Hawaiian Breeze Paint Thinner doesn’t quite have the right ring to it, does it? And yet when several top laundry products/ air fresheners were tested they were found to contain at least one chemical labeled as toxic or hazardous by federal law, including the active ingredient in paint thinner. (source)
Interestingly, none of the chemicals were listed on the label, and five of the six products emitted chemicals which are considered by the Environmental Protection Agency to have no safe exposure level.”
Take a deep breath and smell the irony with me.
Unfortunately “green” and “organic” options are not always what they seem, either. One company exec called his company’s cleaning products so safe “you can even drink them,” then he did on camera! While it was a great marketing technique, analysis by the EWG revealed that 10 of the 18 products they tested in the baby care line contained an ingredient that released formaldehyde during use.3
Now For The GOOD News
There are good store bought options out there, but you can also make your own without any fancy ingredients.
Though most homemade formulas use the same basic ingredients, there’s often a trick to getting them to work. At the bottom of this post you can pick up my free ebook – 7 Non-Toxic Cleaning Recipes That Really Work – for a breakdown of some of the most common mistakes and how to fix them.
DIY Citrus Splash All-Purpose Cleaner Recipe
Mood lifting, stress-busting citrus essential oils are the superstars of this formula, but the cheap- yet-effective white vinegar is a close second. Why? Because contrary to what chemical companies might like you to believe, humble vinegar has been proven to be effective against a variety of bacteria, viruses and mold, including E. coli and the flu virus.
Cost Savings Analysis
Store-bought “eco-friendly” cleaners – which sometimes contain questionable ingredients – cost an average of $0.12 per ounce.
Here’s the breakdown for this recipe:
- Water – Cost varies, but roughly $0.01 for the total recipe
- Vinegar – About $0.05 per ounce
- Essential oil – Prices will vary depending on brand and type, but mine came to about $0.01 total for the recipe
Total store bought cost – About $3.84 for 32 ounces
Total homemade cost – About $1.62 for 32 ounces
That’s a savings of 50%, and no questionable ingredients!
- 1 1⁄2 cups water
- 1 cup white vinegar or citrus infused white vinegar
- 20-40 drops citrus essential oil (sweet orange, lemon, lime or grapefruit)
To Make: Combine all ingredients in spray bottle.
To Use: Shake before using, then spray on surface and wipe clean with a soft cloth.
Storage: Store away from heat and sunlight.