Here’s a confession no one will be surprised by: I am a total neat freak. Actually, I should say clean freak because I’m far more likely to spend an hour scrubbing the floors than folding my clothes or organizing my closet. It’s no secret I love things clean…a habit I 100% attribute to my Mom who is meticulous with her cleaning.
Now let me be clear: there is not such thing as a spotless home. I do my very best to keep things tidy but I’m human and life happens so having a perfectly clean home is never going to be my number one priority nor does it need to be. BUT I do feel genuinely happy and more at ease in a clean home so it’s something I make a point of keeping up with. And given how passionate I am about natural beauty, it’s only natural I also choose to use natural cleaning products for my home. So I thought I would spend this post breaking down why I use natural cleaning products, my cleaning schedule and the best natural cleaning products I’ve found on the market.
Why clean your home with natural cleaning products?
If you want to take a peek at the products you’re currently using to clean your home, head to the Environmental Working Group website and search for those products! They will rank each product with a grade of A-F where F=failing. The EWG takes into account the effects the harsh chemicals have on our respiratory system, skin irritation, developmental and reproductive toxicity, cancer concerns and environmental impact. It’s pretty startling to look at popular cleaning products. Not only are natural cleaning products better for your health, they’re also better for the environment. Flushing toxic chemicals down the drain pollutes our waterways and many conventional cleaning products are made with ingredients that are toxic, hazardous, non-biodegradable, as well as from non-renewable resources like petroleum that adversely affect our ecosystems.
Do natural products actually clean?!
YES!! Yes, yes, yes. I understand why people think you need the worst smelling, most intense cleaning products to thoroughly clean your home but the truth is, the non-toxic counterparts are just as effective if not more. Some traditional cleaning products can leave behind a residue that can build up over time and actually can collect more dust and dirt. Many are also intensely anti-bacterial and there are long-term side-effects to constantly wiping out the microbiome of your home. We need a healthy amount of bacteria to prevent illness so it’s time to ditch the bleach.
How to Transition to Non-Toxic Cleaning Products
Even though you might look up your cleaning products and want to toss everything instantly and switch, my advice is the same as transitioning to green beauty – you don’t have to do it all at once. As you run out of a certain cleaning product, swap to a non-toxic option. One of the best solutions I found for making the switch is Branch Basics. I was actually sent their cleaning kit a year and a half ago and had such a hard time believing that it could actually be effective that I left it collecting dust. I’ve since broken out the entire kit and given all the products a try. I like 90% of them and what makes them especially great is that you can reuse the bottles! All you’ll need to do is repurchase the cleaning concentrate and refill the bottles with the appropriate ratio of concentrate to water.
FYI: this post is NOT sponsored by them. I’ve since become an affiliate for them because of how impressed I am with many of their products, but as you’ll see below I also use a lot of other brands. Just wanted to mention them as they are a great starter kit for anyone wanting to switch to natural cleaning products.
Alright let’s jump into the products I use to clean my home naturally.
Let’s Get Cleaning
Branch Basics Products
I did want to highlight the products I use from branch basics first because there are several of them. As I mentioned above, Branch Basics has a starter kit for $59 which includes their all-purpose cleaning spray, bathroom spray, streak-free spray and hand soap bottles and cleaning concentrate. You simply fill the bottles to the appropriate line with water and top with the cleaning concentrate. When you finish a bottle you just refill it with water and the concentrate. It helps to reduce waste by reusing the bottles and saves you money by only needing to repurchase the concentrate. Here are the products I love:
- All-Purpose Cleaning Spray
- All-Purpose Bathroom Spray
- Streak-Free Window + Mirror Cleaner
- Hand Soap
I will add that I have tried their laundry detergent and didn’t love it and have also tried to use their concentrate for other uses such as dish washing and didn’t love that either. But for the products above it is truly exceptional and affordable – the concentrate is only halfway through and I’ve used it for 6 months!
As for all the other products we use for non-toxic cleaning, I’ve listed them below. Keep in mind, these are not all perfect. Switching to natural cleaning products is a process for me and until some of the cleaner ones become more effective I’m sticking with this middle ground. When possible we order big refill bottles and reuse the original ones.
Laundry Detergent: Baby Organics Laundry Detergent (yes I use baby detergent!)
Dishwasher Detergent: Seventh Generation Detergent or Whole Foods Natural Dishwasher Detergent
Dish Soap: Mrs. Meyer’s Dish Soap
Toilet Bowl Cleaner: Method Toilet Bowl Cleaner
*We were able to reuse our old swiffer mop by putting velcro on the top and sides of the resusable wipe as shown below.
DIY All-Purpose Cleaner
I did want to add that it is very easy to make your own DIY All-Purpose Cleaner at home. The reason I don’t use it is because I am particular and REALLY don’t like the smell of vinegar. Yes, you can use essential oils to mask it but my nose knows everything. However if you are on a budget this is a great option for you and can easily be refilled reducing your waste.
First thing you need to know is that vinegar should be diluted with water in a 1:4 ratio. So for 1/2 cup of white vinegar you will use 2 cups of water. The skies the limit when it comes to essential oils but the most effective for cleaning are lemon, peppermint and lavender.
Here’s a recipe for DIY All-Purpose Cleaner:
- 1/2 cup of white vinegar*
- 2 cups of water
- 2-3 drops of lavender essential oil
- 2-3 drops of peppermint essential oil
Combine everything in a glass spray jar and shake. Spray on counter and wipe clean with a dish cloth.
*Note: if you are very sensitive to the smell of vinegar, I recommend infusing it with citrus peels and/or herbs for a week or two before straining to remove materials. Use infused vinegar in place of white vinegar above.
Like this post? Here are some others you might enjoy:
- Clean Beauty Daily Essentials
- What is greenwashing + why you need to know about it
- What is Sugaring Hair Removal? [Natural Hair Removal Method]
- The Best Natural Deodorants on the Market
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