Non-Toxic Cleaning

Those dust bunnies in the corner may have never bothered you before; but now that your baby has tried to eat them, you’re hoping to eradicate those untidy residents. Since your baby is crawling, and maybe even pulling himself up to stand, you’re more conscious of cleaning areas of your home that you may have neglected for a while. Take heart – some research has shown that having a too clean home can increase your child’s allergy risk.

But on a more serious note, you’ve got another worry – are the chemicals in your cleaning products maybe more harmful that the dirt itself? Ingredients that aim to deep clean and kill germs can also be irritating to baby’s delicate airway, eyes and skin (not to mention your own). Many products aren’t safety tested in any meaningful way – we just don’t know what the health effects are for many of the components of these cleaning products.

If you’re looking for a green option, consider making your own household cleaners. These cleaners get the job done with a few inexpensive ingredients. They clean as well as – if not better than – their commercial counterparts and you don’t need to worry about exposing your baby (or yourself) to harmful chemicals. Here are a few recipes to get your started:

All-Purpose Cleaning Spray
In a spray bottle, mix 9 parts water and 1 part white vinegar. Add a few drops of dish soap or essential oils, if you’d like.

Furniture Polish
In a spray bottle, combine 1/4 cup white vinegar, 1 tablespoon of olive oil and a few drops of lemon juice or lemon essential oil.

Window Cleaner
Combine 2 teaspoons of white vinegar with on quart of warm water. Use some crumples black and white newsprint to wipe the windows. If the sun is shining, wait to clean the window to avoid streaking.

Bathroom Cleaner
Sprinkle your tub or sink with baking soda and scrub with a wet sponge, then rinse with fresh water. You can also use vinegar first to break down soap scum.

Toilet Bowl Cleaner
Pour 1/2 cup of 3% hydrogen peroxide directly into the toilet bowl and let it stand for 20 minutes. Then just scrub clean as usual.

Fabric Softener
Consider making or buying wool dryer balls. Throw 2 or 3 into the dryer with your clothes to soften fabrics naturally and to speed drying time. You can also scent them with a few drops of essential oil if you’d like. Or, add white vinegar to the wash cycle and forego fabric softener in the dryer.

Laundry Whitener
As an alternative to bleach, add one cup of 3% hydrogen peroxide wash to boost brightness

Additionally, you may want to open windows when you’re cleaning, even with natural products. Clean from the top down, saving the carpet or floor for after the dust has settled. Then put your feet up and take a break to enjoy your clean, fresh home.

Most importantly, always keep chemicals and cleaning materials out of sight and reach of children, preferably in a locked cupboard.

Written by Michelle, childbirth instructor, lactation consultant, and mother to 4 busy kids

This information is not intended to replace the advice of a trained medical doctor. Health & Parenting Ltd disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information, which is provided to you on a general information basis only and not as a substitute for personalized medical advice.  All contents copyright © Health & Parenting Ltd 2016. All rights reserved.