How many cleaning products do you have under sinks, in cabinets, or stuffed on shelving? Before I discovered there’s another way to clean, I had at least 10-15 different products in my cleaning kit. Each bottle had its singular, specialized use, and while they did all get used (on the rare occasion I did full-on cleaning… ?), I had to wear a gas mask to keep from flaring up my asthma with the fumes.
In Detoxing for Chemo, we talked about the importance of reducing the toxic load on our bodies. So for the next 3 weeks, we’ll be talking about some DIY, nontoxic, essential oil based products to help reduce toxic load! I’m sharing all my secrets here.
So, guess how many cleaning products I use to clean my house NOW?
No, really. GUESS!
THREE! I clean my ENTIRE house with THREE cleaning products!
Now, before you call heresy and threaten to burn me at the stake, I will be the first to admit I am NOT the world’s best homemaker. I love writing, thinking, teaching, and reading. I don’t even mind cooking and doing the laundry. But, CLEANING? I’d just rather not. Or, to be more precise, I’d rather be doing something else!
(Now when you come visit my house, you won’t be the least bit surprised at the dust. ☺️)
Let me add a couple other disclaimers here, too:
- I don’t do deep cleaning… EVER, really… So, these 3 products cover the basic, weekly cleaning I need to keep our kitchen and bathrooms livable.
- As I have confessed to my email crew previously, I’m a closet DIY-er. I DIY these cleaning products because they meet my family’s needs and they’re easy — not because I’m great at creating cute labels. The labels on my cleaning supplies right now are duct tape or peel-and-sticks from my label maker. Function over pretty here, folks. (If you’re great at creating cute labels for these types of DIY projects, PLEASE let me know! I’m totally up for a collaborative effort here!)
So, if I’m going to clean, it HAS to be easy. And it has to be fast, effective, and non-toxic, too.
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As always, I am not a health professional, and I do not play one on the internet. I am simply a mom sharing her best tips and tricks for supporting her family’s health and wellness. Always talk with your doctor before beginning a new wellness routine — bonus points if you can find a holistic practitioner or Functional Medicine doctor near you! View my complete terms & conditions here.
Enter DIY, essential oil-based products!
I honestly can’t even remember how long I’ve been making my own cleaning products. It was before Erik & I got married, so I started at least 6 years ago. In all that time, I’ve only made minor adjustments to my recipes. Easy. As. Pie! (Though I have NO idea who made up that saying because making a pie crust is NOT easy!! I digress…)
Other than dusting with a microfiber cloth (not as often as I should) and running the vacuum cleaner over the carpets, these three recipes do it all. Check it out:
I use this Soft Scrub-like paste to scrub our tubs, showers, and sinks. It easily removes anything I’ve had growing — er… STUCK ON! — our bathroom surfaces. Even if I get super busy and forget to scrub the tubs or sinks for a month (or two…), everything scrubs off REALLY easily. Hooray!
Also, this scrub dries out and becomes a BRICK if it’s exposed to air too long, so be sure to seal it up TIGHT in whatever container you use.
Tub Scrub Recipe
- 3/4 c. baking soda
- 1/2 c. liquid castile soap (I use Dr. Bronner’s baby mild variety.)
- 1-3 T water (add 1T at a time until it’s the right consistency. A little soupier than paste is preferable because of that BRICK factor.)
- 10 drops Melaleuca essential oil
- 10 drops Lemon essential oil
- 1 T Vinegar
- In a medium bowl, combine baking soda, castile soap, water, and EO.
- SLOWLY add the vinegar. It will bubble up quite a bit as it reacts with the baking soda.
- Add more water 1T at a time until the mix is fairly soupy, but still has some substance to it. (If you know the consistency of Soft Scrub, that’s the goal. But, like I said, runny is good for this recipe, since it will dry out as it sits.)
- Store in a 2c.+ container with a tight-sealing lid. Wide and flat gives you better access, rather than a tall mason jar or the like.
- Use a strong, textured, scrubby sponge to dip out however much paste you need for your cleaning project. (I always just add more, if needed, as I go. No big.)
- Scrub and rinse.
Easy, right?? One batch of this recipe lasts me several months. I haven’t been super consistent with my cleaning routine lately, and we had a cleaning lady come once a month while I was in chemo, so I’m not sure EXACTLY how long it will last. If you use it more often, obviously, you’ll use it up more quickly, but it’s still a good, healthy amount of scrub. I’ve never had it go bad, aside from the brick factor. Even then, I still use it!
I used to double this recipe and keep it in a recycled macaroni salad container from Kroger. If you find yourself having to re-make this scrub more often than you like, just double or triple the recipe!
We use this spray for just about EVERY cleaning task in our house. We use it to wipe down our counters and table every day, clean the outside of the toilets, and clean up any spills. We even spray it on the floor ahead of our microfiber mop to clean the hard-surface floors.
On the rare occasion I get annoyed enough to deep clean the kitchen floors, I get down on my hands and knees with this spray and a textured rag to SCRUB the floor clean. (So, I DO deep clean periodically, I guess. Just not with any sort of regularity!)
Multi-Purpose Spray Recipe
- 1 spray bottle
- 1/3 white, distilled vinegar (could probably use ACV, but I haven’t tried it)
- 2/3 water
- 15-20 drops Lemon essential oil
- Fill your spray bottle 1/3 of the way with vinegar. (So, no, those “measurements” are NOT a typo above.)
- Fill the remaining 2/3 of the bottle with water. (Tap is fine.)
- Add essential oil, cap, and shake.
- Shake before each use. (Since oil & water don’t mix, you’ll need to re-integrate the EO each time.)
- Spray directly on the spot to be cleaned (great for stove tops with stuck-on food) or onto a rag and scrub. For stuck-on or just-won’t-come-off messes, spray directly on the mess, let it sit for 5 minutes, then come back and wipe it away like magic.
Toilet Bowl Cleaner
This is the only product in my cleaning kit that has only one use. But, really, I don’t want to stick my hand in the toilet to scrub it with my tub scrub — which would theoretically work, but NO. And the multi-purpose spray just gets diluted with all the water, so it’s not terribly effective. Oh, well. Only having three products is STILL pretty awesome, even if one is single-purpose!
The original recipe came from MyMerryMessyLife.com, but I like having more soap than water in the mix. It just seems to bubble up better. ☺️
The other note about this recipe is that it can set up and clog the squirt top, if you’re not careful. So, I just rinse out the top before or after each use to make sure it’s clear. If you find you still have baking soda and soap in the container, but it’s too thick to use, dilute with more water. I have a feeling the water just evaporates off since the squirt caps aren’t a tight seal.
Toilet Bowl Cleaner Recipe
- 1/2 c. liquid castile soap
- 1 1/2 c. water
- 2 T baking soda
- 10 drops Melaleuca essential oil
- 10 drops Lemon essential oil
- Mix all ingredients in a large squirt bottle (at least 16oz or larger). (We use a recycled baby bubble bath container that had a squirt top. Remember how I said I’m not concerned about pretty? Reuse, folks! ?)
- Shake, shake, shake before every use to make sure everything is incorporated.
- Squirt mix inside toilet bowl — along the sides and under the lip, NOT directly in the water — and use a toilet bowl brush to scrub it clean.
- For stubborn stains, let the bubbles sit for a few minutes before rinsing.
- Flush to rinse. (I flush twice, just to get all the bubbles down.)
There you have it!
My three easy, DIY, nontoxic cleaning recipes to clean just about everything in your home. What could be simpler than that??
Like I said, I don’t deep clean much around here, so what other types of cleaning products would YOU need in a DIY cleaning kit? Let me know in the comments!
And don’t forget: making your own DIY, non-toxic cleaning products is only ONE piece of the reducing toxins puzzle! Be sure to snag your FREE Home Health Arsenal Guide to take your EO game to the next level!
If you’re looking for more information about essential oils, please contact me on Facebook! I’d love to chat with you and help you decide what oils would work best for your situation. ?
Also, if you’d like some great, non-brand-specific EO resources — actually it’s a full LIBRARY of EO resources, including 16 eBooks & printables and 10 eCourses! — be sure to check out the Herb & Essential Oil Super Bundle from Ultimate Bundles! It’s on sale right now for a limited time for only $47 — over 94% OFF RETAIL!!
CAN YOU BELIEVE THAT?? They’re practically GIVING this bundle away!
I can’t wait to see how these resources and essential oils start transforming your life!
As a former University Resident Director, Career Counselor, Certified Personality Trainer, and high school Spanish teacher, Laura has quite the “scattered” background — with one underlying theme: education! She writes to teach and inspire women on topics related to faith, family, and lifework. She is also a resume writer, specializing in resumes for moms, career changers, and new graduates.