive!)
- Essential oils. Some of the best ones for cleaning are lemon, tea tree, eucalyptus, peppermint, sweet orange, and lavender. You’ll see below that I use a different one for each cleaner, but feel free to mix and match! It might be worth doing some research on the internet before you try any of your own combinations. I get my oils from the Wedge Community Co-op. The brand is Aura Cacia. Their site offers great info on DIY with essential oils.
- Glass mason jars (mainly for the soft scrub) and 16 oz dark glass spray bottles (I use these.)
- A funnel (I did not have one, and used a makeshift funnel out of paper.)
- Jar labels
Let’s get started!
All-Purpose Surface Cleaner with Essential Oils
- 1.5 cups water
- 1/2 cup white vinegar
- 30-45 drops lemon essential oil
Add all ingredients to a 16 oz dark glass spray bottle.
Shake until combined. Begin spraying! (You may need to shake the mixture each time before you use it.)
Deep Clean Toilet Scrub with Essential Oils
This scrub is incredibly effective, and a must-have for the next time you deep clean your bathrooms!
– 1 cup water
– 1/2 cup baking soda
– 1/3 cup fragrance-free liquid dish soap (see recommendations above)
– 30-45 drops tea tree essential oil
1. Add all ingredients to a 16 oz dark glass spray bottle.
2. Shake until combined. Begin spraying! (You may need to shake the mixture each time before you use it. The baking soda can form clumps.)
Bath and Shower Soft Scrub with Essential Oils
This scrub clears away residue in a second. Plus, eucalyptus just smells so darn good!
– 3/4 cup baking soda
– 1/4 cup fragrance-free liquid dish soap (see recommendations above)
– 1 tbsp water (if needed, enough to make a paste)
– 30 drops eucalyptus essential oil
1. Add all ingredients to a 16 oz glass mason jar.
2. Stir until a paste forms.
Another tip: use caution with essential oils. They can be potent! If you feel that your mixture already has a strong scent, dial back on the amount of drops you put in. It might take some trial and error until you get the right combinations.