When I decided to go zero waste a few years ago, I did a lot of research on the products I was using in my home and on my body, and a lot of what I found out was pretty terrifying.
I found out that the cleaning supplies I had been using (bleach, windex, scrubbing bubbles) were highly toxic, and could lead to respiratory problems, skin irritation, reproductive toxicity, nervous system damage, and organ toxicity amongst other health issues.
I quickly adopted the philosophy that I don’t want to use any products on my body or in my home that I wouldn’t be comfortable eating. Think about it, between setting your food down on your countertop, showering, brushing your teeth – you’re going to most likely ingest or come in very close contact with the products you use to keep your home clean. If you wouldn’t take a shot of windex, why would you use it to clean a surface you cook your food on?
My all-purpose nontoxic cleaner go-to? Distilled white vinegar made from grains. It kicks bacteria’s butt and works perfectly to keep countertops, mirrors, bathroom sinks, tile, etc. sparkling. I use it as a stain remover, mildew eliminator, fabric softener, room deodorizer, to unclog drains, and in the rinse cycle to remove soap from clothes! Be careful using it on marble and granite because it etches, meaning the acidity of the vinegar eats away at the surface of it.
Here’s my tried and true all-purpose nontoxic cleaner recipe I follow:
- Distilled white vinegar
- Scented essential oil (optional)
- Glass spray bottle
- Fill a glass spray bottle halfway with water.
- Fill the rest of the way with distilled white vinegar.
- Add in a 15-20 drops of essential oil for scent.
- Spray away!
My zero waste cleaning tips:
- Clean frequently – you don’t need heavy cleaners like bleach if you’re diligent with cleaning your home consistently with your nontoxic cleaner.
- Use rags, cut up old t-shirts and reusable cleaning towels instead of paper towels.