When it comes to spring cleaning, conventional household cleansers get the job done, but who wants to handle toxic chemicals and inhale noxious fumes?
DIY Eco-Friendly Cleaners
Fortunately, there are safer ways to clean your home. Making effective products can be as simple as adding essential oils to other natural
ingredients, like white distilled vinegar and baking soda.
The Basics of DIY Cleaners
Vinegar cuts through grease and soap scum, and baking soda cleans and deodorizes. Add just enough water to baking soda to turn it into a thick paste, roll up your sleeves, and go to town on kitchen surfaces like stainless steel sinks, microwaves, range hoods, and countertops! The same paste can be used to clean your tub. For tough stains, substitute vinegar for water.
Avoid Bacteria, Viruses, Mold & More Cleaning with Essential Oils
When it comes to cleaning chores, lemon essential oil works well because it is naturally antibacterial and antiviral. Castile soaps are also effective. Just don’t mix them with vinegar, warns Lisa Bronner, granddaughter of Emanuel Bronner, who founded Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps. “They will cancel each other out... the vinegar reduces [the soap] back out to its original oils. So you end up with an oily, curdled, whitish mess.”
For combating mold on bathroom surfaces, Rebecca Sullivan, author of The Art of Natural Cleaning ($12.99, Kyle Books, 2018), recommends combining 3 teaspoons of tea tree essential oil with about 2 cups of water in a spray bottle. This mixture can be sprayed onto problem areas and left for 5 minutes before wiping off. “Do not rinse,” she advises. “It has a strong smell for a couple of days, but it beats the smell of mold, hands down.”
Try making your own spring-cleaning products using these recipes below!