Since I have several autoimmune diseases, I am always looking for ways to help boost my immune system, especially during spring time. Every morning I have a large glass of warm water with lemon juice. This helps improve my health, however the used lemons were also filling up my compost at an alarming rate. I always try to fully utilize items before they ultimately have to get composted. So, I discovered a very simple, cheap and safe way to make a household cleaner that does an amazing job, without the toxic and harmful chemicals. Therefore, I was able to boost my immune system and disinfect my home using the same thing – lemons!
Now, let’s dive in to discover why I am all about natural cleaners. In a toxicology course I took at the University of Saskatchewan, we learnt about toxins in the home. Some of the most toxic household products were household cleaners, plastics, synthetic fragrances and pesticides. Therefore, some of the most toxic things in our houses are surprisingly some of the most common things we, ourselves, bring into the home. However, we can also choose not to bring these items into the home. Not only do normal household cleaners negatively impact our health, but they are also known to contaminate our air and water after we flush, rinse, wash or spray them away. My toxicology textbook even went as far as stating that we should remove chemical cleaners from the home completely and replace them with natural solutions. The fact is, natural cleaners can do the exact same thing as chemical cleaners and they are a lot safer for you and your family, as well as for wildlife and the environment.
So, here’s how to reduce our indoor air pollution and exposure to harmful chemicals:
- Collect several used lemons (or orange peels) in a large mason jar and submerge them completely with white vinegar (see if you can purchase your vinegar in bulk)
- Secure the lid and let the lemons sit in the vinegar for about 2 weeks
- Once the 2 weeks are up, strain the lemon-infused vinegar into another large mason jar
- Compost the lemons
- Add equal parts of water and lemon-infused vinegar into a glass spray bottle
- Clean your home using a reusable cloth made from natural fibres
You can use this lemon-infused vinegar to clean and disinfect your home, however do not use this cleaner on hardwood floors, granite, marble, tile, or screens.
Here’s how I make a cleaner that is safe to use on granite and tiles:
- Add 3-5 drops of natural soap to a glass spray bottle (I use Dr. Bronner’s organic pure castile soap)
- Pour ¼ cup of rubbing alcohol into the glass spray bottle
- Fill the rest of the glass spray bottle with distilled water
- Clean countertops and tiles with a reusable cloth made from natural fibres
Not only are these cleaners safer, they are also a lot cheaper in the long run. You are utilizing food that would have just been going into the compost and actually making something very effective from it! Also, if you do not compost, I highly encourage you to start. Composting has become popular in the last few years, meaning that there has been a compost system made for every living condition. There’s also a plethora of information available as well. Composting helps to keep food scraps from the landfill, because when food is thrown out it does not have adequate oxygen levels in the landfill to properly break down. Instead, food in the landfill releases methane, which is an extremely potent greenhouse gas. It is also important to send as little as possible to the landfill, due to landfills filling up at an alarming rate globally and the toxicities that blow or flow from landfills are devastating to the health of the environment and humans.
Here’s to a cleaner clean!