My journey into green cleaning began in my kitchen. I realised one day that the surface spray I was using could kill a cockroach dead in it’s tracks – and given that the little blighters can survive a nuclear winter, suffice to say I had an epiphany. If it could kill a cockroach, why was I spraying it in the place I prepared my food?
The first thing to go was said spray. I basically went back to how our grandparents used to clean, but with a modern boost – some powerful essential oils from DoTerra. I found that not only did my kitchen smell better and feel spotlessly clean, I had also created a safer environment to prepare food and for my family. Spurred on by how easy it was to make, (and how much more enjoyable it was to use knowing I wasn’t inhaling harmful toxins) I went on an experimentation binge.
Next up were shop bought dishwasher tablets which I replaced with a home-made dishwasher powder, to keep it even simpler I took out the step of moulding the mixture into tablets and just use the loose powder. Instead of rinse aid I started using vinegar with a few drops of lemon essential oil (if you are going to use a DIY dishwasher powder I recommend this rinse aid recipe to help reduce cloudiness in the glassware and to help keep your cutlery and utensils gleaming).
The next thing I changed out was my dishwashing liquid. Now even though I have a dishwasher, there are always things that need to be washed by hand. Your skin is your biggest organ and absorbs whatever you put on it. Dishwashing liquids, like a lot of other products, are not required to list out their ingredients which is a bit of a red flag for me as they generally always contain “fragrance”. This term is a generic word for over 3000 different chemicals that can be used to provide the smell of a product. Due to “proprietary” reasons, these also don’t have to be listed out – also partly because so many of them are used the label would either be massive, or the writing so small as to be unreadable. I am not inspired by this lack of transparency and given that I have teenagers whose job it is to clean the kitchen, I didn’t want them exposed to unknown endocrine hormone disrupting chemicals.
Below are the ingredients & instructions for making the products I’ve swapped out, it does require a little extra effort than just popping to the shops but it´s worth it – everything I make is plastic free, toxin free, safe for the environment and with a little organisation, I have always have stock of everything I need.
Repurpose a glass bottle and fill with cleaning (white) vinegar and add 10-15 drops of lemon essential oil. To use pour into the rinse aid compartment of your dishwasher as per normal.
All Purpose Surface Spray:
I use a 500ml amber glass spray bottle and re-fill it as follows:
There are many essential oils that you can use in this spray but my fave combo´s are lemon & wild orange, eucalyptus & tea tree or just extra OnGuard. Peppermint & lemongrass is also a great one to use in the Summer, especially if you have ants in your kitchen – they hate peppermint!
*if you have marble or natural stone worktops you shouldn´t use vinegar or any citrus essential oils as the acid they contain can be damaging to a naturally porous surface. Instead, use distilled water plus non-citrus oils.
Again, I use a 500ml amber glass spray bottle and add the following:
Alternatively, dilute the castille soap with some distilled water which will make your mix last longer: I either do 50/50 castille soap and water into a glass pump or 30/60 On Guard Cleaner Concentrate and water into the pump bottle.
This Soft Scrub is perfect for giving sinks, worktops and counters a deeper clean, the bicarb of soda is mildly abrasive so works well at lifting stains and dirt.
For more recipes check out our E-Book on Green Cleaning which is full of all the solutions you need to help you move towards eliminating toxins from your home.