Hey Laura, what are some all-natural household cleaners?

Leila asks:

I’ve recently decided to get rid of the yucky chemicals in my life - no more artificial fragrances and no more super toxic cleaning products. Before I buy everything on the shelf at Whole Foods, is there a way to go about this transition more economically?

“My” method
Well, if you’ve read my blog for long, you’ve probably noticed I’m a big fan of method products.

If you’re easing yourself into the world of more natural cleaning products, method is a great start. They are naturally derived, non-toxic, and very effective.

Here are a few method products I love:

- Flushable Tub & Tile wipes. Perfect for a quick swipe of the counters, sink, and toilet surfaces to freshen up between deep cleans.

- Good for Wood dusting spray. I give this little spray bottle to my 4 year old and let her go to town on my baseboards. I like the almond scent. And the child labor.

- Steel for Real stainless steel polish. Probably not entirely necessary, but having nice-smelling, dedicated cleaning products inspires me to clean. I like the way this de-smudges the stainless steel in my kitchen.

- Daily Granite countertop polish. Whoa! This spray shines up my countertops way better than a regular surface cleaner. Very impressive.

- Smarty Dish dishwasher detergent. Ever since I hosted the method Smarty Dish giveaway last Christmas, I’ve been hooked on this great dishwashing detergent. It works so well with my super hard, crusty water!

- Glass cleaner. Yes, I know the whole vinegar + newspaper thing works great on windows. But I don’t get a daily newspaper, and besides, I wouldn’t trust my child laborers not to leave black newsprint smudges everywhere!

The cheap way
So, while you could spend a fortune on dedicated “green” cleaning products, you actually don’t have to go much farther than your pantry to find what you need to maintain a clean house. Invest in a Costco-sized bag of baking soda, a gallon of distilled white vinegar, some salt and essential oils you like smelling and you are good to go!

Since this idea has not originated with me, I’ll just link you to lots of recipes for natural cleaning, emphasizing on the myriad uses for vinegar, salt, and baking soda.

Real Simple Magazine’s 66 All-Natural Cleaning Solutions is also a good read with pretty pictures.

Vinegar? Pew!
I get tired of smelling vinegar every time I clean, so I switch things up between various method products, as well as their unscented All-Purpose Cleaning Spray, to which I add about 20-30 drops of essential oil.

My very favorite essential oil for cleaning is the Purification blend by Young Living. You can purchase it on Amazon through my affiliate link here, but your best bet is to find a YL distributor in your area. You’ll get to smell all kinds of wonderful essential oils in person and have a lot of fun playing with them. I have quite a collection and am looking forward to adding more. I think these are some of the best quality essential oils on the market; the price reflects their quality - but remember that the good stuff will go a lot further.

In the springtime, when the ants are swarming, I mix up a bottle of Cinnamon Ant Spray and use it to clean the floor under my table (where my kids toss down at least half of each meal every day) and around the baseboards.

Don’t I need antibacterial cleaners?
No! Unless you are severely and chronically immune-compromised, using antibacterial handsoap, hand spray, and household cleaning products could actually be more dangerous to your health.

Overuse of antibacterial products threatens the propagation of “super-bugs” - the ones that evolve to grow resistant to whatever you spray on them. The CDC is rather concerned about the growing rate of antibiotic resistant bacteria.

You’ll probably be a lot healthier if you get the chemicals out of your home environment, allow your immune system to exercise itself against common household bacteria, and take joy in cleaning your spaces naturally!

Hey Laura, I think... Hey Laura, what are some all-natural household cleaners?

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