Kid Safe Cleaner & Freshener

Does your home have a chemical dependency?

Do you have to lock away your cleaning products so the kids don’t accidentally get into them and poison themselves? Got them on a high shelf or behind one of those complicated child-proof cabinet locks that make cleaning even more of a chore? Is there anything under your sink you or your kids could drink without immediately going to the nearest emergency room?

Commercial brand cleaning products are loaded with known toxins. The very things that are supposed to making our homes cleaner & healthier may be making us sicker!

  • Ethanol Alcohol – Especially butoxy ethanol and methoxy ethanol which are used in floor cleaners to make them dry faster. Linked to developmental and fertility problems, birth defects, short-term issues like nose & throat irritation and headaches
  • Chlorine bleach – If this was ever used in my house, it had to be while I would be out for a few hours because I have a terrible skin & respiratory reaction to it. According to the EPA, more than 26,000 children were exposed to or poisoned by household chlorine bleach in 2002
  • Formaldehyde – used in no-iron sheets & clothes. Can cause respiratory irritation and insomnia. Yep, your sheets could be causing insomnia!!
  • Ammonia – the EPA says it’s a toxic chemical that causes damage to lungs and eyes, yet it’s commonly used in glass cleaner

Would you eat off your freshly cleaned floor?

Really think about it. I mean, you just cleaned it… it’s all nice and clean & disinfected, so safe to eat off of, right? I don’t know about you, but my kids eat of the counters & table all the time, and you know, there’s always the 5 second rule when something falls on the floor. If I was using that pine scented cleaner my mom used when we were kids, I certainly wouldn’t want my kids eating off of that.

Do you have to make sure your bathroom vent is on or the windows are open when you’re cleaning because you get light-headed from the fumes of your cleaner? Do you have to use gloves so your cleaners don’t irritate your skin?

But store-bought organic & natural cleaners are so expensive. And making your own cleaners is so time-consuming and complicated, right? Read on, my friend!

The Ephipany

Hey, y’all! My part-time job that currently supports this blog and my studies is grocery shopping & delivery. Customers place their order through the app, I shop for their groceries and deliver them right to their house.

It’s fascinating to me to see what people buy as far as food and cleaning products. One of the things I had to remember was to keep cleaning products separate from the food. Shocking to most of you, I’m sure as it seems like a totally normal thing, but here’s the deal: I haven’t bought cleaners from a store in YEARS!

I make my own all-purpose cleaner, air & fabric freshener, and laundry detergent… all for way less than I’d spend on organic and “natural” cleaners sold at the store, all within less than 10 minutes if I have to do it all at once.

I had this epiphany on Sunday as I had a whole cart full of groceries and trying to figure out where to put all the cleaners so that a) they wouldn’t touch the food and b) they wouldn’t fall off the cart.

Why would you use cleaners that you’re afraid to have be near your food? They’ll touch your food when it’s on the counter or table. They’ll be touching your body as you use them to clean or rest your arms on the table. They’ll be all over your body as you lay in the bath. You will inhale the fumes. They will get into your bloodstream.

Are you comfortable with your kids using the cleaners in your home?

I don’t know about you, but I have enough to do as a wife, mom, student, part-time worker, & entrepreneur that I don’t have time to do ALL THE CLEANING in my house. My kids make most of the messes and they need to learn responsibility for cleaning them up themselves.

I’m certainly not the one who pees all over the toilet & floor, smears toothpaste all over the counter and mirror, or dumps milk on the table that gets left there all day when no one’s been in that space… By teaching the kids to clean up their own messes, they learn responsibility & the value of hard work, plus it’s a life skill that they need to learn to eventually function as adults anyway!

If you do all the cleaning because you’re uncomfortable with your kids using the cleaning products, maybe it’s time for a switch.

20171005_170155 1

My 6 yr old made these by herself in less than 5 minutes

As long as they can read, they can make this stuff. Seriously. It’s that safe. And she was so proud of herself!

Not that I would recommend drinking these, but you actually could. All the ingredients are perfectly safe as long as you use good, therapeutic grade essential oils. Shoot, use cheap oils. They’ll still be so much safer than that junk at the store.

The essential oils have natural anti-bacterial, anti-microbial, and even anti-fungal properties. Yes, they are very powerful substances, and I do have her wash her hands well after making them so she doesn’t accidentally rub it into her eyes. My kids know the safety rules when using essential oils. They are capable of so much if we just teach them!

I used this cleaner to get mold out of my shower stall that I had never been able to get rid of… and I’d tried everything. Plus had two different very experienced housekeepers try and say they couldn’t get it out. Sure, you can still see a little bit of the stain. And the lighting in my pictures sucks (I am obviously not a photographer), but you can see the huge difference and it hasn’t come back!!

Soap scum from previous residents? It had been there for the 5 years we lived here, and who knows how long before that… Gone! I really wish I’d taken before pics, but I wasn’t that confident in my first batch I’d thrown together on a whim. You wouldn’t have been able to see this bottle at all through the glass… it was more opaque than the spray bottle is!

Cleaner

Bonus health benefits

While hubs dislikes the vinegar smell, it dissipates really quickly, I promise (and it helps clean out your sinuses in the meantime)! Plus you get the benefits from the essential oils!

All Purpose Magic Cleaner

I use this stuff to clean my whole home. Counters, sealed wood kitchen table, sinks, stove, microwave, ceramic tile floor, bathrooms top to bottom, mirrors, windows… EVERYTHING! Use a cheap chamois (like the ones some people use to polish up their cars), and you’ll get a streak-free clean!

Important note! We have laminate countertops, so no worries here, but be careful about using this on marble or granite as the vinegar may erode the stone!

To Make it, Add the following to a 32 oz Spray Bottle:

3 drops Thieves Essential Oil Blend

  • Immune Support
  • Purifying
  • Respiratory Support
  • Overall Wellness Support
  • Cleansing

4 Drops Lemon Essential Oil

  • Uplifting & Energizing (who doesn’t need that while cleaning?)
  • Cleansing
  • Grease Cutter

4 drops Lavender Essential Oil

  • Sinus Support
  • Sleeplessness Support
  • Emotional Balancing
  • Relief from Occasional Stress
  • Helps keep stink away
  • Skin health

Fill with Half Distilled White Vinegar

  • High acidity means in inhibits microorganism growth
  • Loosens mineral deposits such as soap scum, lime, rust
  • Cuts grease
  • Dissolves wax build-up
  • Deodorizer

Half Distilled Water

  • Dilutes the vinegar & reduces acidity
  • Distilled water is free of minerals, so prevents adding mineral build-up while you’re cleaning and prevents your spray nozzle from getting clogged

 

Anti-Stank Spray (Air & Fabric Freshener)

Sometimes “Stink” isn’t the right word… It just plain “Stanks!” This was initially thrown together in a desperate search to rid my daughters room of the horrid stench in her mattress from nightly bedwetting. Now we also use it around the house for any odd smells… Sweaty little boy shoes, dog went playing in the rain with the kids and decided to dry herself on the sofa, the bathroom need a quick freshening after someone’s done in there? This stuff works!! Plus it’s good for your skin & sinuses!

Add the following to a 32 oz Spray Bottle:

2 drops Purification Essential Oil Blend

  • Laundry Freshener
  • Air Purifier
  • Odor Eliminator
  • Bug Repeller
  • Sinus Support
  • Cleanser

2 drops Tea Tree Essential Oil

  • Combats Offensive Odors
  • Skin support (it’s one of the two main ingredients in my skin ointment)
  • Mold & mildew fighter
  • Bug repeller
  • Cleansing

8 drops Lavender Essential Oil*

  • Sinus Support
  • Sleeplessness Support
  • Emotional Balancing
  • Relief from Occasional Stress
  • Helps keep stink away
  • Skin health (it’s the other of the two main ingredients in my skin ointment)

*I love the smell of lavender, and it’s especially great as a fabric freshener for the above reasons. If you’re not a fan of lavender, feel free to substitute another oil of your choice for the lasting fragrance… just be aware of the benefits of the oil based on where it will be used. I wouldn’t use brightening, awakening lemon if I was going to use it on a mattress or sheets.

1 Tbsp Baking Soda

  • Absorbs Odors
  • Lifts Stains

Fill with Distilled Water

  • Distilled water is free of minerals, so prevents adding mineral build-up while you’re cleaning
  • You could fill with half or all Hydrogen Peroxide for the whitening properties, like on a urine stained mattress. I used it the first time I made this to help remove the stains in the mattress, and it works like magic! Since I use the same spray bottle on all the surfaces around my house (including my dark brown sofas), I don’t use peroxide any more.

Supplies

I used to get the cheap spray bottles from the dollar store, but I noticed that one little slip and the sprayer often cracks. Spend a couple more bucks and get a good quality spray bottle from your local home improvement store in the commercial cleaning products section. They last much longer!

You can get essential oils at most health food stores, and even my local grocer has started selling them! I personally use Young Living Essential Oils due to their purity and quality standards.

Vinegar, distilled water, and hydrogen peroxide are all available at your local market, usually for about a dollar per bottle here in the Houston area. Of course your prices will vary depending on where you live.

How much does it all cost?

I know, one of the most important questions as you decide to make a switch… These are the most recent prices, using retail price for the essential oils and how much I paid most recently for my spray bottles, which are half the cost right there. As you make your next batches, the cost is significantly less.

The best part is we use LESS of these products than we did the cheap store-bought stuff because they work so much better, so they last a good long while too! We make a new bottle every couple of months – and that’s using the same bottle to clean the whole house!

AP Cleaner Vinegar $0.29
Distilled Water $0.18
Thieves $0.83
lemon $0.37
lavender $0.77
spray bottle $2.14
$4.58

 

Anti-Stank Distilled Water $0.18
Purification $0.31
Tea Tree $0.43
Lavender $1.55
Spray Bottle $2.14
$4.60

 

Your turn! Which will you try first?

Is there another cleaning product in your house you’d like to replace? Let me know… it may just be the next post!

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