If you’d look into your cleaning cupboard (always assuming that you have such a thing), you’ll probably find a large number of plastic bottles containing window cleaners, surface cleaners, desinfectant sprays, bathroom cleaners, furniture spray, toilet bleach etc.
In my childhood home, Thursday was cleaning day. My mum donned her oldest pinny and marigolds and moved ornaments and furniture alike in order to give the house a massive scrub - if this seems a bit extreme, yes, it WAS the 70ties and I AM German (although these days furniture in our house only gets moved for cleaning when we move out). The main thing I remember of my childhood Thursdays is that I hopped onto my bicycle and staid away all day, because I could not stand the smell. The familiarity of our home was overpowered for a few hours, and it reeked of chemicals with some fake lemon thrown in instead.
These days we assume that, if we can buy it in a supermarket, it’s gotta be safe. WRONG!!! Did you know that there are no real regulations on what you can and can’t put into cleaning products? I deliberately am not going out of my way here to provide you with a selection of links - you are an intelligent being, and the evidence is endless. If you haven’t done so already, google “Are household cleaners harmful” and proceed to tear your hair out).
But, just to illustrate briefly, take Toluene, Formaldehyde, Nitrobenzene, Chloride, Methylene and Ethylene glycol, all commonly used in cleaning products, and all of whom have been shown in various studies to cause asthma in children. That does neither make them illegal, nor does it require the brands to label the products accordingly.
Phosphates in cleaning products cause massive algal blooms messing with the natural ecosystem by stealing oxygen from water - the lake near our French home had to be closed twice for the whole summer in recent years because of increase in algae. Apart from the mess with nature, nobody could go swimming, so no-one went to the beach and ate ice cream and local businesses lost a whole summers income.
Whatever you use to clean your house, the chemicals inevitably end up in our water, air and soil. But they also contaminate the air you breath in your home, and the surfaces you touch - basically, you exchange bacteria for toxins. And last but not least, the packaging: endless non-recicable plastic bottles and plastic wrappings for our landfills.
We all have heard of the cleaning power of lemon, baking soda and vinegar, and yet we keep on going back for more. Why is that? My lovely cleaner is the high priestess of Viakal, and no matter what I tried, she smuggled the unwanted bottle back into the house, convinced that only heavy duty industrial stuff will do the trick.
Bring out the big gong: DONG, DONG, DONG!!! Announcing the incredible not so news that essential oils protect against seasonal and environmental threats.
They are nontoxic and don't pollute your home, the water supply, or the environment. The most amazing thing? The high priestess has approved and even uses some of my concoctions in other households - result!
And if all the environmental stuff leaves you cold, the bottom line cannot be denied: Using essential oils, together with some vinegar and perhaps some castile soap will safe you loads of money.
Take for example this multipurpose disinfectant cleaner, using a 500ml glass or stainless steal spray bottle (prices are approximate).
125 distilled vinegar: £0.15
15 drops of dōTERRA Lemon for freshness and cleaning power: £0.25
15 drops of dōTERRA Oregano to disinfect: £0.50
10 drops of dōTerra OnGuard to protect your immune system: £0.50
Total price: £1.40
That’s less than half the price of a conventional branded cleaning product, it smells divine, is completely non-toxic and you can use it on all surfaces: windows, marble, zinc, or granite tops, stainless steal, you name it.
If you just can be bothered to spend half an hour once a month or so to refill your own disinfectant sprays, furniture polish or yoga-mat-spray using multipurpose essential oils, carrier oils such as fractionated coconut or olive oil, baking soda and vinegar, you’ll not only safe a huge amount of money, but you’ll be kind to the environment and protect your family and yourself.
Contact me for more recipes and ideas, I am always happy to help. And give yourself a big slap on the shoulder - together we’re about to detox our neighbourhood, one household at the time.