–Lee Hindrichs, RN
Cleaning Green with Essential Oils was part of the theme showcased at our home during the Sooke Ecohome tour.
What is Cleaning Green? It’s about far more than buying products that say green on them!
Cleaning Green is closing another loop in living environmentally aware. It’s about knowing the impact of your cleaners once they’ve done the initial job. What are you flushing down the sink…or toilet…and what’s it going to do next?
With both a grey water system in place as well as a septic tank, we are keenly aware that what is going down the drain is going into our soil. This also means it is getting into our food.
For those on a sewer, the loop is just a little bit longer, but if you follow that loop you’ll find that what you flush down your drain is going to eventually end up in the food chain.
A 2010 study published in the Environmental Impact Assessment Review journal says that the 25 best-selling cleaning and personal hygiene products have an average of 17 chemicals each, many of them not listed on the packaging. (A fragrance means I don’t have to tell you what’s in here.) Even when something says natural or organic it may still contain VOC’s (Volatile Organic Compounds), which are known carcinogens.
The other common chemicals are known neurotransmitter disrupters, hormone disrupters and other toxins that add up to a long-term toxic burden on the body.
According to a WebMD article, cleaning supplies can be hazardous to your health, your children and pets, pollute the environment, contaminate septic tanks, cause issues for refuse workers and there is no proof that they work any better than the totally natural non-toxic recipes I’m going to share with you.
The cost of cleaning with these toxic compounds averages out to about $700 per year per household.
Making your own cleaning products is ridiculously simple and requires only a few ingredients:
- Baking Soda: scrubs, whitens, deodorizes, cuts grease.
- Salt: Great for its abrasive qualities in cleaning.
- White Vinegar: Kills germs, cuts grease, deodorizes and dissolves mineral deposits.
- Essential Oils: Naturally kill bacteria, germs, fungi and mold. But here’s the really interesting part around essential oils.
Essential oils are produced by plants as a part of their immune and communication system. Plants attract certain bacteria because they have a positive effect and are required for the health of the plant…much like humans, we need our probiotics or healthy bacteria.
Essential Oils are very effective in ‘selectively’ killing off the bad or pathogenic microbes while preserving the positive ones. Tbis means that when I flush away my homemade essential oil cleaners I’m having a net positive impact on my soil by supporting the good micro-organisms and selectively repelling or killing the bad micro-organisms.
Tub & Shower Spray
- 3 drops each of lavender, lemon and peppermint essential oil,
- ¼ cup water
- 1/4 cup white vinegar
- ½ tsp. castile soap
- 1/8 tsp salt
- Directions: Combine all ingredients in a stainless steel spray bottle. Shake well before each use. Spray. Scrub. Rinse and wipe dry.
Dish Washing Soap (also makes a great hand washing soap)
- Liquid Castile Soap
- 20 drops Lemon essential oil
- 7 drops lavender essential oil
- Fill a 22 ounce stainless steel bottle with castile soap, add essential oils and mix.
These recipes will cost pennies to the dollar and as you can see they will only take a minute or two to make. Save time and money as well as the environment and your health!
When choosing essential oils, quality matters. The majority of essential oils in the market place contain harmful synthetics or carrier oils. I only use Doterra CPTG essential oils for great effects.
Use stainless steel or glass containers. Real essential oils will break down petroleum products such as plastic!
To learn more about essential oils and more great recipes join me, Lee Hindrichs, RN, at one of the Tuesday evening classes in Sooke. Call 250-888-7534 to register. Visit me online to learn more.
The Essential Oil Nurse
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