In this modern day and age, the world is full of harmful substances from the food we eat to the household products we use every day. And when it comes to safety, the regulations are pretty weak. In fact, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency only requires companies to list ingredients that are active disinfectants or potentially harmful.
Not only can these products be dangerous, but they can also be very expensive. Over the years we’ve transitioned our home to store-bought cruelty-free and “green” cleaners, but these come with an even higher price tag. What you may not realize is that you most likely have all of the products you would need to keep your house clean hiding in your pantry and medicine cabinet!
Conventional cleaners may seem harmless because of how frequently they are used, but many contain potent chemicals that can cause unnecessary risks. Most surface cleaner sprays contain toxins such as phthalates (a hormone disruptor that can trigger asthma and migraines), 2-butoxyethanol (which can contribute to lung, kidney, and liver damage), and some products even contain “preservatives that release low levels of cancer-causing formaldehyde.” (1) Yikes.
Not only are the chemicals being used in cleaners impacting people’s health in a negative way, but they are also causing significant contamination to our planet. When a cleaner is flushed down the toilet or rinsed down a bathtub or a sink, waste removal processes remove a lot of the chemicals, but many aren’t filtered out.
Nitrogen, phosphorus, and ammonia are common contaminants that aren’t filtered out and can cause major issues. While these are natural elements of our ecosystem, when massive loads of these nutrients are dumped into streams, rivers, lakes, and the ocean, it can cause “nutrient pollution,” which offsets the balance of the ecosystem causing huge problems. (2)
Making homemade cleaners is extremely easy, just as effective, and eliminates the risks of being exposed to dangerous chemicals. And, making your own cleaners will also save your family a lot of money! A spray bottle of surface cleaner typically costs $4 – $5, while a gallon of white vinegar typically costs $3 – $4 and can be used to make countless bottles of natural cleaners. Win-win-win!
Many conventional cleaning products and companies rely on outdated animal testing which is cruel, ineffective, and unnecessary. Today it’s easy to find safe, natural products that are also cruelty-free. Even major retailers like Target and Walmart offer many products that are cruelty-free (look for “cruelty-free” or the leaping bunny symbol on the label).
It’s easier than ever to eliminate unnecessary chemicals when all you need are three simple ingredients and a few minutes to mix it all up!
The power of vinegar is really versatile and great for use all around the home. Here are the best ways to use this homemade cleaning spray:
As you run out of your usual cleaners this year, instead of restocking with conventional cleaners, try upgrading to more natural cruelty-free brands or swapping it out with homemade, vinegar-based cleaners! You’ll be surprised at how effectively they work and how much money you’ll save as well. Here are more guides to help you get started:
This homemade cleaning spray guide was written with support from Dr. Kasey Johnson.
1. Environmental Working Group: Cleaning Supplies & Your Health
2. Environmental Protection Agency: Chemicals and Toxins
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