The Healthy Homemade Cleaning Challenge

The Healthy Homemade Cleaning Challenge

 

For 30+ Days We're Using and Creating Homemade Cleaning Products that (Hopefully!) the Entire Family will Love

Well, its been a while since we’ve challenged ourselves at Mommy’s ER (childbirth aside) and I’m delighted to say that my son still eats breakfast like a champ -- check out our series on the breakfast challenge -- link here. Now today, watching my sweet new baby boy roll over for the first time, his expression reminds me of the level of determination and satisfaction that a good challenge provides -- even what appears to be a small one. So what better day to launch a new challenge -- cleaning our house with natural cleaning products? I mean, rolling is just a hop, skip and jump away from crawling, toddling and otherwise putting our floors to the test. I want to make sure the floors are ready for his exploring mouth and tender skin.

Still, my cleaning lady (yes, I already am cheating at this challenge, if only once every couple of weeks) cringes when I bring home a new natural cleaning product. The last time she pointed at our streaky chrome in dismay, and asked me if she could use her own money to go buy something else, something that works. She takes pride in her finished product, which I certainly appreciate. SO, we want our products to be natural enough that babies can put their mouths on our floors and furniture (quite literally), but also able to suffer and clean up the indignities that babies and the rest of us naturally inflict upon them. Couple all this with a husband who gets a full body rash with even some of the natural detergents (it said fragrance-free and biodegradable, I swear!), and we’ve got ourselves a cleaning challenge.

So we’re making this challenge into a game: Maddie has made both of each of our families at Mommy’s ER one batch each of natural, home-made laundry detergent, all-purpose cleaner, dishwashing detergent, and room-freshening mist (think diaper-changing station). With her own inimitable artistry, Maddie has even repurposed bottles and painted on the Mommy’s ER logo. These recipes we’re using (if you can call straight vinegar and essential oil a ‘recipe’:)) are based on other recipes, what we know to be antimicrobial and healthy (ie what I wouldn’t mind going in Ammie’s mouth), and based on Grandmas’ kitchen table wisdom. Now we’re going to decide if they work.

For 30 days, we’re using only homemade cleaners. We’ve included the recipes if you’d like to play along, or share your own tips -- especially if you’ve got any for unforgiving surfaces like marble and steel. My cleaning gal will thank you.

homemade cleaning products

laundry detergent (makes ≈ 50 ounces)

  • 1 bar of fels naptha
  • 2 cups borax
  • 2 cups washing soda
  • 1/4 baking soda

---Instructions---> (grate soap with cheese grater, you can run it through the food processor or magic bullet also after grating to get the soap finer and more evenly dispersed through your detergent)

note: add vinegar to the rinse cycle of your washing machine; add your favorite scent essential oil to (wool) dryer balls to complete amazing laundry cycle in your dryer

borax, laundry, natural

fels naptha, fels-naptha, laundry soap, homemade   fels-naptha, fels naptha, soap, magic bullet

all purpose cleaner (makes ≈ 32 ounces)

  • 2 cups filtered water
  • 2 cups distilled vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp spearmint essential oil

note: substitute lemon essential oil and add 1/4 tsp tea tree oil to use as a counter top spray

vinegar, natural cleaners

dishwasher detergent (makes ≈ 18 ounces)

  • 1/4 cup sea salt
  • 1 cup washing soda
  • 1 cup borax
  • 1/4 tsp lemon essential oil

note: add vinegar to each cycle to the rinse aid compartment

  

room freshening mist (makes ≈ 12 ounces)

  • 3/4 cup filtered water
  • 2/3 cup rubbing alcohol
  • 1/4 tsp lemon essential oil
  • 1/4 tsp spearmint essential oil

note: shake well before using

room spray, natural fabreez   natural room freshener, ingredients

The Finished Products

note: my straight vinegar dishwasher rinse aid is in the tall glass bottle back right

natural homemade cleaning

A Note on Containers:


When you finish up your existing cleaning products, use the spray bottles and squirt bottles for your homemade recipes. Upcycle by taking the labels off with warm water and an old butter knife. Make that bottle your own with paint, custom labels, stickers and anything else your kids might want to help decorate with. Bedazzle that bottle! Repurpose a salsa or jelly jar by filling it with your dish detergent. An empty soda bottle with a rubber and metal pour spout can make a great vinegar dishwasher rinse aid container, or kitchen hand soap as well.

cleaning solution containers  upcycled spray bottle, up cycles  repurposed soda bottle, recycled

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