Aside from being concerned about what goes IN our bodies, it's also important to be concerned about what goes on and around them. So many commercial cleaning products have chemicals which can irritate or harm us (not to mention our kids and pets) and it can be a major operation to figure out what's in these products and whether or not they're harmful. There is now a huge market for "green" products, but often these are two to three times more expensive than their conventional counterparts. Why should we have to choose between buying products with harsh, unwanted chemicals and overspending, just to keep our homes clean? Years ago our great-grandparents cleaned everything with just a few simple ingredients, before the dawn of advertising, product placement, convenience stores, and the like. Why must we now stand baffled in the supermarket between 17 different choices of floor cleaner? Additionally, the amount of plastic saved by making your own stuff rather than buying a spray cleaner, floor cleaner, bathroom scrub, tile scrub, laundry soap, etc, is remarkable.
The following is a list of must-have ingredients in order to keep your home clean without having to use even one squirt of commercial disinfectant
White vinegar (disinfectant-- dilute in water for a great glass cleaner)
Baking soda (disinfectant, deodorant, abrasive)
Castille soap (highly concentrated natural soap made from coconut oil-- a few drops go a long way)
Borax (disinfectant, deodorant)
Actually you can do most of your cleaning just with those items and water, but a few other helpful items include:
Washing soda (this is hard to find but can be ordered online and is essential for making your own laundry soap)
Essential oil (to customize how you want your cleaning supplies to smell-- eucalyptus and citrus are good choices)
Online recipes abound, but for most basic cleaning you can't really go wrong with the first four items on the list. Add some vinegar, borax, and castille soap to warm water and go nuts. You'll be able to quickly figure out if you need more or less. For an initial cost of maybe $30-$40 for the ingredients (this is assuming you get a nice big box or bottle of each), you can clean everything you own for probably over a year before having to buy more! Your house will not smell like chemicals, and you won't get that "cleaning headache" I used to get from the fumes from things like Comet and Fantastic. I will post some "recipes" I use here and there, so go out and get those supplies!