Whether you’re trying to conceive, currently pregnant, or have a new baby crawling through your house, we’re guessing that you’re looking for ways to limit your exposure to chemicals and harmful toxins. A great way to do that is by taking a look at your household cleaning products and seeing where you can introduce more natural (and baby-safe) ingredients. A 2012 study by the Environmental Working Group found that 53% of common cleaners contained chemicals that are believed to be carcinogenic and harmful to respiratory health. But that’s no reason to worry. We think findings like these are opportunities for informing yourself about what’s safe and what’s not, and learning how to make healthier choices when shopping for products.
The best thing you can do is use this as positive motivation to bring more natural, cleaner, and greener products into your home and lifestyle! To give you a head start, we’ve got 5 incredibly simple DIY recipes for safer household cleaning solutions. These recipes call for natural ingredients that you can find right in your kitchen pantry. Not only will you reduce your exposure to potential toxins, using biodegradable and natural ingredients is better for the environment, and DIY solutions can save you a lot of money in the long run!
Safe and all-natural DIY cleaning solutions
Overuse of disinfectants that use harsh chemicals to kill bacteria can actually lead to strains of bacteria that are stronger and more resistant over time.
What you’ll need: spray bottle, warm water, white vinegar, fresh lemon juice, tea tree oil, essential oil (optional)
What to do: Combine 1 cup warm water, 1 cup white white vinegar, 4 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice and several drops of tea tree oil into a spray bottle. You can also add a few drops of an essential oil such as lavender or eucalyptus to balance out the smell of the vinegar. Shake to mix and use as multi-purpose cleaner.
An old fashioned polish
Traditional wood polishes are often made with formaldehyde – so it’s best to keep these products out of your home altogether. If you have any wooden furniture that needs sprucing up, all you need is two simple ingredients.
What you’ll need: Olive oil, fresh lemon juice, microfiber cloth
What to do: Add 1 cup olive oil and 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice to a glass bottle and mix to emulsify. Apply a small amount of the solution to a microfiber cloth and buff into wood surfaces.
Clean floors for crawling
It’s impossible to keep your floors perpetually clean, but it’s also impossible to stop your baby from crawling all over and exploring the world around him or her. When you do get the chance to clean your floors, opt for this baby-safe solution.
What you’ll need: Large bucket, warm water, white vinegar, all-natural liquid soap
What to do: Mix 1 gallon warm water with 1/4 cup white vinegar and a generous teaspoon of all-natural liquid soap in a large bucket. Soak a clean mop in the solution and use to clean your floors. This is safe on wood, laminate, and most tile flooring. For marble, stone, or ceramic floors you’ll want to swap out the vinegar and liquid soap for a few drops of pH-neutral soap.
Multi-purpose bathroom duty
Bathrooms tend to need the most attention, and this DIY cleaning solution will serve all of your bathroom needs when it comes to toilet, tub, and tile.
What you’ll need: Baking soda, white vinegar, liquid soap, water, 2 cloths
What to do for toilet: Sprinkle enough baking soda to coat the inside edge of your toilet bowl. Pour 1 cup of white vinegar over the baking soda and scrub the bowl with a toilet brush. Allow to sit for 20 minutes before flushing.
What to do for tub and tile: Combine 1-1/2 cups baking soda with 1/2-cup liquid soap and 1/2-cup warm water in a large bowl. Mix thoroughly and then add 2 TBSP of white vinegar. Using gloves and a cloth, apply this mixture to your tub and tile, and scrub thoroughly. Let sit for 5 minutes and then rinse away with warm water and a clean cloth.
Streak-free shine on mirrors and windows
You can keep your windows sparkling clean and marvel at spotless mirrors with this easy recipe!
What you’ll need: spray bottle, white vinegar, cornstarch, warm water, microfiber cloth
What to do: Add 1/4 cup vinegar, 2 cups of warm water, and 1 TBSP of cornstarch to a spray bottle and shake to mix thoroughly. Spray on glass surface and wipe dry with a microfiber cloth.