Like many women, when I found out I was expecting my first child so many aspects of my life have forever changed. One of the biggest changes came from how I approached cleaning products. This also included chemicals and how I made the switch to natural cleaning products.
When I read somewhere that I should avoid cleaning with certain products while pregnant, it was obviously startling. It made me think, “if this is so dangerous for my unborn baby why the heck am I assuming it’s just safe in my regular life?” I knew that making the switch to natural cleaning products was the direction that my life was headed.
As a soon-to-be mom at this point, I was already starting to think about what I call the mom trifecta of product aspects: safety, convenience, and cost.
Obviously wanting my unborn child (and now wild, crazy toddler) to have the best of the best, I started researching and swapping out products. When I first started this process, I began purchasing what I felt were “green brands”.
I initially trusted the labels and did minimal research into the actual ingredients. With pregnancy and new mom insomnia being a very real thing for me, I had nothing better to do at 2 am than research. So there I was learning more and more into what ingredients actually contain and better understand different products.
The products that I felt, and were advertised as being safe, still contained different chemical compounds that didn’t make me feel the safest. Luckily for me during this time, I had gained access to two badass female chemical engineers, which really helped in educating myself.
I could go on and on about how this process has continued to evolve. Long story short, I came to the decision that it would be best for me to make a majority of my cleaning products.
How to DIY Cleaning Products
This is where I dove head first into the idea of making my own products. The more and more I have educated myself the more I have learned how to basically make any cleaning product I may need with a pretty simple ingredient arsenal.
All I had to do was mix a capful of concentrate with water. While this wasn’t completely homemade, it was convenient. It also gave me a huge confidence boost that I could make these changes for my family.
This was a simple switch for me as I was using a “green” brand multi-purpose cleaner for most things in our home. Of course, one of my concerns was “how time-consuming is it going to be to actually mix products myself?”.
Honestly, it has been SO EASY! Also since these products are all natural I don’t worry about using my kitchen measuring cups to mix. I recently created a more complex product to clean my oven. (Psst… keep an eye out for my post on how to clean your oven!)
There are a ton of different ways to make almost any cleaning product. Google will give you all kinds of recipes. When I started this process it was a lot of research in trying to decide how I was going to do this.
Ultimately, I started picking recipes that involved ingredients that I already had. Mainly because I didn’t want to buy a bunch of ingredients. Especially when I wasn’t sure if I would like how they cleaned. Between essential oils, baking soda, white vinegar, Castile soap and witch hazel I learned that I can tackle it all.
As a mom, a budget is also a huge factor when it comes to choosing products that I purchase. I always want the best for my family, but I also can’t just dish out a ton of cash.
This is where making my own products became the clearest choice for my lifestyle. I mean how cheap is baking soda ($0.90) or a gallon of white vinegar ($2)? So cheap!
Add to that the fact that I can get my thieves cleaner for about $23 per bottle is an extra win. The cleaner is so concentrated that I can mix over 30 bottles of cleaner. That’s about $0.75 per bottle of cleaner for those of you who don’t want to do any math. And insider tip, I normally get closer to 40 bottles.
Full disclosure my most expensive ingredient would be pure essential oils. I like using lemon, citrus, orange, etc. but I have always been an oil junkie and had most of these oils on hand already.
Family Friendly Cleaning
Final “mom win” of switching out a shelf full of different cleaning products for natural cleaning products was the simplicity that it brought to my life. Now I don’t have to worry about my husband using the wrong product on the wrong surface.
Since I use basically the same products on all surfaces in our home, I can let my husband go at it. You know, whenever that rare desire to help clean comes over him.
I also feel so much better not having to worry about my little guy. Or even my dogs for that matter. I know they aren’t breathing in different chemicals or touching different surfaces. And for all of us moms of wildings, we all know that when I say little ones touching things – I really mean licking things.
I also love how these products aren’t harmful to our environment. Especially since we live so close to the beautiful, natural gem that is Lake Tahoe. Making the switch to natural cleaning products has been so simple for me.
I would love to say that it has been life-changing. But, it really has fit into the life I aim to live effortlessly. I am amazed I never made the switch earlier in life!
Melissa is a wife and mama to a sweet and wild little boy. She is getting her Masters Degree in Elementary Education. She is also working on living a more minimal, simple, and natural life. Melissa is a second generation Native Nevadan and loves all things Nevada; she is passionate about supporting local businesses, restaurants, and dreamers. In her free time, Melissa loves spending time with her boys at the golf course or out at the lake! Follow along with her crazy adventures on Instagram @mel.bell.reno.