One of my favorite things about minimalism is not having a million household cleaners. Not only do conventional cleaners require a ton of space and cost a lot, but most of them include toxic ingredients. I used to have a cabinet packed full of cleaning supplies, but now I love the convenience of only have a couple simple, effective cleaners.
I started looking for low-tox alternatives to my personal care and cleaning products after being diagnosed with some health issues that could be impacted by endocrine system disrupting ingredients. I did some research using EWG’s Skin Deep database and just about lost it when I discovered that my mascara includes my daily dose of formaldehyde. Formaldehyde—on my eyes every day! Yikes.
Interestingly, arranging the Skin Deep search results by toxicity level for something generic, like deodorant or shampoo, reveals that the most toxic products are the ones that line our grocery store shelves. Thought provoking, eh?
Needless to say, I’ve been hunting for less-toxic, diy alternatives to just about all of my personal care and cleaning products.
I’ll follow up later with posts about laundry and dishwasher detergent recipes which have been more of experiments, but for now here’s my favorite all-purpose cleaner that’s made with simple ingredients and works great!
I’m really impressed with Dr. Bronner’s Sal Suds, a condensed, plant-based, biodegradable cleaner. Just a quarter of a teaspoon dissolved in about 2 cups of water makes a fantastic, grease-cutting all-purpose spray. A little goes a LONG way, making it really cost-effective. It works great on grease, glass, counters, and even stainless steel appliances. It smells awesome too (spruce oil), unlike other homemade cleaners that use vinegar—not a fan of smelling like a pickle. I just refill my glass spray bottle every few weeks and only use old t-shirt rags to reduce paper waste.
I typically purchase it in small batches from the bulk section of our local co-op, but it can also be purchased here.
The concentrate can also be used as laundry detergent and floor cleaner, but I haven’t experimented with those yet. For now, I’m just thrilled to find a simple, all-purpose cleaner that actually works.
Would love to hear if anyone has found any other effective homemade, natural, all-purpose cleaners? I’m all ears!