Start your year without chemicals. I've been an advocate for healthy cleaning products for many years and help clients transform their chemical laden kitchens and baths with safe & effective cleaners at the end of their remodel. The most common branded products I find easy to replace are Windex, counter cleaners and disinfecting wipes. I've come up with alternatives for all that are better and safer to handle. They cost pennies to make and refill and you'll have no plastic waste. Check back each week in January for another natural & effective recipe.
WEEK ONE - DISINFECTING WIPES
Did you know that on average, people spend over $70 on disposable wipes every year? Not only are those polyester based wipes not biodegradable, but they're packaged in wasteful plastic and eventually tossed in the trash. More important to know, those wipes rely on harsh chemical ingredients to disinfect; one ingredient is bleach and while it definitely kills germs, has documented harmful side effects.
Instead, make your own from a combination of ingredients that are toxic to bacteria but not to you. You'll make a liquid mix (recipe below) in a wide mouth mason jar or flip top canister with a 4-6 cup capacity - much like the size of the plastic wipe container you're used to - and refill as needed. Don't reuse the plastic container your wipes originally came in since it's not BPA free and the plastic will leach into your liquid and wipes. You can use old t-shirts, underwear or washcloths and simply wash them with towels to reuse. I cut my cloths into 6 inch squares since that's the size I find most handy. You can store them under your kitchen sink. It's wise to start with a fresh batch of liquid when you're finished with the cloths.
* ¾ cup filtered water - I use a Brita but you can use spring water too.
* ¾ cup white distilled vinegar
* 15 drops lemon essential oil
* 8 drops lavender or eucalyptus essential oil
* 4 drops bergamot essential oil
Combine your liquid ingredients in the mason jar or other container of your choice. (Glass is best because essential oils will react with plastic.) Swirl or stir to combine. Add pre-cut cloths to jar and press down firmly to soak up liquid. Secure lid and tip jar upside down if needed to further moisten wipes.
To answer the key questions:
NO, the essential oils won't spot your clothes or dryer since the amount is small and washes out.
NO, the vinegar won't be acidic and bleach your towels.
YES you can use this to clean honed granite countertops. If you spray on and wipe off it won't etch the surface. If you let it sit or place the wet container on the counter, it will leave a ring in the porous stone.