Spring cleaning is an annual ritual for many households. With the arrival of warm weather, there’s something wonderful about starting out with a freshly cleaned home, free of the stuffiness of winter. And in this time of coronavirus precautions, now is the right time to tackle deep cleaning projects. This of course means cleaning products, many of which contain chemicals that aren’t healthy for anyone, let alone developing babies. Babies spend a lot more time coming into contact with surfaces than adults. Crawling, scooting, cruising; those little hands and bodies encounter everything! Since what’s good for our babies is also good for the earth, we’ve selected these earth-friendly, kid-safe cleaning products for babies.
Some people think that natural cleaning products aren’t as effective, but you’d be surprised how well they work and how far non-toxic cleaning products have come.
If you like the idea of making your own natural cleaning products, you’ll need some basic supplies:
Distilled white vinegar: Buy a big jug of this at the supermarket. Vinegar is a powerhouse cleaner that can dissolve scale, inhibit mold, and cut soap scum. Mildly acidic, you can use it to remove coffee, tea and rust stains. It's typically sold at a 5 percent concentration, but it's more effective at higher concentrations, so check the label carefully!
Baking soda: Baking soda is a wonderfully inexpensive, all-purpose cleaning agent. Its mildly abrasive properties make it an excellent cleanser that won’t scratch surfaces, plus it has natural deodorizing properties. Use baking soda on protein stains, grease, and pet messes.
Hydrogen peroxide: Hydrogen Peroxide is simply water with an extra oxygen molecule, and it breaks down into harmless oxygen and water. You can use it as a kid-safe, chlorine bleach alternative.
Borax: You can find borax in the laundry aisle. It’s an alkali substance that’s good for cutting oil, grease and dirt.
Castile soap: Castile soaps are made from vegetable oil rather than animal products or chemicals. It’s an all-purpose cleaner that can be used to cut dirt and kill bacteria and germs. You can also use castile soap on the body, face and hair! You can purchase scented and unscented soaps in liquid or bar form.
Essential oils: Use essential oils to add your favorite scents to your natural cleaning products. You can find singles or sets of essential oils in the wellness section of many retailers. Lavender, lemon, orange tea tree and mint are popular cleaning aromas but experiment and find what you love!
Cleaning cloths: Microfiber clothes do save trees and water, but they don’t break down and still cost a lot of energy to create. Opt for natural fiber cleaning cloths, ideally made from renewable resources like bamboo, hemp or jute.
3 Important Cleaning Tips
- Always use clean containers to store your products. Be sure to use containers that have never been used to store chemical products.
- Try it out first. If you’re not sure how a natural cleaning product will react on a surface, test it on an inconspicuous area first.
- Know when to hold the vinegar. Vinegar is a mild acid and can damage porous surfaces like stone and granite. You also want to avoid using vinegar on cast iron, aluminum or waxed surfaces.
Recipes for Safe Cleaning Products for Baby
All Purpose Cleaner Recipe
Add the following ingredients to a clean 24-ounce spray bottle and shake before use.
- 3/4 cup hydrogen peroxide
- 1/2 cup distilled white vinegar
- 1 teaspoon unscented liquid Castile soap
- 10-30 drops of your preferred essential oil
- 2 cups water
You can use this as a surface cleaner to remove dirt and sanitize kitchens, bathrooms and more.
Natural Window and Glass Cleaner Recipe
Add the following ingredients to a clean 24-ounce spray bottle and shake before use for streak-free sparkle on your glass surfaces.
- 2 cups water
- 1/4 cup distilled white vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon dish soap
Castile Soap Floor Cleaner Recipe
Mix these three simple ingredients in a clean bucket for an effective natural floor cleaner with your own custom scent. Perfectly safe for crawling babies!
- 1 Tbsp. castile soap
- 1 gallon hot water
- 3 drops essential oil
DIY not your thing? Don’t despair. You can still use baby-safe, green cleaning products. You don’t even need to go to a specialty store to purchase earth-friendly, non-toxic cleaning products. Brands like Methods, Dr. Bronner, BioKleen and Seventh Generation are available at supermarkets and discount stores. We recommend refillable online subscription services such as Dropps to reduce plastic container waste. Fortunately, more companies than ever are showing environmental consciousness and producing non-toxic options. It’s great news for busy households raising healthy babies!
Do you have other recipes for natural, safe cleaning products for babies? Share them with us in the comments section!