Sunday, August 25, 2013

Natural Cleaning Could Reduce Your Risk of Developing Breast Cancer

Homemakers have a 55% greater chance of developing cancer and respiratory disease than women who work outside the home! Why? Perpetual exposure to high levels of toxins and phthalates (a very common, well known carcinogen) found in cleaning supplies and personal care products. Having a family history of breast cancer, I want to take every possible step to keep me from becoming a 1-out-of-every-8-women statistic. One way I do that is by using natural cleaning options.

Here are some of my favorite all-natural, homemade cleaning solutions. They are natural, eco and baby friendly, and cheap to make. And you can make all of them with only 6 main ingredients (plus a couple others you most likely already have on hand).

*Update: you can now download customized labels that include the recipes for these cleaners for free here*

Glass/Mirror Cleaner
1 1/2 cups distilled white vinegar
1 1/2 cups water
20-30 drops essential oil (optional, adding it makes your home smell great while you clean)

Flat Top Stove Cleaner - super simple, highly effective
Sprinkle surface with baking soda, spray white vinegar over entire area (don't be stingy!), wait about 20 minutes until the baking soda turns brown, and wipe off. If there are any cooked on food messes use a microfiber cloth to scour the area with the baking soda mixture.

Citrus Vinegar Disinfecting Spray - great for the kitchen, hard toys, and household surfaces during cold and flu season
Add citrus peals to a glass jar (as many as you can)
Fill the jar with distilled white vinegar
Let steep for 2-5 weeks (the longer it sits the more concentrated it will be, which mean you will need to add more water to it, and will end up getting more solution in the long run)
Add infusion to a gallon jug and fill with water according to the following ratio:
       2 week steep = 1:1 vinegar to water
       3 week steep = 1:2 vinegar to water
       4 week steep = 1:3 vinegar to water
       5 week steep = 1:4 vinegar to water (this means a 32 oz jar or                                         citrus vinegar will make a gallon of cleaner)

Floor Cleaner 
1 cup citrus vinegar
1 cup alcohol (helps floors dry faster, omit for wood floors)
1 gallon water
3-4 drops liquid soap (plant based dish soap or castile soap)

Heavy Duty Cleaner - great for ovens, microwaves toilets, tubs, sinks, and carpet stains 
1 1/2 cups warm vinegar (I microwave it for 30 seconds)
1/4 cup of non-castile liquid soap like 7th Generation dish soap (castile soap curdles in vinegar)
Measure soap into a spray bottle using a funnel
Add vinegar (I pour it into the measuring cup first to help get the residual soap out)
Gently (and I do mean gently!) shake to mix
To use for oven cleaning sprinkle baking soda in over, spray with cleaner, let sit, wipe with a microfiber cloth for extra scrubbing power.
To use for microwave cleaning spray inside thoroughly, run microwave for 1 minute, wipe.
*Note: this is my all-natural version of the oh-so-popular Blue Dawn/Vinegar cleaner that is all over Pinterest, it is safe for your home and goes much further because you don't need as much soap*

Dishwasher Detergent
1 1/2 cups Borax (is found in the laundry aisle)
1 1/2 cups Washing Soda (also found in the laundry aisle)
3/4 cups Table Salt
3/4 cups citric acid (can be found online, or on the cleaning aisle as Lemi Shine)
Mix all ingredients together, store in an air tight container
To use: put 1 tbl. in the soap tray of your dishwasher, fill the rest of the way with lemon juice, and close that sucker and start it fast because you just created a chemical reaction that is bubbling all over the place. Use distilled white vinegar in the rinse aid compartment and remember to check it's level periodically.
*Tip - add a silica pack to prevent clumping in humid climates*

Laundry Detergent
1 cup baking soda
2 cups Borax
2 cups Washing Soda
1 grated castile soap (like Dr. Bonner's or Kiss My Face, if you               choose a scented version you could opt to leave out the EO)
40-50 drops essential oil (tea tree oil, lavender  and cedarwood               have great antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal properties)
Mix dry ingredients
Add essential oil slowly while stirring to prevent clumping
To Use: 1 tbl. per load, with 1/2 cup distilled white vinegar in the rinse cycle for fabric softener (optional, but while you're at it you might as well add some more essential oil to the vinegar to really up the ante).

Spray Stain Fighter - I use this as soon as I change a poopy cloth diaper and haven't had any staining yet. I also use it on my mama cloth, and general kid laundry potential stains.
1 cup of the powder laundry detergent
8 cups of water
Bring water to a boil
Add detergent, stir until dissolved
Remove from heat, allow to cool completely, stirring occasionally
Funnel into spray bottle, store remaining mixture in a gallon jug (can be halved or doubled according to your needs)

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