Homemade cleaning products are safe, non-toxic and economically friendlyOur lives are busy. Between work, family, carpooling and extra-curricular activities, it is hard to find time for household chores in our busy week. It has become easy to drive to our big box stores and purchase all of our cleaning supplies in one place.
By: Cara Lindberg, for the Duluth Budgeteer News
Our lives are busy. Between work, family, carpooling and extra-curricular activities, it is hard to find time for household chores in our busy week. It has become easy to drive to our big box stores and purchase all of our cleaning supplies in one place.
The reality is — our homes seem to be filled with some toxic and polluting substances that are designed to make our lives easier and more convenient, and our pocket books are reflecting it.
The costs that are related to using these cleaners, detergents, softeners, deodorizers, bleaching agents, polishes and disinfectants are high — both for our health and for our environment.
One in three people in the United States suffer from allergies, asthma, sinus problems and bronchitis. The symptoms for these types of conditions can be drastically reduced by minimizing the exposure to synthetic chemicals found in our home environment.
There is also an environmental concern. Many of these bottles and containers are made with chemicals that are petroleum-based. These types of chemicals contribute to the depletion of this non-renewable resource, thus increasing our dependence on imported oils.
Fragrances that are added to products such as laundry detergents and fabric softeners can cause some serious health problems such as respiratory irritation, headache, sneezing. The National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health has found that one-third of the substances used in the fragrance industry are toxic.
Duluthian Kayla Keigley and her husband, Brent, are making their own laundry detergent with great success.
“With two young girls, we felt it was important that we’re keeping everything as natural as we can,” Kayla said. “We also knew that we could save money by making our own detergent, which is always a plus!
“We know exactly what is cleaning the clothes and cloth diapers that our little girls are wearing instead of worrying about chemicals and fragrances that could have potentially negative effects,” Kayla added. “We also feel better knowing what we are putting down the drain. It is all green.”
The Keigley family uses vinegar, Dr. Bronner’s Liquid Soap (www.drbronner.com) and baking soda for the majority of their household cleaning products.
Here is the Keigley family laundry detergent recipe: (Makes approximately 5 cups) Mix 2 cups (finely) granulated castile soap (Dr. Bonners), 1 cup borax, 1 cup baking soda, 1 cup soda ash (washing soda) together and store in an airtight jar.
Here is another easy recipe for non-toxic all-purpose cleaner: Mix 1/2 cup vinegar and 1/4 cup baking soda into 1/2 gallon (2 liters) water. Store and keep. Use for removal of water deposit stains on shower stall panels, bathroom chrome fixtures, windows, counter tops and bathroom mirrors.
When asked if she had a message to others interested in making and using homemade products Keigley replied, “It is easy, affordable and most of, it works!”
There is a homemade, non-toxic recipe for it all, including air fresheners, carpet stains, dishwashing soap, disinfectants, oven, toilet bowl, tub and tile and window cleaner, furniture polish and much more. To find the recipes for these inexpensive, natural and easy to use alternatives, please visit www.eartheasy.com.
Cara Lindberg is the Board President of Sustainable Twin Ports. She lives with her husband in the Duluth area. Cara can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org