Worried about your housekeeping while pregnant? Make your own pregnancy- and family-safe homemade cleaning products with these 9 simple yet effective DIY recipes.
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Homemade Cleaners: Safe, Effective and Cheap
Store-bought cleaning products can be loaded with chemicals, many of which can be unsafe for pregnant women. Cleaning product formulas are not often government regulated, so there's sometimes no telling what ingredients are in certain products. But stocking your cupboards with conventional cleaning products isn't the only way to keep your home clean and disinfected (important with a baby on the way). Instead, you can make inexpensive and effective homemade cleaning products that are pregnancy-safe, and overall much better for you and your family.
Here are some recipes to try for healthier and safer housekeeping.
By Kimbry Parker with contribution from Alexandra Zissu for Healthy Child Healthy World, a non-profit whose mission is to empower families to make better, safer choices.
Natural All-Purpose Cleaner
All-Purpose Cleaner: Mix ½ teaspoon of washing soda (sodium carbonate), 2 teaspoons of borax, ½ teaspoon of plant-based liquid soap, and two cups of hot water in a spray bottle. Shake well. Note that although washing soda and borax are natural minerals, they're also caustic, and borax is toxic if swallowed, so keep them out of reach of children. If you prefer not to use them, just omit and you will still have an effective cleaner with just the soap.
Lemon & Tea Tree Disinfecting All-Purpose Cleaner
Disinfecting Cleaner: Combine ½ cup warm water, ½ white vinegar and 2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice into a spray bottle. Add 15 drops of tea tree oil. To spruce up the lemon scent, add a few drops of lemongrass essential oil as well. Put on the lid and shake well to combine all of the ingredients. Tea tree oil is a natural anti-bacterial agent, as well as a fungicide and germicide, so you can kill the germs without using harsh chemicals.
Safe Oven Cleaner
Safe Oven Cleaner: Pour ¼ cup all-natural liquid soap into a medium bowl. Add ¾ cup of baking soda, 1/8 cup of white vinegar and a few drops of lemon, lavender or jasmine essential oil (for scent). Stir the ingredients with a spoon to create a paste. Spread the paste onto the inside of the oven using a sponge or paintbrush. Let it sit for several minutes, scrub with a scrub brush, then rinse with a rag and clean water.
Tub and Tile Scrubber
Tub and Tile Scrubber: Mix 1 ⅝” cups baking soda, ½ cup liquid soap, and ½ cup water. Mix thoroughly then add 2 tablespoons white vinegar. Apply immediately, scrub, and wipe. For a mildly abrasive scouring scrub, just blend baking soda and plant-based liquid soap to your preferred consistency.
Toilet Bowl Cleaner
Toilet Bowl Cleaner: Sprinkle baking soda all around the inside of the toilet bowl. Pour one cup of white vinegar into the bowl over the baking soda. Scrub the bowl with a toilet brush. Let it sit for 20 minutes before flushing the toilet to rinse.
Lemon & Olive Oil Furniture Polish
Lemon & Olive Oil Furniture Polish: Pour 1 cup of olive oil into a clean, empty spray bottle. Add ½ cup lemon juice, or 20-30 drops of lemon essential oil. Shake the bottle well before spraying a light coating onto wood furniture or cabinets for cleaning. Wipe gently with a soft cloth.
Glass and Window Cleaner
Glass and Window Cleaner: Combine a 1:1 mixture of water and white vinegar in a spray bottle. To remove the waxy buildup left behind by conventional glass cleaners, add ½ teaspoon of liquid soap to 1 cup each of water and white vinegar.
Mold and Mildew Remover: 2 Recipes
Recipe 1: Fill a spray bottle with lemon juice. Spritz the lemon juice onto the mold or mildew. Sprinkle or rub salt over the top and scrub it in with a sponge or scrubber to form a paste. Let it sit for 20 to 30 minutes before wiping it away with a wet rag.
Recipe 2: Mix ½ cup of white vinegar with 10 drops of tea tree oil in a spray bottle. Mist onto the surface, wait about 30 minutes, then wipe with a clean, damp cloth.
Family-Friendly Floor Cleaner
Family-Friendly Floor Cleaner: Fill a bucket with about one gallon of warm water. Add ¼ cup of white vinegar and a few drops of all-natural liquid soap. Mix well, then use the solution to mop your floors. This solution is safe for most types of floors, including wood and laminate. If your floors are ceramic or a delicate stone like marble, do not use vinegar. Instead, mix a few drops of a pH-neutral soap or cleaner with water to clean the floors.