I had no idea I would panic like that. And just throw nearly everything out. But realizing how toxic most of our cleaning products really were flipped a switch in me. Suddenly, what I thought was going to be a very gradual switchover has been a game of ‘scramble to replace it quick’.
Fortunately, the other Sarah provided me with a few basic recipes to try. And a surface cleaner seemed to be the most pressing need.
The recipe we started with is just 1 part vinegar to 3 parts water and 10-20 drops tea tree oil. (BTW, having tea tree oil on hand was a total coincidence. I did not keep essential oils on hand before this.) This humble mixture takes care of quite a few basic jobs: kitchen surfaces, not-too-grimy bathroom surfaces, floor spills, even windows and mirrors.
But to be perfectly honest, when you are used to products that really cut through all the crap, and give you all the sensory experiences of clean you are used to, watered-down vinegar seems a little sub-par.
So I went on the hunt for some alternate recipes. And then I was completely inundated by the many articles that offer “60 DIY Cleaning Products to Save Your Life and the Planet” (or whatever) and other bombardments of helpful recipes. While it is amazing and super hopeful that people have found ways to make EVERYTHING at home, somehow I don’t think I need 60 different products to keep my house clean. I mean, part of the excitement of getting rid of the toxic crap was recognizing that we don’t NEED 25 different products for the kitchen.
So, what’s my plan?
To build an A-team of natural warrior products that kick dirt’s ass, and aren’t too difficult or expensive to make or acquire. This means I’m not just DIYing. I’ll make what makes sense, but come on, it is way more practical to pick up a $3 bottle of eco-friendly dish liquid at the grocery store than to spend hours making a half gallon of it, not even sure it’s going to work out. Oh, and that magical $3 bottle of eco-friendly dish liquid? It does exist. Hopefully you have a similar finding. But don’t forget to check the ingredients before making your decision.
Okay, off my soapbox. Moving on to the 8 earth-and-human-friendly, versatile, dirt, scum, and bacteria-busting ninja products I’m recruiting to be a part of the team.
Here are the roles I am looking to fill:
- A TRULY all-purpose disinfecting spray (safe on nearly every surface)
- Dish liquid that can clean anything (I guess we need dishwasher detergent too)
- Deep scrub (for tub, tile and other grimy areas)
- Window/mirror cleaner
- Floor cleaner (safe on nearly all surfaces)
- Laundry soap (bonus points if it's also a stain remover and fabric softener)
- And maybe a bleach alternative for good measure
I’m currently "auditioning" these roles and will share the most qualified candidates as I find them. I might even pit a couple options against each other. Maybe store-bought against homemade? That sounds like fun! It may take a little time, but fun all the same. So, let the games begin!
If you’ve found a killer product or recipe, please share in the comments!
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