Happy Monday! Spring will be here before we know it and I am sure many of you are starting to get their 'Spring Cleaning' done before the nice weather comes.
A long time ago... a very long time ago, when I was in my early 20's, I lived in New York City. One night I was scrubbing down my very little bathroom (with the very little window open) with different products for different areas for the bathroom. After a short bit, I had to get out of the bathroom because of the fumes. I sat down and realized I was having a difficult time breathing, not a lot, but enough to scare me. I instantly called my mom as I was concerned. When I told her all the things I was using, I could swear her hand came through the phone and wacked me across the forehead. She went on to tell me that I can't use certain products together because of the chemical reaction they cause. After a while of talking to her, I could feel my breathing come back to normal. This really made me nervous, I mean, it was a little bathroom, I didn't use more than three different products, and two of them were Soft Scrub and Windex. This started to make me more aware of products I was using throughout my home.
Have you ever taken a minute to look at the ingredients of the cleaners you use in your house? For example, do you use Soft Scrub to really get your kitchen and bathroom clean? I used to... not any more. Let's take a minute to look what's in it and what it can do to you. The known ingredients of Soft Scrub are:
SODIUM HYPOCHLORITE (effects: acute aquatic toxicity, respiratory effects; general systemic/organ effects, developmental/endocrine/reproductive effects, cancer, nervous system effects, kidney and urinary effects, digestive system effects, skin irritation/allergies/damage, damage to vision)
DALUMINA (respiratory effects; Some Concern: skin irritation/allergies/damage)
DFRAGRANCE (skin irritation/allergies/damage, acute aquatic toxicity, nervous system effects, respiratory effects, biodegradation; Disclosure Concern: non-specific ingredient)
DALUMINUM DISTEARATE (No data, some concern)
CSULFONIC ACIDS, PETROLEUM, SODIUM SALTS BLAURAMINE OXIDE BPALMITAMINE OXIDE BSODIUM SILICATE BCALCIUM CARBONATE AWATER ASODIUM CHLORIDE ASODIUM HYDROXIDE ASODIUM TALLOWATE ASODIUM COCOATE ASODIUM PALM KERNELATE ASODIUM PALMATE
Okay... wait a minute... did you read that first ingredient??? Did you read its effects? I don't know about you, but I don't think I want to deal with any of that. Now I know these things don't happen after just one time of use, or even a couple of times, but, do you have any idea how many products carry this ingredient? Check it out at the U.S. Department of Human and Health Services at https://hpd.nlm.nih.gov/cgi-bin/household/brands?tbl=chem&id=20 Sodium. Sodium Hypochlorite is an unstable salt NaOCl produced usually in aqueous solution and used as a bleaching and disinfecting agent according to the Merriam Dictionary. This was the simplest definition of this chemical. Basically, it's a salt that interacts with water to make bleach. Just knowing this bit of information, you can imagine the amount of products this is in and how much exposure we have to it.
Now remember when I started my blogs, I made the statement that we can't get away from all the chemicals but I was definitely going to try my best to get rid of as many as I could. I know some of you may be thinking that I am crazy... I mean, we're in flu season and bleach kills germs. How can I not use it. Well... there are other alternatives and they work amazing!
With that said, I want to share with you a soft scrub recipe that is my go-to for scrubbing the tub, sinks and so much more. This stuff is amazing!!! I've been using it for quite some time now and love it!!! It works just as good as Barkeeper's Friend and better than Soft Scrub... with out the nasty chemicals or fumes. It's so simple to make, literally takes minutes, and the ingredients cost so little (it actually costs less to make this then to purchase a product in the store; since you can make it each time you use it, there's no taking up space in a cabinet; and since you don't need a plastic container to hold on to it, it's keeps garbage out of the environment). The recipe I am giving you makes enough to clean your bathroom and kitchen sink (faucets included), your bathtub and toilet, with a little bit left over, so if you need more, just double it. It uses Tea Tree Essential Oil which has powerful antimicrobial properties and can kill off the bad bacteria in your home.
Antibacterial Soft Scrub Cleanser
3/4 cup Baking Soda
1/4 cup liquid Castille Soap (I use the peppermint Castille soap, but you can what ever scent you want. Also, yes this soap is pricey but you will have it for a long time, as you are only using a small portion each time.)
1 tablespoon Water
10-15 drops Tea Tree Essential Oil
1 tablespoon Vinegar
Directions: In a bowl, combine baking soda and Castille Soap. Add water and Tea Tree Essential Oil and stir with fork. Slowly add in the vinegar (it will fizz, so make sure your bowl is tall). Mix well and use.
After you make it, take a sponge and just spread some on all the areas you want to clean with it. Let it sit for about 5 minutes. Moisten the sponge and scrub away. For most cleaning situations, you will use hardly any elbow grease... yes, you read right... hardly!
It's best to make this cleanser fresh each time you use it, but you could make enough to have extra, just put it in a mason jar with an air tight lid. There are also so many great essential oils out there that get rid of germs and bacteria. You can add oils like lemon or wild orange if you love that fresh citrusy scent or rosemary or lavender. Just adjust the drops so that you have 10-15 in total. So have fun and clean your home you love with wholesome goodness.
How do you feel about the chemicals in our cleaning products? Have you ever wanted to get more natural with your cleaning?
Changed up the recipe? Tell us about it...
Until next Monday... Stay Natural!