Why should I use natural cleaning products

14 Apr

Lavendar Lydia's Herbals

Last year I began to take a serious interest in herbal remedies and In June I found Lydia of Lydia’s Herbals asked if she would allow me to interview her. The interview has been a popular stop on the blog. If you would like to read it, her is the LINK. This year my interest has turned to making my own cleaning and personal care products, so I contacted Lydia and asked if you would stop by  and share her knowledge.

So, welcome back to Old Things R New, Lydia. What is your take on natural cleaners?

You may wonder what all the hype about natural cleaners is. First of all, it isn’t just a fad. It is something that everyone should research and make wise choices for their family. There are very real dangers lurking on the cleaning products aisle of the supermarket.

Here is some research on cleaning product choices.
The Environmental Protection Agency lists our homes as one of the top 5 environmental risks to our health. The causes include insulation and weatherproofing, which effectively seal toxins into our homes. These emissions come from building materials, electronics, grocery bags, paper towels- but the two main sources are cleaning supplies and body care products.

Why does this matter?

Environmental toxins build up in the body, and can lead to many problems. One of the main problems is Sick Building Syndrome, which is directly linked to poor indoor air quality. It causes congestion, nervous system disorders, allergies, asthma, fatigue, and irritation of the eyes, nose and throat. This is especially problematic for children, because their exposure is greater than that of adults. They spend more time sleeping, playing on the floor, and putting items in their mouths. All of these activities contribute to a heavy toxin load.

So what can we do about this?

There are many ways to reduce the toxic load in your home. Here are several suggestions:

  • Buy used- used items have already released most of their toxins, so they won’t release them into your home.
  • Open your windows- This allows fresh air in and toxic air out.
  • Get a houseplant- houseplants have been shown to filter out toxins in the air, and they don’t have a limit of toxins that they can absorb. The most effective plants are ferns and palms, but rubber plant, English ivy, ficus, peace lily, mums and daisies are also good choices.
  • Make your own cleaners- we will be discussing how later in this post.
  • Make your own body care products- it is quite simple, and there are many recipes online for all kinds of beauty products, including perfume and make-up.

So, lets get started by learning about the ingredients used to make household cleaners.

  • Baking soda- an alkaline scrubber, it has a pH of 8.1 . Most supermarkets sell big boxes in the baking aisle.
  • Washing soda- a much stronger alkaline with a pH of 11, it needs to be handled with care and only by adults. It is found in the laundry aisle at most supermarkets. ( Here is a link to Amazon to give you a visual~Onisha)
  • Vinegar- Plain distilled white vinegar. It is an acid. Supermarkets sell gallon jugs. Don’t worry, you will use that much.
  • Borax- a naturally occurring mineral, it is also alkaline with a pH of 9.5. It is found in the laundry aisle at most supermarkets.
  • Liquid vegetable/castile soap- I just make my own, but a good brand is Dr. Bronnor’s. (Amazon link)
  • Essential oils- I get mine from Mountain Rose Herbs. Good oils to have on hand for cleaning include lavender, lemon, eucalyptus, tea tree, orange and peppermint. If you have small children, you should not use eucalyptus or peppermint. Eucalyptus has ketones, which can cause liver damage in small children. Peppermint has caused breathing problems in children under 3, so use caution. Always research an essential oil before using!
  • Distilled water- This works best in the recipes because it has all the minerals and bacteria removed.
  • Spray bottles- you will need one spray bottle for each spray you make. Do not reuse spray bottles from other cleaning supplies or you could end up with a deadly reaction. I get them in the beauty section at the supermarket.
  • Labels- Address labels or masking tape work well. I usually just use a permanent marker directly on spray bottles.

Some tips for using your cleaners- Acid based cleaners work best on dissolving mineral build up and soap scum, while alkaline cleaners remove stains, odors and grease. ( I had no idea what would  make a cleaner acid based so I emailed Lydia. The answer was a real head slap for me…. vinegar!)

Thank you, Lydia for the excellent information. I added my comments above in parenthesis and italics.

The Amazon links may or may not be affiliate links. I am never sure if they work, but if they do, I may earn a small fee. if you buy from Amazon after clicking on one of the links.

I have begun collecting recipes for natural products on our Rebekah Lyn Books Pinterest board or if you are not a Pinterest fan, here is a LINK to one of my favorite sites. I have begun using a shampoo made with castile soap and coconut milk. For the first two weeks my hair felt gummy but I was expecting that and stayed with the natural shampoo. Now I love it and can’t imagine using anything else. Making the shampoo is fun, knowing I am not polluting my body….. priceless.

Be sure to visit Lydia on her website

 Lydia’s Herbals 

Herbal health from a Christian Worldview

Click HERE 



5 Responses to “Why should I use natural cleaning products”

  1. Faith May 20, 2015 at 7:59 am #

    I really can’t understand why people use so many cleaning chemicals when there are much safer green alternatives. They are effective and cheaper!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Louise Gibson April 14, 2015 at 2:11 pm #



    • Old Things R New April 14, 2015 at 2:58 pm #

      I’m sure a lot of this is old news to you, Mrs. Gibson. It seems kind of crazy to be going backwards but the chemicals in products are scary.


  3. Old Things R New April 14, 2015 at 9:59 am #

    Lydia, are the essential oils at Mountain Rose Herbs safe to ingest or are they only or external use?


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