Initially making my own DIY cleaning products started as a bit of an experiment. I had read about them on countless blogs and I was curious. How can such simple recipes work? The commercial ones have powers, enzymes and secret solutions that kill all those germs that are crawling all over our homes. With a spray and a wipe your family is safe. If I was going to switch to making my own DIY cleaning products I needed to do a bit of research. Here are the 5 reasons I have made the switch for good.
1. DIY cleaning products work!
For me it would be a failed experiment if my DIY cleaning products didn’t work just as well as the commercial products I had been using for many years. With three kids I don’t have the time or the inclination to make cleaning a bigger job than it already is. Cleaning using ingredients such as vinegar, bicarb soda, washing soda, borax and essential oils is not only recognised by those who pursue a crunchier life than others, but are held in high regard by many well respected authorities. For example, in a review on cleaning mould Choice recommends the use of 80% vinegar to 20% water and a micro fibre cloth as the most effective solution. The antibacterial, antiseptic and anti fungal properties of many essential oils have been well known for 1000s of years and today scientists are interested in using essential oils to fight superbugs as an alternative to antibiotics with thyme and cinnamon oil being found to be particularly effective.
2. Commercial cleaners can be harmful to our health
I find it disturbing that many of the popular cleaners on the supermarket shelf have no ingredients listed on them. The Huffington Post reports that according to a study by the Environmental Working Group, “53 percent of cleaning products under review contained lung-harming ingredients. In addition, well-known carcinogens like formaldehyde and chloroform were found in several cleaners”. What really did it for me though is that developmental and endocrine disruptors have also been linked to cleaning products. For example, many cleaning agents contain oestrogen mimicking compounds that hinder proper development in male offspring and accelerate puberty in young females. This really worries me. I hate that we are supposed to trust that these products on our supermarket shelves are safe for our families. Switching to greener cleaning products can also be tricky as “green washing” is a popular and effective marketing tool. In fact a so called “green” cleaner tops the list of the EWG’s Cleaners Hall of Shame. As long as the labelling rules are so vague for these products I feel I just can’t make an informed choice.
3. Essential oils are pretty damn amazing
Using essential oils in your homemade cleaning recipes certainly take your cleaners to the next level. I get my inspiration for blends from some of my favourite beauty products like Aesop. Combinations such as sweet orange, geranium and lavender; rose, bergamot and chamomile; and honey myrtle, juniper and thyme, not only smell absolutely divine but they have powerful properties as well. Or if you would prefer to take the guesswork out of your blending use a protective blend such as doTERRA’s On Guard which include oils that have been studied for their strong abilities to kill harmful bacteria, mould and viruses. Not only do these oils have antibacterial and antiseptic properties but essential oil devotees will swear by their roles as mood enhancers as well. I primarily select the essential oils I use based on their cleansing and purifying properties but if a few drops of lavender oil in my kitchen spray also delivers a sense of calm that is certainly not going to hurt – especially between the hours of 5-7pm if that is possible!