Updated: Jan 23, 2019
May 13, 2017 | Jen Hartnett-Orser
Let’s chat about cleaning Green!!! This is one of the very first areas that I dove into when I started out with Essential Oils. SO many of you have reached out to seek more information about this area, I figured I’d put it all down in Blog form!!! Read all the way to the end for a special bonus!!!
“Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.”
This is a quote you’ll see on the front page of my website, as it’s something I wholeheartedly believe in! Please understand that I’m not writing any of this with an intention of Fear Mongering, simply offering tools and information to show my peeps a different way!
This movie, The Human Experiment
( http://thehumanexperimentmovie.com/) was a HUGE catalyst for change in our household! Fair warning...I finished this movie with FIRE in my veins!!! I was SO angry that we, as consumers, and Canadians, are NOT protected by our Gov’t! THIS was my wakeup call, and certainly a call to action to start making real changes in our lives!
My next stop, was the Environmental Working Group - www.ewg.org - a great way to take stock of the everyday products you’ve been using, and how they stack up. This was a RUUUDE awakening when I started looking up my household, and personal care products...especially those ones that I paid extra for, because they were ‘higher quality’ or more ‘Green/eco friendly’ - I’d fallen victim to ‘Greenwashing’ which SO many companies are doing. Change the packaging, change the claims, reduce the package size by about 20-30%, and don’t forget to INCREASE the price!!! Boom...it MUST be healthier, right!?!??! For example - let’s take a popular Laundry Detergent brand….I don’t wanna name names, but let’s say for fun that it rhymes with ‘Slide’ - When you compare the bright red bottle with the ‘original + extra scent’ formula AND the smaller, White bottle with the ‘Free, pure, essential’ Formula BOTH received an “F” (based on the letter grade system - aka FAIL) so really, they’ve duped a ton of consumers into thinking they’re making a ‘better choice’ - as well as increasing their profit margins!!! That kind of shiz makes my blood boil!!
Here is a link to the EWG's Hall of Shame Cleaner Edition : http://static.ewg.org/reports/2012/cleaners_hallofshame/cleaners_hallofshame.pdf
I KNOW I’ve had most of those exact products in my home for YEARS! And all in the name of a ‘good clean’ Little did I know!!!
I know this bit can seem overwhelming...and it really and truly IS, once you start to learn more, or venture ‘down the rabbit hole’ as I often call it!! Some people who do this learning, may be immediately ready for ‘THE BIG OVERHAUL’ and are ready to throw out everything and start from scratch. If that’s the case, great… I can help you!!
If that's not your position quite yet, great, I can help you!!! The good news is, you don’t have to know everything, change everything, or even give up everything you’ve known all at once!! Instead, start with small, manageable steps, as you run out of one type of cleaner, replace it with a DIY or lower risk product!!
If you know me at all, you know that being ‘crafty’ is NOT within my ‘Zone of Genius’ so for ME to jump on the DIY bandwagon means two things….One - it’s ultra simple - and Two -it’s WORTH IT! (both health wise, and from a cost effectiveness standpoint!)
Here are some of my absolute fave cleaning recipes - with credit given to the websites/blogs where I found them! These are staples in our household, are made for PENNIES, and are incredibly effective! I made everything pictured here in LESS THAN 10 MINUTES!!!!! The Granite cleaner smells so good that Chad even cleans the counters ‘just for the smell of it’ sometimes!!! What!!?!?! YOU NEED some of this in your life friends!!
Homemade Granite Cleaner
• 1/4 cup of Rubbing alcohol (or cheap vodka)
• 5 drops of Castile Soap (I like Dr. Bronner’s or Green Beaver)
• 5-10 drops Essential Oil (avoid citrus based oils on granite – I love Rosemary & Peppermint)
Add alcohol into 16oz spray bottle. Add in dish soap, essential oil, and fill the rest of the way with water. Give it a few shakes and you’re good to go! It will your countertops a beautiful shine as it dries. All this shiny goodness at a FRACTION of the price of the store bought, chemical-y stuff!
Homemade Stainless Steel/Glass Cleaner
• ½ cup Rubbing Alcohol or Cheap Vodka
• ⅓ cup White Vinegar
• Essential Oil
Add the alcohol and vinegar to a 16oz. glass spray bottle. Add water until the bottle is full. Finish with 5-10 drops of your favorite essential oil – Citrus Oils are great in this one. Wild Orange & Lemongrass is a favorite blend!
I use this on my Stainless appliances – it has worked BETTER than any commercial cleaner I’ve ever tried, and it works on both the steel and glass portions of the appliance!
DIY Dusting Spray
•1 cup Water
•1/4 cup Vinegar (cuts through grease and grime & disinfectants)
•2 tsp Olive or Avocado Oil (shines and protects wood)
•10-15 drops of Citrus essential oil* (makes your home smell naturally fresh and clean!)
*Lemon, Grapefruit, Wild Orange, Tangerine, or Bergamot essential oil work well – or go crazy and mix them up! Combine all ingredients in spray bottle and shake well to mix.
To use: Because oil and water don’t mix, be sure to shake before each use to help distribute all the ingredients. Spray directly on furniture and buff it off with a clean, dry cloth.
ONGuard Cleaning Concentrate This one really isn’t much of a DIY cleaner - other than adding 2tbsps to a bottle of water! This link points you to a ton of uses for this powerhouse! Our household goes through 1 bottle every 8ish months...and we use this EVERY DAY. I add in a little addn’l Wild Orange, or sometimes Lemongrass, to give it a little extra ‘oomph’ but that’s just me - it works incredibly on it’s own as well!
This will hopefully give you some good info, and resources to get started with… and for those of you who are Hungry for even more info??? Here’s my Bonus link to sign up for the Upcoming ‘Green & Clean’ Webinar - part of the Empowered Life Series!
I will do a future blog on Skincare - as I’ve made some HUUUGE strides in this area! (and all of them non-toxic - WOO!) And in the meantime, I look forward to seeing YOUR comments, and DIY successes!!
Yours in good, clean fun!