If you’re like me your mind is blown by all the chemicals in our homes today. We unknowingly bring them in through our groceries. We carry them in our beauty and personal care products. They’re in our laundry and household cleaners. This accumulation of chemicals just can’t be good. But where do we start to get these chemicals out of our lives?
I’m going to be honest. This is a journey. You can’t overhaul everything in one day so let’s take baby steps toward our goal of living a cleaner life.
It’s overwhelming to try and think of all the chemicals that can be found in our homes so I started by focusing on my household cleaners. It’s a place to start, right?
Air Freshener and Candles
We seem to be obsessed with making our homes smell good. Pumpkin pie and candy cane candles. Tahitian beach plugins. Fresh cotton room spray (what does fresh cotton even smell like, really?). But have you checked those candles and sprays to see what’s in them?
Besides the artificial chemical perfumes, those smell-good accessories can carry with them many irritating and dangerous components that you probably don’t want to keep stocking up on. I know people that are downright allergic to synthetic air fresheners.
So instead of dwelling on the negatives, let’s talk about an alternative. In our home, we’ve found that we love to diffuse essential oils in our ultrasonic diffuser. We use simple recipes that we know we love to energize, relax, or even just enjoy the scent.
Our free comprehensive diffuser guide is a great place to start learning more about diffusing!
See more diffuser blend recipes:
- Relaxing Diffuser Blend Recipes
- Summer Diffuser Blends
- Energizing Diffuser Blend Recipes
- Purifying Diffuser Recipes
- Diffuser Recipes for Lifting Moods
Laundry Detergent & Fabric Softener
When one of my kids ever had a breathing or skin irritation, their pediatrician would always ask the same question: “Have you used a different laundry detergent?” The detergent we use comes into contact with our skin (of course) and can cause skin irritation and even affect breathing. But we have to wash our clothes!
Our family has had great success switching to a combination of 1/4 cup pure, unscented Castile soap, 1/2 cup baking soda, and 6 – 8 drops of lavender essential oil in our high efficiency washing machine. These come out fresh and clean every time.
I also use my own DIY Fabric Softener that really gets the laundry clean, fresh, fluffy, and soft!
Each person is different so it’s important to pay attention to skin and breathing sensitivities and make the best choice for your family.
Oven cleaners, glass cleaners, and toilet bowl cleaners can add up to a big cupboard full of expensive and irritating chemicals. We’ve begun to replace these with combinations of white vinegar, baking soda, and essential oils this way:
- White vinegar and Thieves essential oil blend can be used in a spray bottle to clean your countertops and windows. We also use this mixture to wipe down our small appliances. See an exact recipe for our favorite DIY All-Natural Cleaning Spray that is also perfect for the kitchen!
- Make a paste out of baking soda, water, and essential oil to clean baked on gunk in your oven. See our best tips to make an all-natural oven cleaner that actually works here!
- We place Purification essential oil blend, baking soda, and vinegar in our toilet for 5 minutes (not too much unless you want a volcano effect!). Then we come back, quickly brush the sides and under the rim, and flush away the residue.
- Another super simple water and vinegar recipe is for our Glass & Window Cleaner. It’s homemade, non-toxic, and all natural. Plus, it smells amazing with our favorite Lemongrass essential oil.
- Find 6 of our Best Spring Cleaning Recipes here!
In our house we use the dishwasher for plates and flatware, and we wash the rest of the pots, pans, and serving ware by hand. We made an easy change when I decided that I didn’t want my hands soaking in yucky chemicals every day.
We used a glass mason jar with an attachable pump and filled it with this homemade dish soap recipe. To that I added Lemon essential oil and Basil essential oil. This is my favorite kitchen scent. You could also try 1 drop of citrus fresh essential oil and 1 drop of lavender for a soothing, citrus dish soap.
If you are interested in other natural alternatives to store bought soap, then be sure to take a look at our easy yet effective Foaming Hand Soap recipe!
One day when I was finishing up the laundry, I was so relieved to get to the load of whites. That’s the load we always wash last so that we make sure we didn’t miss any white items in the other 700 loads (ok, so it only feels like 700). When we make it that far it’s quite an accomplishment. So I started the load and let a sigh of relief only to walk away with a horrible, pungent smell wafting through the entire house. I seriously smelled the chlorine bleach in my closet behind three closed doors. I’m sure you know what I mean. I had basically created a hot water and bleach sauna in my entire house. That was the day I decided to find an alternative.
Now we use 1/2 cup of hydrogen peroxide 3% instead of bleach. We also use a few drops of citrus fresh essential oil because it makes everything smell like pure sunshine! I place it in the bleach dispenser on my machine just like normal. Hydrogen peroxide gets your clothes white and bright and even removes tough smells. Drying in the sun is also an amazing natural laundry booster and it’s free!
More laundry tips:
- How to Clean Musty Laundry
- Learn to make your own Liquid Laundry Detergent
- See how using Dryer Balls saves us time and money
- Make Reusable Dryer Sheets
Most people have at least a few of these natural ingredients already in their pantry to start using these easy recipes today. You don’t have to settle for less than clean just because you’re ditching the chemicals. Find what works for you and your family. Use natural alternatives and still get your home clean and smelling amazing.
New to essential oils? Learn more about how we use them and why you should use them as well.
Find out more:
- What are essential oils?
- 15 Things I wish I’d Known When I Started Using Essential Oils
- 10 Must-Have Essential Oils
- Best Essential Oil Diffusers under $20
- What are our favorite essential oil resources and tools?
What other ways have you come up with to easily replace chemicals in your home?
- See all of our Beauty Recipes here.
- See all of our Cooking Recipes here.
- See all of our Diffuser Recipes here.
- See all of our Household Recipes here.
- See all of our Strategies & Tips for using essential oils here.