Eco-Warrior Challenge No. 5: Day 2

Have you ever considered that your house, which you regularly clean, is more toxic than going for an urban run?

Here’s a few facts:

  • Dishwashing liquid – Contains dioxane and disinfectants linked with hormonal and reproductive issues, including solvents and harsh detergents.
  • Bathroom and tub cleaners – Scouring your home with butyl cellosolve and glycol ethers will get the job done, but at a cost of toxic effects. Toilet cleaners often contain disinfectants such as hydrochloric acid, phosphoric acid and synthetic fragrances and dyes.
  • Laundry detergent – Major brands contain 1,4 dioxin, a cancer causing chemical and water pollutant as well as petroleum derived surfactants, formaldehyde and caustics.
  • Glass Cleaner – Most contain ammonia, petroleum derived surfactants, 1,4 dioxane and dyes.
  • Drain openers – Can contain sulfuric acid which is corrosive and can cause burns, eye damage and blindness.  (Source: Earth 911)

And of course, they come in plastic bottles and dispensers.

So how about cleaning up our act and get smart?

Let’s start with white vinegar.


It doesn’t smell great, but jazz it up with your favourite essential oils and other ingredients and you have a multi-purpose cleaner.  It usually comes in a glass bottle you can reuse as storage for one of your cleaners and it’s cheap.  You know how messy student homes can get?  My daughter swears that vinegar out-performed any commercial product they tried to clean their home before leaving.  I discovered a long time ago that cleaners and air-fresheners give me asthma and make me sneeze a lot, so….

Here’s  5 simple vinegar-based cleaning recipes.  Note, vinegar is acidic, so do not use on anything that is affected by acid.  Also, quantities do not need to be exact.  Use more undiluted for tougher jobs.  There are some guidelines below:

  1.  Add a few drops of lemon oil to vinegar and use as a spray to rid your bath/shower areas of mould and mildew.  Spray, leave for 30 mins, rinse or scrub with a sponge to remove.
  2. 1 part vinegar to 1 part water with a few drops of lemon oil to rid your bath/shower/sinks of soap scum.  Spray on, leave for a few minutes, rinse or sponge to remove.    This is also suitable for cleaning worktops (but NOT marble, granite or stone).  It may also be used for floors, but NOT marble, granite, stone or wood.  Finally, it makes a good mirror, glass and window cleaner, but the addition of lemon juice is preferable to essential oil.
  3. Mix 1 part vinegar to 1 part water and spray on to a warm oven (approx 125C) until all that baked-on grease is moist.  Sprinkle with salt or baking soda and leave until the oven is cool.  Scrub off with a wet cloth (or scourer).  I’ve found that baking soda is more heavy duty than salt.
  4. Put about 1/3 cup vinegar into a cup and add lemon juice.  Put the cup into your microwave oven, cook for 2 mins.  Leave the door closed until cool, then wipe off grime with a warm, damp cloth or sponge.
  5. Mix your favourite essential oils with about 1/3 cup of vinegar to create a fabric softener.


Featured Image: Peter Griffin


8 thoughts on “Eco-Warrior Challenge No. 5: Day 2

  1. You’re right it is a fantastic cleaner – it also cleans out all that built up scum inside the washing machine hoses. Just run a normal cycle on empty and add a very generous splash of vinegar. I pour in a whole bottle every couple of months.

    Liked by 1 person

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