Natural Bathroom Cleaning Tip: good-for-you cleaners are ones that don’t kill you if you drink them. Not that you should drink them. I’m just saying…
Anyway…there are tons of formulas, recipes, and tidbits out there for making homemade, safe, natural surface cleaners and disinfectant sprays. I’ve been doing a bit of research on the best ingredients to use. I think I’ve got it.
First, however, why go with natural?
This is why:
For example, formaldehyde is a toxic ingredient commonly used in kitchen cleaners. It can cause irritation to the eyes, skin, lungs and throat. It is also known to have carcinogenic properties. See more about that here on www.cancer.gov.
Other ingredients found in kitchen cleaning solutions may contain cresol and phenol, which are corrosive in nature and may cause dizziness and diarrhea in the user, not to mention, liver or kidney damage. See more info on the toxicity of cresol here and phenol here.
And chlorine? Not the beloved, best-toilet-cleaner-ever chlorine! You got it. It’s some pretty toxic stuff. See the info for yourself here. Manifestations of chronic exposure to chlorine include the following:
No thank you! Something extremely important to remember when cleaning with toxic chemicals is to NEVER mix chlorine bleach with ammonia! What happens with this concoction is that the sodium hypochlorite present in the bleach releases chloramine gas may lead to asthmatic symptoms and other breathing related problems.
Because of all these dangerous and potential side effect, many people are turning their attention to more natural cleaning products. BUT, is the ‘natural’ label on these products actually natural or are they the same, synthetically manufactured materials? Make sure to read those labels!
Wait, there is hope. No, I’m not selling you anything here. I’m just telling you…there are many non-chemical disinfectant cleaning agents found right inside your home! These agents can kill and prevent the growth of bacteria effectively without harmful side effects. Although these agents might not kill off all of the bacteria in a single swipe, they can significantly reduce the disease-causing bacteria in your home (even the toilet!).
Take a look at these ordinary household products that can be used as natural disinfectants and tips when using them:
- Ordinary household vinegar – Vinegar is a very effective cleaner with excellent antibacterial properties. It’s even better if you use apple cider vinegar (more acidic). If you don’t have any regular or apple cider vinegar, distilled white vinegar can also be used.
- Tea tree oil – This is a natural, concentrated oil from the tea tree used for it antibacterial properties. It’s great as a disinfectant, removing mold and mildew while also working to remove bacteria and build-up from dirty surfaces. It is completely nontoxic and perhaps a bit more expensive than other natural cleaning products. It’s great for removing bad foot odor (which is caused by bacteria, of course!)
Here’s a recipe that is amazing as a natural disinfectant, toilet cleaner, and all-purpose cleaner. Whatever you want to call it. Just remember to label the bottle.
Homemade Disinfectant Recipe:
Ingredients and Supplies:
1/2 – 1 cup apple cider vinegar
2 cups of hot water (hot water to dissolve the ingredients properly)
5 -10 drops Tea Tree oil (you can omit this if you don’t have it)
Essential oil like lemon
Combine in bottle and spray. O so simple.
*This powerful concoction will obliterate germs on counters, sinks, appliances and even rebellious children (just kidding here, don’t use this on people…although it is safe and friendly).
The Toilet Formula:
If you want a great toilet cleaner, use this formula:
2 cups apple cider vinegar
10 drops Tea Tree Oil
Works great on toilets!
Watch out for these ingredients!
Which Ingredients are Toxic?
Some of the ingredients in common household cleaners, laundry detergents, and even “green” cleaners that can create a toxic indoor environment include:
- Glycol ethers – Widespread use in paints, perfumes, soaps, cosmetics and foods. Cause fatigue, lethargy, nausea, and possible liver and kidney damage.
- Phthalates – Cause reproductive harm, endocrine disruption, cancer, organ damage.
- Perfumes – Cause headaches, sinus problems, asthma, may cause intoxication and “addiction.”
- Phosphates – Manufacturers have reduced eliminated phosphates from laundry products, but no action has ever been taken on dishwasher detergents. Causes widespread environmental damage.
- Nonylphenol ethoxylates (NPEs), a common ingredient in laundry detergents and all-purpose cleaners, is banned in Europe, and known to be a potent endocrine disrupter. It’s already thought to be the cause of male fish transforming into females in waterways around the world!
- Formaldehyde, found in spray and wick deodorizers, is a suspected carcinogen.
- Volatile organic compounds (VOCs), including 1,4-dichlorobenzene – Cause nose and throat irritation, dizziness, asthma.
- Petroleum solvents in floor cleaners may damage mucous membranes.
- Butyl cellosolve, found in many all-purpose and window cleaners. May damage your kidneys, bone marrow, liver and nervous system.
- Ammonia – irritating to the skin, eyes and lungs.
- Chlorine – irritating to the skin, eyes and lungs.
- Ethanolamines – irritating to the skin, eyes and lungs.
- Sodium Lauryl Sulfate – skin irritant, eye irritant, potential cancer causer.