Save money – and the planet – with this 5 DIY household cleaner recipes
A WWF’s Living Planet Report revealed that humanity’s demand on the planet is more than 50 per cent greater than what nature can sustain. Some countries demand more of the Earth than others, with Qatar, Canada, America and Australia having some of the world’s largest ecological footprints per capita. Taking one country – Australia – as an example, if the rest of the world lived like Aussies do, we’d need the regenerative capacity of 3.6 Earths to sustain our demands on nature.
Modern living and the consumer society not only harms our own health, but it kills off all species at an alarming rate: animals, trees, plants and even microorganisms that once lived in soil are all diminishing thanks to human activities – activities we don’t even think twice about, like cleaning our houses.
We need to create a world where humanity and nature exist in harmony. Part of this is finding ways for everyone to reduce their ecological footprint so that we can all save precious resources and reduce our impact on the planet. One of many ways to do this is to stop consuming toxic products like chemical based cleaners we can easily make from home.
They seem to be essentials; some even call them ‘household necessities’. But our great grandparents didn’t have access to those bottles of cleaners that have warnings (and even skulls and crossbones!) on the label. Those chemical detergents only came into the market after experiments done during the First and Second World Wars made them more available. Some, like chlorine, were even formulated as chemical weapons, and very few of them indeed have been tested for human safety in the long term. Prior to that, houses were kept clean by natural formulations combined with a bit of elbow grease.
Even ‘eco friendly’ commercial cleaners contain some chemicals, and let’s not even talk about the billions of tonnes of plastic packaging waste that end up in our oceans! Sure, you may not toss bottles out onto the beach yourself, but did you know that much plastic waste in the oceans actually ‘accidentally’ finds its way there from being flushed down toilets or escaping landfill sites?
But it gets worse: you may not think much about this, but every time you use a packaged chemical cleaner, it somehow makes its way to the water table: toilet cleaners literally go down the bowl, bath cleaners get rinsed off and even chemical mouthwashes get spat into sinks, eventually making their way to our oceans, where they kill microorganisms essential to the food chain in the oceans. Many of these toxic chemicals cannot be easily filtered out, which means ultimately, you end up drinking your toilet cleaner.
Not only that, but when you spray a chemical cleaner, you’re releasing VOCs (volatile organic compounds) into the air, which create serious air pollution in your own house. This can lead to a stuffy nose at least, and asthma and hormonal problems at worst. Is it really worth the risk?
These simple, cheap DIY Household Cleaner Recipes below are all 100% natural and will not only make your home fresh and clean, but will save your health, and that of all creatures, great and small, living on the Earth, too. All you need to get started are some common ingredients, and of course, a few reusable spray bottles.
How To Make Your Own Household Cleaners
1. Bathroom Cleaners
Tile creams, toilet cleaners and bleach are the worst things you can put into the bathroom – they end up back in the water table and can damage your skin unless you wear gloves, too. These bathroom cleaners are pure and simple and easy to make.
2. For Mirrors
Cleaning glass and mirrors with homemade products is easier than you think! White vinegar and old newspaper works well too. this recipe also works for tiles and windows.
3. Toilet Cleaner
If you only replace one product, this should be it. Toilet cleaners are normally highly toxic and harmful to marine life. You may think that the nastier the chemical, the more it’s going to clean your toilet, but that’s simply not the case! Invest in a good brush, and use this cleaning recipe below.
4. Scented Laundry Detergent
Laundry detergent is easy to make – and you can add your own scent, instead of toxic ‘parfum’! Did you know fabric softening sheets contain loads of harmful chemicals that can cause cancer and other illnesses? This is a much more sustainable solution, below.
5. Homemade Floor Cleaner
This one is another great recipe to replace typically nasty chemical cleaners. It’s formulated to work on any kind of floor, too. This will leave your floors looking shiny and new!
Other Chemical Free Stuff To Make At Home
Don’t limit your DIY formulas to cleaning – there’s a lot you can do in terms of personal care products too!
6. Insect Repellent
Who needs DEET and other chemicals that can harm your skin and health? This is a really easy recipe, and it smells great, too!
This stuff literally goes right into your mouth – why would you want to put chemical anti-bacterials and loads of alcohol in there? This is almost good enough to drink! (but please don’t!)