I love seeing how non-toxic cleaning has become mainstream. Jillions of bloggers have posted their recipes for the best homemade all-purpose cleaner or the simplest scrubbing paste. You can find less toxic cleaning products in most big box stores. As someone who has been emphatic about clean living since my early 20s, it’s thrilling!
Why is this a good thing? Conventional chemical cleaners and fragrances are tough on our bodies. They can be “endocrine disruptors,” meaning they can mess with our hormones, and they can impede immune function. I think of them as “gunking up the system.” And if you can do the same job without those chemicals, it’s a no-brainer. Why add that extra burden to your body?
This is especially true for children! Their developing bodies and brains are freer to grow as they should without having to navigate an extra chemical load.
If you’re not sure whether or not your cleaning products are safe, check the Environmental Working Groups cleaning products website. They have a database in which they give grades to products.
Note: Not all cleaners that style themselves as “plant-based” or “non-toxic” are actually low chemical. Always worth a doublecheck.
My favorite brands include Seventh Generation and BioKleen. I’ve bought from companies like Grove Collaborative whose mission is to sell sustainable brands that are healthy and ethically produced. There are products and companies everywhere devoted to this important mission.
But honestly, you can make your own cleaning products easily and inexpensively. What’s more, kids LOVE concocting cleaners, particularly if they can add their own scents!
Here’s what I have at the ready for cleaning:
Kid’s Cleaning Kit Supplies
- Sturdy basket
- Small brush and dustpan
- Old washcloths
- Spray bottles (choose plastic for very young children or spaces with hard floors)
- Essential oils in your favorite scents
- Non-toxic all-purpose cleaner concentrate
Here’s a very basic all-purpose cleaner recipe that you can make today with ingredients from your own kitchen!
1 part white vinegar 1 part water Lemon or orange rind Spray bottle
Add the ingredients to the spray bottle. Shake to combine. Allow to infuse for a week to 10 days, then use to clean countertops, sinks, floors, or wherever you need an extra wipe down.
Note: do not use acidic cleaners on granite. Some appliance makers recommend against using it on the appliance surfaces.
Simple Room Spray
1 part distilled water 1 part witch hazel Essential oils of your choice, 20-30 drops Spray bottle
Simply fill the spray bottle with distilled water, and add your favorite essential oils. There are all kinds of recipe combos on the internet, but I say pick your favorite scents and let your children experiment! They can create and test until they find the perfect one.
Note: Avoid spraying into eyes or directly on skin.
One of my favorite makers on Instagram is Creative Explained. He always has great ideas that take everyday household things and repurpose them—sometimes into cleaners!
Happy family cleaning!