Spring is in the air this time of year and I don’t know about you, but I am on a cleaning spree. The title ‘queen of clean’ is taken by a wonderful author, so I will have to settle for princess of the dust bunnies.
About six months ago, I started looking for alternative products to use for cleaning after coughing uncontrollably while scrubbing the toilets in our apartment. I guess I had inhaled too much of the cleaning solution.
A few of my colleagues sell essential oils and said they use some of them as a more natural replacement for cleaning products. For the past few months, I went on a quest to find out all I could about them and find out which ones were the most useful to me. My goal is not to have you choose one over another and tell you all the reasons why you should exclusively buy from one company over the other. I am pretty much not exclusive to one. I believe in educating yourself to the point of making a decision based on as many facts as you can and what will work for you, your family, and your budget. I believe the same way regarding clothing, food, housewares, electronics, and beauty products. When I find a quality brand for a great price, I try it out. I pay a little extra for things like shoes because they support our whole body, but will skimp on other things like supermarket generic food items. We are all different and have different tastes in things and one product may not necessarily work the same for everyone else.
Disclaimer: I recommend consulting with your doctor prior to using essential oils. Some oils and other products can interfere with certain types of medication. I am not a medical provider nor am I recommending that you follow any advice provided in the books or blogposts listed below.
I found the following list of resources while researching essential oils and other natural cleaning products:
Alert: Some oils are meant to be diffused, others inhaled, some work better rubbing on the bottom of our feet, some are ok to use before going into the sun, others are not, some are not good to use around children, pets or pregnant women and some should never be taken internally. Learn the difference before trying any oils and treat them like medicine. Lock them up away from the sun, children, and pets.
Granny’s cleaning supplies recommended – only 5: baking soda, lemon, vinegar, salt and elbow grease. The author adds a few more to the mix: oranges, olive oil and essential oils, castile soap, distilled water, boiling water, sunshine and help from her family, of course. Checked it out of the library first and plan to purchase the book in the future.
Favorite tip from Bronner Mom: Don’t mix castile soap with any type of acid – citrus like lemon or vinegar, they cancel each other out and you won’t get the results you want from cleaning surfaces. She has many different kinds of useful information and cleaning tips on her blog. Her grandfather made natural cleaning products and they can be found in stores around the world. If time is a concern for making homemade products yourself, this is a good place to find them already made for you.
4. Essential Oils for a Clean and Healthy Home – book by Kasey Schwartz https://www.allthingsmamma.com/
Caution: Even all natural can irritate our skin or throat, use them with care and gloves for cleaning. Wash your hands after handling any essential oil. I purchased this book and use the recipes for cleaning toilets and air freshener. I did find that I had to use less oil in the toilet as recommended and had to use double the oil in the recipes for deodorizing the room. Again, it is a personal preference. She also has some fun recipes for playdough and other kid friendly products.
Here are three blog posts from the medical field regarding essential oils that I thought were very educational, so I wanted to make sure I included them:
For now, I am only using the essential oils to clean with. I am enjoying learning about natural products and replacing the hand soaps and other cleaning supplies with more natural alternatives.
Princess of the dust bunnies is done with her spring cleaning reign for now and hanging up her crown.
If you have any books, websites, or blogposts regarding natural cleaning products, please share in the comments below. I would love to hear what brands you are using and what works best for you and your family.