Easy Homemade Cleaning Products: Earth and Body Friendly

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Toxic substances and their harmful effects are constantly surrounding us. There is no doubt that we cannot prevent our exposure to all toxins, all of the time. What we can do, however, is take as many steps as we can to eliminate the most common toxic substances from our environment. Some of the most harmful and toxic substances are common cleaning supplies that we use regularly throughout our homes. Cleaning ingredients pose a variety of health hazards causing a range of symptoms. Symptoms can be acute and temporary, including skin rashes and respiratory issues, or chronic and long term, such as hormone disruption and even some cancers. The effects of these harmful substances not only harm our bodies and health but also cause damage to our environment. The harsh chemicals and their sometimes even more deleterious effects when combined with other natural compounds have a damaging effect to our water, soil and wildlife. Adding to these effects is the concern regarding the plastic containers that these products come in and the impact on our environment. The good news is you can very easily (it is quick and cheap) make your own natural cleaning products at home. There are few different recipes available for homemade cleaning products but this is my personal favorite. 

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All-Purpose Cleaner

3/4 Cup Aluminum Free Baking Soda, 1/4 Cup Castille Soap, 1 T Water

Castille soap is 100% plant oil and is a true soap and NOT a chemical detergent so commonly found in many cleaning products, even some that claim to be "natural." You can find Pure Castille Soap in many health food stores and is commonly available in bulk. Castille Soap can be used in many different ways around the house including the following ways; Shampoo, Laundry Detergent, Body Wash, Tub Scrub, Mopping Solution, Dish Soap, Dishwashing Detergent, Veggie Wash, Toothpaste and a variety of other ways you would use a general detergent. I like to make a decent sized batch of the recipe above and store it in a glass jar for a couple of weeks. If the paste is too thick or starts to dry out, simply add a little bit of water to it and it will loosen right up. Pure Castille Soap itself has no fragrance to it but many times it comes sold with added fragrances. I like to buy 100% Pure Unscented Castille Soap and then I'll customize my fragrance using a few drops of essential oils, based on what I am using it for (lavender oil makes a nice night time body wash, orange extract is great for dish detergent). For heavier duty clean up jobs, just use a heavy scrubber pad or brush and consider soaking items with a lot of hard to remove grime in the solution for a bit before you scrub it. In celebration of Earth Day and your own health, give this a try.