I am ashamed to say that I don’t clean that much. I should. I want to. I don’t like being filthy but remembering to do basic chores has never been my strong suit, even before allergy life. I kept an okay house during my calmer times but any time I got in the least bit busy, the the dishes and laundry would pile up apallingly high before I did anything about them. Then my food allergies went out of control and I started having to spend a ton of time cooking, researching, and sourcing safe food on top of my full-time-and-then-some job. So yeah, lately I don’t clean too much. Fortunately my wonderful boyfriend puts up with it and (usually) good-naturedly does way more than his fair share. Then every few months I go crazy cleaning All The Things to make up for my general slovenliness. Well, maybe it’s been more than a few by this point.
But here are the products that get used when cleaning happens.
Almost all of them are homemade. Part of this is due to the difficulty of finding completely allergy-safe non-toxic cleaning products, and part of this is thrift. I spend so much money on freaking food that I don’t want to spend a lot on household products. Fortunately all of these are super duper easy to make and are so far are working just as well for me as the chemical stuff.
For a list of brands of products I am using including vinegar and essential oils, see my safe-for-me food and products list.
All Purpose Surface Cleaner
- 1 part water
- 1 part vinegar
- essential oils of my choosing, or none at all
Add to spray bottle. Shake before using.
- ¼ cup isopropyl alcohol
- ¼ cup vinegar (any safe vinegar is fine- i use homemade kombucha vinegar)
- 1 tbsp arrowroot (I use Mountain Rose Herbs brand)
- 2c warm water
Yes, arrowroot. I don’t know why, but that addition really makes a difference between okay glass cleaner and really good glass cleaner. The original recipe calls for cornstarch but arrowroot seems to make a fine sub. It definitely works better than the mix without the arrowroot. Add to spray bottle, shake, and make sure to label. Isopropyl alcohol is not safe to ingest so don’t use it on anything you’ll be eating from. Shake well before use as the arrowroot will settle to the bottom and could clog the spray tube.
- 1/2c baking soda
- 1 cup vinegar (I use kombucha vinegar)
Sprinkle baking soda in the toilet and use a scrub brush to scrub.
Dump in 1 cup of vinegar. Let sit. Scrub more if needed. Flush.
Tub & Tile Cleaner
- 2 2/3 cups baking soda
- 3/4 cup + 2 tbsp liquid soap/li>
- 3 tbsp water
Add to a container and mix together completely, use like soft scrub. I like mixing this up in a quart mason jar and keeping it that way under the cupboard. If you want to make your own custom quantity, the proprotions are 12 parts baking soda, 4 parts castille soap, 1 part water.
Automatic Dishwasher Detergent
Floor Cleaner (Wood & Linoleum/Tile)
- 1/2cup vinegar
- 1 gallon of water.
Use like regular floor cleaner. (Don’t get wood floors too wet, dip mop & squeeze until nearly dry.)
Pre-treatment for Very Dirty Linoleum/Tile
- 2 tbsp washing soda (this is NOT the same as baking soda)
- 2 cups water
Mix and use to mop. Rinse with water.
- 3 tbsp baking soda
- 1 gallon water
Put your veggies or fruit in a large bowl, dish, or salad spinner and fill with enough water to cover. Add baking soda and swirl around. Let soak for a bit if you like. Rinse the veggies. If they are in the salad spinner you can do this by pulling the basket out and dumping the soak water, then refilling the bowl with fresh water to soak again. I usually soak in the baking soda water, then soak a bit more in fresh water, then rinse once more with another full bowl of water. Note that I have never found that this thorough of washing really gets corn off of food that has been sprayed or rinsed with a corny chemical or wax, however it will get incidental cross contamination off and will also drown any slugs or bugs from your super-fresh veggies. If you’ve never pulled a head of lettuce out of your crisper and found a bunch of dormant, chilled slugs in there with them, you really aren’t missing out. Best give ’em a good wash before you put them away, and then probably another good rinse after too.
Liquid Hand Soap
- 1/4 bar Olivella fragrance free bar soap
- 4 cups water
- essential oils to preference
Grate the bar soap over a bowl of the water and allow to absorb overnight. In the morning stir and you have liquid soap. If you want to make a gallon at a time, I use about 1 bar of soap per gallon.