My Plastic-Free Life: Homemade Household Cleaners

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It is my great honor and pleasure to welcome another guest blogger to our happy online home.

Michelle is a YWA team member and a multi-disciplinary artist with so many talents it’s hard to keep up. She is also an incredible mother and my friend. Though Michelle and I have worked in the arts together for many years, when she signed on to help grow Find What Feels Good and support the mission of Yoga With Adriene – I knew we had hit the jackpot. Though the workload when she signed on was total chaos, we joked, that one of our goals was to get to a place someday where we shared a brain.

The truth is, I would be so honored to share a brain with this woman. She has my back, she has my heart and I have hers too.

And among many things, we have had our head and hearts focusing increasingly more on this one thing… PLASTIC. And, amongst our community here in Austin, my girl has been raising the bar high.

Below is a blog that Michelle wrote for our “Living Sustainably” group in the FWFG KULA. (Free to join here – if you want to check it out.)

Thanks the inspiration, Michelle!

 

Readers, let us know what you think in the comments down below!
Share with your friends and family too!

XX

 

Hello Sweet Kula!

I’m sure many of you do not know me as I am one of the YWA team members that hides behind the metaphorical curtain, but in the spirit of #ywaACT and Earth Month, I am popping in to tell you all about one of the ways in which I avoid single-use plastic!

For a little over two years now, I have been doing my best to avoid plastic…which is very hard to do! Especially with a toddler who needs snacks and gets handed little plastic toys from almost everyone we know. Despite that, I am making progress every day. Perhaps I’ll write several articles about the things I do to keep plastic out of my life, but today I am focusing on homemade household products.

It seems intimidating, but it is so easy!

Let’s start with floor cleaner. I love my Swiffer, y’all. I love it. I’ve been swiffering up a storm for 10 years. I don’t think I can ever go back to old-school mopping. I’m not saying you should go out and buy a Swiffer if you don’t have one (it’s plastic!), I’m just saying that I will be swiffering forever. The thing I don’t like about it is all the waste and all the nasty chemicals. When my daughter started licking the floor (is that weird?), I decided I needed that floor to be clean and organic.

Floor Cleaner Recipe (for wood floors):

1 part white vinegar

2 parts water

2-3 drops essential oil per gallon (I use lemon & basil)

If you have laminate flooring, you could also add rubbing alcohol, but that’s a no-go for hardwood. I mix it up and keep in it a flat glass container (I love picking up glass containers at thrift stores) with a lid. I put my rags in there to soak and just pull one out, attach it to my swiffer and go to town!

 

Next, I tackled my dishwasher. Again, not a necessity, but when you’re a mom with a full-time job and a healthy side hustle it’s nice to have a machine wash your dishes.

Dishwasher Detergent:

1 cup baking soda

1/4 cup citric acid

1 tablespoon dish liquid

I did try forming this into cute little tabs that I could display prettily and plop into my dishwasher, but that experiment was a failure for me, so I just keep it in a glass jar with a little scoop. One scoop’ll do ya! The problem I haven’t been able to solve yet is where to find citric acid that doesn’t come in a plastic container, but I’ll keep sleuthing!

If like me, you have a newer dishwasher, rinse aid is key to the functionality. Learned that lesson the hard way.

Dishwasher Rinse Aid:

1 cup white vinegar

1/4 rubbing alcohol

1/4 peroxide

2 tablespoons citric acid

I love my rinse aid so much, I keep it in plain site on my kitchen window sill! It’s so pretty in the little glass oil jar I store it in. And again, haven’t found peroxide that doesn’t come in a plastic bottle, but I bought the giant one two years ago and I still have it.

 

When I ran out of Pledge recently, I got a little scared. I made a pact with myself that I would make all my household products as I ran out of my store bought supply. But making Pledge? That seems impossible.

GREAT NEWS! IT’S POSSIBLE!

Homemade Dusting Spray:

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon white vinegar

15 drops essential oil (I use lemon)

2 cups warm water

I put this mixture into an old spray bottle that I had cleaned out and saved for future use. You guys, my tables have never been shinier.

 

My latest endeavor is my laundry situation. I finally emptied out my last big bottle of detergent. I Cosco’d a couple years ago and have been working my way through the supply. #noshame

Laundry Detergent:

2 gallons water

1/2 cup washing soda (I like Nelly’s, but Arm & Hammer works, too)

1/2 cup baking soda

3/4 cup castile soap

30 drops essential oil (I used lavendar, naturally)

I mixed it up in a big bowl with my trusty wooden spoon and poured it right into my empy detergent bottle.

 

Pinterest is a great resource for finding recipes and inspiration. Most of these zero-waste blogs have photos of pretty bottles with cute little lables, but I’m not fancy, y’all. I just want to make my home and our planet a little cleaner. And if that means cleaning out my old Windex bottle, putting a piece of tape over the label and writing SOAP on it with a sharpie, then that is ok.

-Michelle

 

Connect with her on Instagram at @michellekeffer.

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