Collective Change

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. 

Dishwasher Powder:

  • 1/4 cup citric acid
  • 1cup bicarbonate of soda 
  • 2 tbsp On Guard Cleaner Concentrate
  • 20 drops oils of choice – I like to use Purify in the dishwasher as it helps to deodorise the machine at the same time



  • mix the two dry ingredients together
  • add the OnGuard Cleaner Concentrate and essential oils
  • as you blend all together the mixture will start to bubble and foam
  • you can then either: spoon this directly into moulds (ice cube trays work well) then cover with a heavy board to stop them from expanding as they dry.  Pop out after 24 hours and use as a normal tab
  • or to use as a loose powder, mix as above then let the mixture sit and expand for about 30 minutes then mixing every 30 minutes to help break up lumps.  It will take a few hours to fully dry the powder, then you can store in an airtight jar and spoon the required amount into the normal wash compartment

Rinse Aid:

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:

  • 200ml cleaning vinegar
  • 300ml distilled water
  • 2tbsp On Guard cleaner concentrate
  • up to 30 drops of essential oils
  • shake before use

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.

Glass Cleaner:

Again, I use a 500ml amber glass spray bottle and add the following:

  • 250ml cleaning vinegar
  • 250ml distilled water
  • 20 drops lemon oil
  • shake before use
  • use for windows, oven glass & induction hobs 

Dishwashing soap/liquid:

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.

Written by Bianca @thelowtoxadventurer