Guide To Green Cleaning Your Home (Cheap & Easy)

It's Spring time & you know what that means... Spring Cleaning! 

Quite literally: Cleaning out closets of unwanted clothes, drawers of unknown items that have been stuffed in & never to be thought of again, & basements of boxes that have accumulated over the years. 

Basically, 'tis the season to Marie Kondo everything, including a deep clean of the house.

And while I like things to be clean & organized, the reason for getting into non-toxic cleaning goes much deeper. One of the first things I often share with people when teaching about essential oils is why I started using them myself, & why the need for non-toxic products in my life were so important.

After learning that my very sensitive & easily irritated skin was not because of food or other allergies, I realized it was the chemicals, synthetics, & fragrances in my everyday products that were causing my skin to get itchy & red. So, I went on mission to start DIY’ing my own cleaning & lifestyle products & it soon became clear that essential oils were a great ‘ingredient’ in many of my recipes. I actually researched for a year & a half as to what company to go with & based on what I learned, it was no question it was going to be doTERRA due to their unprecedented quality & purity, & the company’s commitment to integrity & giving back.

Since I have come to DIY only some of my home’s cleaning products because doTERRA does a great job of creating natural, non-toxic products that have essential oils in them which I’ve found to be much simpler & easier than choosing to make absolutely everything myself.

So, what you’ll find in this guide-of-sorts are all my favorite essential oils, products, & recipes in order to create a home environment free of unnecessary & harmful toxic chemicals.

My intention for this guide is to show you how affordable AND easy it can be to create & live in a non-toxic home.

BUT FIRST, WHY GREEN CLEANING?

Creating a healthy lifestyle isn’t just about eating well & exercising, it also includes the products that you use in your home & on your body. And while this might not be the first priority for many (I know, bleach is the only thing that actually gets things clean, right?), it is truly foundational when speaking of healthy living because if you’re doing all the right things with food & exercise, yet are inhaling or touching toxic chemicals on a daily basis, you’re just only seeing half the picture.

Why does this matter so much? Let’s break some of it down. Starting with the biggest & most obvious culprit - “Fragrance.”

What is fragrance exactly? It’s one of the most common ingredients in a household product. And it’s also one of the most toxic.

“Fragrance” is a trade secret word that refers to an undisclosed number (could be hundreds) of ingredients that can’t be shared under the guise of being ‘propriety’ to the brand. Many of the ingredients that fall under the “fragrance” umbrella are banned in most other countries because, well, they’re toxic - neurotoxic, endocrine disrupting, hormone disrupting, & can cause issues like migraines, allergies, asthma, skin irritations, burns, cancer, poisoning, developmental problems & more.

How do you know if there is fragrance in your cleaners & products? Read the label. Yep, just like food. And make sure to read the ingredients label, not just the front of the product packaging (aka the marketing). “Greenwashing” is a real problem, as there are many products out there labeled as '“natural” or “green” that you’ll see are full of toxic ingredients - when you read the label.

EWG has a great Green Cleaning Guide if you want to dig deeper down this rabbit hole. This is a great resource that will tell you the toxicity level of a specific product or ingredient which is super helpful when you’re questioning or vetting a product.

If you think conventional cleaning products & bleach can’t possibly be “that bad," consider this: your skin is your biggest organ, so everything that comes into contact with your skin is absorbed into your body. Similarly, any toxic fumes that you inhale are going straight into your body (as well as directly affect your brain).

Ever get a headache after smelling bleach or perfume? Yeah, that’s not so good for you.

And if you’re still using antibacterial soaps & hand sanitizers because you “need something that will the best at killing germs,” you might be surprised to learn that even the FDA admits there to be major concerns of both safety AND effectiveness when it comes to these products (and more specifically the ingredient triclosan they contain) citing there is “no scientific evidence that they are any better than plain soap and water” and that “some data suggests that antibacterial ingredients may do more harm than good over the long-term.”

So how bad are conventional chemical cleaners really? According to the EPA, “Americans, on average, spend approximately 90 percent of their time indoors, where the concentrations of some pollutants are often 2 to 5 times higher than typical outdoor concentrations” with cleaning products as one of the main contributing factors. And this statistic likely doesn’t even include personal perfumes/fragrance & other beauty products that are also filled with harmful ingredients.

So bottom line: chemicals in conventional cleaning products do not make them more effective, clean better, or safer than natural alternatives. That’s just what brands want us to think. I’m sure your great great great grandmother was “just as picky” as you at getting things clean & germ-free - and did so without the use of toxic cleaners.

So, what do we use then if not what’s on every grocery store & Target shelf in America? Enter: essential oils. Now essential oils are not the ONLY natural cleaning ingredients, not at all, but they are a super safe & effective ingredient to use when making your own or when looking at labels.

Why? Essential oils are naturally antibacterial, antimicrobial, antiviral, antifungal, etc. Not because a chemist made them that way, but because nature made them that way. Essential oils are concentrated, distilled extracts from plants that - in nature - act as the plant’s natural defense mechanism against environmental threats & disease.

Point being: essential oils are not “just pretty smells” or something “some people think work, but the jury is still out.” It’s actually chemistry (if science is your jam, dig in ALL YOU WANT right here with this 82 page essential oils chemistry e-book). Essential Oils are effective at killing germs. And because the chemical constituents found in these plants are so dynamic & complex, we don’t form a resistance to them or end up creating super bugs like we do with products like the aforementioned antibacterial hand sanitizers & soaps.

And in case you’re still not so sure, this PubMed article specifically cites doTERRA’s OnGuard blend as “a possible antiviral drug for influenza virus proliferation control and treatment” & this Journal of Infectious Diseases & Preventive Medicine article from Johns Hopkins University speaks to essential oils as being the “future antibiotics” & “new weapons against emerging superbugs.” Again, fact. Not theory.

Whew. OK. Enough facts & science.

So now you’ve Marie Kondo’d every chemical cleaner under your sinks & in the basement, now what? Use this blog post as your simple guide to info, ingredients, products & recipes in how to green clean your home.

While I know not every person wants to DIY things, I promise these recipes are easy. And as I mentioned above, I only DIY the things I need to. The rest I purchase from doTERRA because the ingredients are clean & it’s just easier. Once you get the hang of using your handful of natural products, you’ll realize how diverse & versatile they are - and WAY cheaper & easier than having a different product for every single cleaning need in your home.

Need some inspiration to see how easy it can be? Check out my NON-TOXIC HOME Instagram Highlight for clips of what I’ve been making & how.


GREEN CLEANING SHOPPING LIST

Essential oils & doTERRA products:

  • OnGuard Cleaner Concentrate

  • OnGuard Foaming Hand Wash

  • OnGuard Laundry Detergent

  • Lemon essential oil

  • OnGuard essential oil

  • Melaleuca essential oil

  • Purify essential oil

  • Lavender essentail oil

  • Diffuser

Other essential oils I like for cleaning include: Lime, Peppermint, Lemongrass, Wild Orange

Purchase my Non-Toxic Cleaning Starter Kit here. Even if you already have a doTERRA wholesale account, you can still order the items from this kit if you like.

OR just browse & purchase what you like here.

Tools & other products:

  • Baking Soda

  • White Vinegar

  • Witch Hazel (or cheap Vodka)

  • Citric Acid

  • Silicone Mold

  • 16oz Glass Spray Bottles (I like one for kitchen + one for each bathroom)

  • 8oz Glass Spray Bottles (if you choose to make room or yoga mat sprays)

  • Wool Dryer Balls

  • 16oz Wide Mouth Glass Ball Jars (various sizes, probably need at least 6 depending on size of your home)

  • 64oz Glass Ball Jar

  • Metal Funnel

  • DYMO Label Maker

Purchase these products through my Amazon Shop here.


RECIPES ROOM-BY-ROOM

KITCHEN

COUNTER TOPS

All-purpose cleaner, two ways:

Recipe 1 (my favorite!):

  • 16oz Glass pray Bottle

  • 1T OnGuard Cleaner Concentrate

  • 10 drops OnGuard essential oil

  • 10 drops Lemon essential oil

  • Top with water

Recipe 2:

  • 16oz Glass pray Bottle

  • Fill 1/3 White Vinegar

  • 10 drops OnGuard essential oil

  • 10 drops Lemon essential oil

  • Top with water

FLOORS
Mopping - Use either All-Purpose Spray recipe, but a scale up the ratio to fit your bucket, mop away.
Swiffer - Use either All-Purpose Spray recipe & spray right onto the floor, then swiffer.

DISHES
Use OnGuard Cleaner Concentrate just like you would dish soap! Keep in mind it doesn’t have the toxic ‘foaming agents’ so it won’t foam the same as you might be used to. And since it’s concentrated you don’t need much. It might seem a little bit different at first, but you’ll get used to it :)

DISHWASHER TABS
What you need:

  • 1 cup Baking Soda

  • 1/4 cup Citric Acid

  • 1T OnGuard Concentrate

  • 5 drops Lemon essential oil

  • Silicone mold

What to do:

  • Combine ingredients in a bowl

  • Add mixture to silicone molds - note: the mixture will continue to expand, so keep pressing down into the molds. It’s actually super fun & feels like middle school science experiment

  • Let sit for 4 hrs

  • Pop out & add to to a glass ball jar

Extra tip: Add an extra drop or two of Purify, Lime, or Lemongrass essential oils into the dish tab section of the dishwasher before running it

RINSING AGENT
Add White Vinegar to the rinsing agent compartment so dishes come out sparkling clean

SINK SCRUB

What you need:

  • Baking Soda (I like to keep a Ball Jar full of it under my kitchen sink)

  • 1T OnGuard Cleaner Concentrate

  • 1/4 cup White Vinegar

  • Few drops Melaleuca or Purify essential oil

What to do:

  • Scatter ingredients around sink

  • Let fizz

  • Scrub

  • Rinse with water

Extra tip: Finish off a clean sink by adding one drop each of Peppermint, Lime & Lemongrass essential oils into the drain for a super fresh, clean smell

TRASH ODOR-EATER
Add few shakes baking soda + few drops Purify (or Lemongrass or Lime) essential oil to the bottom of the trash can
*You can even use a few shakes of the Carpet/Mattress Deodorizer for this

HAND SOAP
OnGuard foaming hand wash, perfect for sensitive skin!

PRODUCE WASH

  • Fill up a clean sink with cold water

  • Add a couple drops of Lemon essential oil OR OnGuard essential oil OR 1 pump of the OnGuard Foaming Hand Soap

  • Add produce, let soak for 10mins, & rinse

GOO-BE-GONE
Add a few drops of Lemon essential oil to any stubborn label or sticky stuff & wipe away. If really stubborn, soak first in hot water with OnGuard Concentrate & few drops Lemon essential oil

DIFFUSER or ROOM SPRAY* BLENDS

Lemongrass + Peppermint + Lime
Lemon + OnGuard
Purify + Lime
Wild Orange + Peppermint

*If making a room spray, add 60 drops total to an 8oz. glass spray bottle, 1T Witch Hazel or cheap Vodka, & top with water

Follow my #diffuserjams Instagram Story Highlight for more ideas


LIVING ROOM

VACCUMING
Add a few drops of Lavender or Peppermint essential oil into the vacuum filter to create a natural diffuser as you move around the house

CARPET DEODERIZER

What you need:

  • 16oz Glass Ball Jar with metal lid (or any size really)

  • Baking Soda

  • Add 20 drops Lavender essential oil

  • Add 20 drops Purify essential oil

What to do:

  • Mix well

  • Poke holes with a screwdriver or knife through top of the jar

  • Shake over carpets (or on mattress) & let sit for 10mins up to a few hours

  • Vacuum

WINDOWS + MIRRORS

  • 16oz Glass Spray bottle

  • 1/3 cup White Vinagar

  • 1/3 cup Rubbing Alcohol

  • 10 drops Lemon or Peppermint essential oil

  • Top with water

DIFFUSER or ROOM SPRAY* BLENDS

Peppermint + Wild Orange
Peppermint + Siberian Fir
Siberian Fir + Douglas Fir + Grapefruit (the “Anthro Blend”)
Holiday Peace + Grapefruit
Frankincense + Balance + Wild Orange
Elevation + Balance + Serenity + Citrus Bliss (my “Rainbow Blend”)

Any combo of oils to support the vibe you’re going for :)

*If making a room spray, add 60 drops total to an 8oz. glass spray bottle, 1T Witch Hazel or cheap Vodka, & top with water

Follow my #diffuserjams Instagram Story Highlight for more ideas


BEDROOM

MATTRESS DEODERIZER
*same recipe as Carpet Deodorizer!
(keeping it easy, remember?)

DIFFUSER or ROOM SPRAY* BLENDS

Serenity + Cedarwood + Ylang Ylang + Bergamot + Vetiver (this is my go-to! I make a 1 oz master blend in a glass bottle with dropper top)
Serenity + Balance
Serenity + Vetiver
Lavender + Breathe
Lavender + Frankincense

*If making a room spray, add 60 drops total to an 8oz. glass spray bottle, 1T Witch Hazel or cheap Vodka, & top with water

Follow my #diffuserjams Instagram Story Highlight for more ideas


BATHROOM

TOILET, TUB, SHOWER, SINK SCRUB
*same as the Kitchen Sink Scrub — except I substitute for Melaleuca/Tea Tree when cleaning the bathroom
Again, I like to keep a Glass Ball Jar with Baking Soda under each sink in the bathrooms, just like the kitchen

TOILET TABS
*same recipe as Dishwasher tabs, except — add 15 drops Purify or Melaleuca/Tea Tree essential oil instead of 5 drops Lemon

TEETH

HAND SOAP
OnGuard foaming hand wash, perfect for sensitive skin!

FLOORS
*same as the Kitchen Floors & for any floors in the house!

DIFFUSER or ROOM SPRAY* BLENDS

Eucalyptus + Rosemary (this is my go-to!)
Breathe + Peppermint
Peppermint + Rosemary + Grapefruit (the “Aveda Blend”)
Eucalyptus + Lime + Breathe

*If making a room spray, add 60 drops total to an 8oz. glass spray bottle, 1T Witch Hazel or cheap Vodka, & top with water

Follow my #diffuserjams Instagram Story Highlight for more ideas

Extra tip: Check out my Be Well Bath Ritual blog post for more tips on oils in the bathroom.


LAUNDRY ROOM

LAUNDRY DETERGENT
OnGuard Laundry Detergent

Extra tip: if you’re adding smelly laundry to the machine, add a few drops of Lemon, Lime, or Purify into the detergent cup of the washing machine with the detergent

STAINS
Use OnGuard Cleaner Concentrate to spot treat or soak clothing or linens

FABRIC SOFTNER

What you need:

  • 48oz Epsom Salts

  • 12oz Baking Soda

  • 30 drops Lavender essential oil

  • 30 drops Melaleuca essential oil

  • 30 drops Lemon essential oil

  • 64oz Glass Ball Jar + measuring cup

What to do:

  • Mix everything together in the jar

  • Add 1/4 cup to small loads or 1/2 cup for large loads to the drum of the washing machine with clothes before washing

  • Wash clothes as usual

WASHING MACHINE CLEANER

What you need:

  • 1 cup Baking Soda

  • 1 cup White Vinegar

  • 20 drops Lemon essential oil

  • 20 drops Melaleuca essential oil

What to do:

  • Add Baking Soda to drum of washing machine

  • Combine the rest of the ingredients & add to the bleach cup of washing machine

  • Run cycle with extra rinse, then leave door open to air out

DRYER

What you need:

  • 3 Wool Dryer Balls

  • Couple drops Lavender or Purify essential oil

What to do:

  • Add a couple drops Lavender or Purify essential oil to each Wool Dryer Ball

  • Toss Wool Dryer Balls in dryer

  • Run dryer as usual


FITNESS + YOGA ROOM

FLOORS
*same as the Kitchen Floors!

YOGA MAT SPRAY

  • 8oz Glass Spray Bottle

  • 20 drops Melaleuca/Tea Tree or OnGuard essential oil

  • 1T Witch Hazel (or cheap Vodka)

  • Top with water

DIFFUSER or ROOM SPRAY* BLENDS

For fitness:
OnGuard + Breathe
Peppermint + any citrus
Breathe + Eucalyptus

For yoga + meditation:
Frankincense + Anchor from the Yoga Collection
Sandalwood + Align from the Yoga Collection
Elevation + Arise from the Yoga Collection
Balance + Wild Orange

*If making a room spray, add 60 drops total to an 8oz. glass spray bottle, 1T Witch Hazel or cheap Vodka, & top with water

Follow my #diffuserjams Instagram Story Highlight for more ideas

Extra tip: Check out my Essential Oils (& more) for Sporty & Active People blog post for more tips on using oils with fitness.


GREEN CLEANING doTERRA STARTER KIT

green
Screen Shot 2019-04-15 at 10.44.40 AM.png