As a parent, we quickly begin thinking about all of the chemicals in our homes when we bring our newborn bundles from the hospital. We start to consider what’s under our sinks. We take a look at what might harm them.
When we go through this process we quickly realize there are many cleaners and detergents in the home that aren’t safe for any of us to continue using. The ingredients that can cause harm if ingested or come into skin contact over the long-term are shocking.
Switching to Green Cleaners and Detergents
There are a few ways to live a cleaner life with detergents and cleaners. There are DIY methods and then there are purchasing greener-made products. The cheapest way to save money and have green cleaners and detergents is DIY. This is the method we chose. This is a way to save a bundle while living a cleaner, greener life.
I have talked about soap nuts previously. These are amazing for laundry. They are organic and green. They are safe for skin sensitivities and cleaning. Our son can only use this type of green detergent. Everything else causes skin rashes and irritation. They are awesome and cheap at only a few cents per load.
Why use anything else? Well, we found my husband’s clothes weren’t cleaning to the level of his satisfaction. He prefers a liquid detergent for his laundry and finds less odor and a cleaner result. If you too like a greener liquid product, then this recipe is for you. Note: I have very sensitive skin with detergents and soaps and this still works great for me.
- 10 c of water
- 1 c liquid castille soap
- ½ c washing soda
- 1 c baking soda
- 10 drops of your favorite essential oil
- Add water to large pot on stove. Bring to boil.
- Turn off heat.
- Add baking soda and washing soda and stir until nearly dissolved.
- Pour into container.
- Add liquid castille soap and essential oils.
- Give a good shake before each use.
- Use ½ cup with each load of laundry.
Another favorite we have used in the past is a recipe by another blogger we love! Check out her recipe here. What to store it in? You can recycle an old, clean detergent container and pour from that. Or you can purchase other glass containers with spouts, or other new plastic pouring jugs on amazon.com. I used a recycled plastic jug for a year and then switched to new ones I found on amazon.com. You should choose what works best for your family.
How does this type of DIY help?
The cost to make these liquid detergents: $4.52/batch (that’s $4.52/150 fl. oz). That’s a $10.28 savings per container! That’s potentially a $20 or more savings per month.
Time to make this: 10 mins.
I use a combination of different recipes I have read online. Mine uses more natural ingredients than store made brands and has no additional chemicals. If you use a lavender oil, that is supposed to help with antibacterial properties if you like to have those types of products on hand. It can be used on counters, bathrooms, tile floors, and carpet!
To clean this way it’s best to find a glass bottle to store the cleaner in. Glass will not be harmed or degraded by the use of the essential oils in the cleaner. Plastic can break down over time with the addition of essential oils to your blend.
To clean toilets and bath surfaces
Ever feel like you are suffocating while cleaning because of the cleaner odor? Feel like you can taste chemicals? Time to go for a nice natural solution. It only contains two ingredients (baking soda, and vinegar) with an option for germ fighting after. If you dislike the smell of vinegar also (which dissipates quickly when using as a cleaner), you can also add some lemon juice or oil to it for a nice lemon scent.
How to do it: Shake the baking soda onto the surface to clean. Use ½ to 1 cup of vinegar over the baking soda. Let it sit for a few minutes, then scrub. Want to add more disinfectant after? Rinse the surface with water after cleaning, and then add ¼ cup of hydrogen peroxide over the surface and let sit. Rinse surface before use.
I use a recycled/reused herb shaker. I clean the container and then fill it with baking soda. I can then shake out the baking soda through the sifter side. I use a smaller container of vinegar I pour right from it to the surface. I refill the container from a larger, bulk vinegar stored in our pantry.
I do not buy specialized dishwasher products, and you don’t have to either. It’s as simple as 2 ingredients, or even just one depending on your cleaning preference. We use 2 tbsp of liquid dish soap in the portals and turn it on. Works great and doesn’t look coated in film after. If you need more power, you can use 1 tbsp of Borax in the bottom of the dishwasher and then 2 tbsp of liquid dish soap in the door. I have found the Borax leaves a film, but it might not bother you.
All of these DIY methods can save you money while running a greener home. What else have we done to save money and be green?
- Hand soap
- Shower soap
- Our own vapor rub (kid friendly)
- Peanut butter from scratch
- Pesto from scratch
- Pudding from scratch (package it in small glass containers for lunches/snacks)
- Ear infection treatment from natural oils
- Any foods that would be boxed – corn bread etc.
- Seasonings and dressings – taco seasoning, salad dressing, herb blends and mixes
Share with us what you do to save and be green. If you don’t like to DIY –check this out for some safe natural products.