DIY Cleaner Guide For a Less Toxic Home

Originally published on February 22, 2017 by the Institute of Integrative Nutrition

cleaners

Winter’s over and it’s time for spring cleaning and organizing. This year, consider making your own cleaners to save money and reduce chemicals in your home. The Environmental Working Group says in its “Cleaners Hall of Shame” list that everyday household cleaners contain some shocking fine-print warnings such as “serious burns,” “lung inflammation” and “probably carcinogenic.” And many of these cleaners are actually banned in the European Union. That’s why it’s a good idea to either opt for organic cleaners or better yet, make your own mixture.

When it comes to DIY household cleaners, vinegar is your best friend. If you don’t have it in your pantry, stock up and read on for our roundup of homemade cleaning mixes.

Glass

To clean glass surfaces, mix two cups of water, two tablespoons of white vinegar, two tablespoons of rubbing alcohol and five drops of peppermint essential oil, says Real Simple. Then pour into a spray bottle and shake to mix.

Faucets
Wipe faucets using a simple mix of dishwashing liquid and warm water, then buff with a cloth, according to the book Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Home. If the faucets have mineral deposits, you can wrap them in a paper towel soaked with white vinegar. Remove the wet paper towel after one hour, and then clean with a dry one.

Bathtubs

HGTV suggests using baking soda, which is mildly abrasive, to scrub away bathtub rings. If the tub is really dirty, mix baking soda and water, let it sit on the tub surface for up to 20 minutes, and then scrub away with a sponge.

Clothing

Instead of using fabric softener, which may cause asthma and other health issues, try half a cup of distilled white vinegar in your washer during the rinse cycle. (PS-Your clothes won’t smell like vinegar.)  EWG says you can also make your own dryer balls with wool batting or wool yarn.

Toilets

Scrub your toilet with a mix of ½ a cup of castile soap (which is vegetable-based), ½ a cup of baking soda, 15 to 30 drops of essential oil, 1 cup of distilled water, and a spray of hydrogen peroxide. The recipe on Live Simply suggests that rather than mixing hydrogen peroxide into the bottle, it’s easiest to spray it directly into the toilet bowl after you’ve put the mixture in the bowl. Otherwise, gas from the hydrogen peroxide can build up in the bottle. And vinegar can be used here too in place of hydrogen peroxide.

Floors 

Instead of harsh cleaners check out these homemade floor cleaner recipes from Tips Bulletin.

What’s your favorite DIY cleaner recipe? Share with us in the comments below.

This article originally published on Institute of Integrative Nutrition and used with permission.

How To Make Your Own Kombucha

kombucha If you are like me and drink kombucha every day for its amazing health benefits, then you might have figured out already that buying the stuff can get VERY expensive. This is why I brew my own at home! It’s much more cost efficient and I can play around with different flavors. Making kombucha takes some patience at first,but once you’ve found your groove, it’s super easy!

How to Make Kombucha: What you will need:

  • 1 gallon GLASS container  with lid
  • 8 tea bags (green, black, oolong, or herbal. Do not use Earl Grey as this contains oils which can cause mold.)
  • 1 cup of refined white sugar (this is the ONLY time it is okay to use refined white sugar!)
  • 2 cups starter tea (kombucha from last batch or from a friend) or apple cider vinegar
  • 13-14 cups of filtered water
  • 1 Scoby (live culture) Get one from a friend or if this is not an option you can order online.
  • 1 wooden or plastic stirring utensil (metal compromises the live culture)
  • 1 coffee filter
  • 1 rubber band

Directions: **VERY IMPORTANT** Wash hands before and make sure all materials are clean. If they are not this bacteria could cause mold on your kombucha and you will have to throw out your batch and start from scratch.

1. Heat  water and pour into glass container

2. Add 1 cup sugar and stir with plastic or wooden utensil  until all sugar is dissolved.

3. Place tea bags in the water to steep and place lid on top.

4. Cool the water to 68- 85°F  (I usually let it sit overnight).

5. Remove the tea bags.

6. Add the 2 cups of starter tea or apple cider vinegar.

7. Add the active kombucha scoby. IMG_1460   IMG_1462 8. Cover the jar with a coffee filter and a rubber band. IMG_1463 9. Allow the mixture to sit undisturbed at 68-85°F, out of direct sunlight, for 14-30 days, or to taste. The longer the kombucha ferments, the less sweet and more vinegary it will taste. I let mine ferment for a full 30 days so it is not so sweet, but you can experiment to see what works for you.

10.  After 14-30 days, remove the coffee filter and put the scoby along with 2 cups of your newly made kombucha in a sealed glass container to save for your next batch.

*Optional- Add fruit to the kombucha at this stage. I like to add chopped ginger (gives it a spicy kick and adds more of a detoxing element) and lemon to mine. IMG_1459 11. Place the lid on the jar and put the jar back in it’s spot out of the sunlight for 2 more days. This is the fizzing process and creates more carbonation. It also gives time for  the fruit to infuse if you have chosen to add it.

12. Strain the fruit from the liquid, and place your fresh batch of kombucha in the fridge. You can even bottle it in individual glass jars ( I like to use old store bought kombucha bottles) for convenience.

Happy Brewing!

Health Coach Jenna HealtherNotions_Logo_Stacked