Commercial cleaning products are laden with harsh chemicals that are hazardous to our health and the environment (EWG, 2023). This awareness has led to a growing demand for alternative, eco-friendly solutions. Cleaning your home doesn’t have to involve exposing yourself and your loved ones to harmful substances. There are eco-friendly alternatives on the market, and you can also make cleaning supplies with a few ingredients. I have been using essential oils (EOs) to clean and disinfect my home for a few years, and I am thrilled to share my recipes with you.
EOs are very effective for cleaning. Research shows certain essential oils have antiseptic, antibacterial, and antiviral properties. My favorite essential oils for non-toxic household cleaners are clove, tea tree, lemon, and eucalyptus, but endless possibilities exist. I choose these oils because of the research studies behind them. For example, clove has powerful antiseptic properties. It has been shown to have antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal effects, making it an effective disinfectant for the home (Bai et al., 2023). A study published in the journal Pathogens found that clove oil has antibacterial activity against multidrug-resistant Streptococcus suis (Wongsawan et al., 2019). Tea tree essential oil is another favorite because of its powerful antiseptic properties. It is effective against many bacteria and viruses, including methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and influenza (Carson et al., 2002). A study published in the Journal of Hospital Infection found that tea tree oil effectively killed several strains of bacteria commonly found in hospitals, including Staphylococcus aureus and Pseudomonas aeruginosa (Carson et al., 2006). Lemon essential oil is a natural disinfectant with a fantastic, fresh, citrusy scent. It is an excellent disinfectant and has antibacterial and antiviral properties. In 2020, a study by Kumar et al. demonstrated that lemon and geranium essential oils effectively against the SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19 virus.
Last but not least, eucalyptus essential oil has been shown to have antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal properties. It has been used traditionally as a natural remedy for respiratory infections and is effective against several strains of bacteria and viruses. A systematic review of 113 articles by Elangovan and Mudgil (2023) demonstrated that eucalyptus oil exhibited strong antibacterial activity against several strains of bacteria, including MRSA. I combine these four essential oils to make a pleasant disinfectant spray that is an effective natural alternative to harsh chemical disinfectants.
8 oz dark glass spray bottle
3/4 cup distilled water
two tablespoons of vinegar
10 drops clove essential oil
10 drops tea tree essential oil
10 drops lemon essential oil
10 drops eucalyptus essential oil
Instructions: Add each ingredient to the bottle and shake vigorously to combine, and my EO disinfectant spray is created!
1 cup distilled white vinegar
1 cup water
1 tablespoon castile soap (unscented or a mild scent)
10 drops tea tree essential oil
10 drops lemon essential oil
5 drops eucalyptus essential oil
5 drops clove essential oil
In a mixing bowl, combine 1 cup of distilled white vinegar and 1 cup of water. Mix in 1 tablespoon of castile soap. Add the essential oils and stir the mixture well. Transfer the mixture to a clean spray bottle.
Shake the bottle before each use. Spray the floor lightly and mop as usual. For hardwood floors, spray a small amount directly onto a mop or cloth rather than the floor itself.
1 cup liquid castile soap (unscented or a mild scent)
1 tablespoon washing soda
1 tablespoon vegetable glycerin
10 drops lemon essential oil
5 drops tea tree essential oil
5 drops eucalyptus essential oil
1 cup distilled water
Clean, empty dish soap bottle
In a mixing bowl, pour 1 cup of liquid castile soap. Mix in 1 tablespoon of washing soda and 1 tablespoon of vegetable glycerin. Glycerin helps create a smooth texture and adds moisturizing properties. Add the essential oils and stir well to ensure all ingredients are well combined. Gradually add 1 cup of distilled water while continuing to stir. Pour the mixture into a clean and empty dish soap dispenser or bottle.
Shake well before each use. If you have hard water, you may need to add more washing soda to enhance the soap’s effectiveness.
1 bar of unscented castile soap
1 cup washing soda
1 cup borax
15 drops tea tree essential oil
15 drops lemon essential oil
10 drops eucalyptus essential oil
5 drops clove essential oil
Grate the bar of castile soap using a cheese grater. You can also cut it into small pieces for easier processing. Combine the grated castile soap, washing soda, and borax in a large mixing bowl. Mix well until all ingredients are evenly distributed. Add the essential oils and transfer the mixture into an airtight container for storage. A glass jar with a lid works well. Use 1-2 tablespoons of the homemade detergent per load, depending on the size of your laundry and the soil level.
Note: Always test DIY solutions in a small, inconspicuous area before use.
Bai, J., Li, J., Chen, Z., Bai, X., Yang, Z., Wang, Z., & Yang, Y. (2023). Antibacterial activity and mechanism of clove essential oil against foodborne pathogens. Lebensmittel-Wissenschaft & Technologie, 173, 114249. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.lwt.2022.114249
Carson, C. F., Mee, B. J., & Riley, T. V. (2002). Mechanism of action of Melaleuca alternifolia (tea tree) oil on Staphylococcus aureus determined by time-kill, lysis, leakage, and salt tolerance assays and electron microscopy. Antimicrobial agents and chemotherapy, 46(6), 1914–1920. https://doi.org/10.1128/AAC.46.6.1914-1920.2002
Elangovan, S., & Mudgil, P. (2023). Antibacterial Properties of Eucalyptus globulus Essential Oil against MRSA: A Systematic Review. Antibiotics (Basel, Switzerland), 12(3), 474. https://doi.org/10.3390/antibiotics12030474
Kumar, K. J. S., Vani, M. G., Wang, C., Chen, C., Chen, Y., Lu, L., Huang, C., Lai, C., & Wang, S. (2020). Geranium and Lemon Essential Oils and Their Active Compounds Downregulate Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 (ACE2), a SARS-CoV-2 Spike Receptor-Binding Domain, in Epithelial Cells. Plants, 9(6), 770. https://doi.org/10.3390/plants9060770
Wongsawan, K., Chaisri, W., Tangtrongsup, S., & Mektrirat, R. (2019). Bactericidal Effect of Clove Oil against Multidrug-Resistant Streptococcus suis Isolated from Human Patients and Slaughtered Pigs. Pathogens (Basel, Switzerland), 9(1), 14. https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens9010014
In our modern world, there are countless ways to come into contact with toxins and chemicals, substances that are damaging to our health. As you work toward preparing your body for conception, or as you actively try to conceive, it is important to cleanse the body of harmful substances. This will help increase your fertility as well as prepare a healthy environment for your baby to grow in.
Typically, when individuals think of removing harmful substances, they limit their search to items found in the pantry. Moving toward healthier eating is a very important step, but is only half the equation.
You absorb as many toxins through your skin as you do from the foods you eat. These are so many items that you come in contact with throughout the day. From washing your hands to getting dressed in the morning, you are constantly exposing your body to potentially harmful substances.
If you have struggled with infertility or have not been able to conceive despite actively trying (to conceive) for at least 6 month, it is important to look at your lifestyle and see if toxicity (toxin exposure) could be a piece of your fertility puzzle.
Here are several important places in your home to evaluate.
In the Bathroom
In the bathroom, look for items that take a chemical formula to create. These are items such as toothpaste, perfume, makeup removers, sunscreen, shampoos, and soaps.
As with all the products you use on your skin, evaluate the ingredients. If you need a degree in chemistry to understand what they are, they do not belong on your skin.
Some of the toxic ingredients you will read on the label of these kinds of items are sulfates, triclosans, fragrances, and parabens. Each of those ingredients negatively impacts the body. For example, parabens have been known to spur reproductive difficulties.
When reviewing products in your bathroom, don’t neglect reviewing your different cosmetics. Makeup contains some of the most toxic substances in your bathroom.
There are several brands that create natural non-toxic alternatives for the products you use every day. The key is to be aware of the harmful effects of traditional products and actively look for other options.
Additionally, you can explore complete alternatives. One example would be using coconut oil instead of lotion. This is extremely healthy for the skin and effective at moisturizing.
For your cosmetics, there are natural makeup lines coming out that are more affordable (and much cleaner) than MAC Cosmetics. For example, Gwyneth Paltrow currently has a line so safe you could eat it. Odds are that it’s not something you would consider eating, but it’s a good reminder that if it’s not safe enough to eat, it doesn’t belong on your skin.
In the Kitchen
The biggest offender in the kitchen is your nonstick pots and pans. In order to create the smooth and easy-to-use surface on the pans, manufacturers coat their products with a chemical rich layer. The main component of this chemical layer is Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA). This particular chemical has been linked to a higher risk of heart disease and stroke. Also, women who struggle with infertility have been shown to have higher concentrations of PFOA.
Have you ever had a pan that started out nonstick but over time lost that characteristic? The chemical layer slowly transferred to your food. In short, you ate the nonstick components. Yes, that is the PFOA.
The other item to watch out for is your plastic Tupperware.
There are seven types of plastic. Each type is classified by a number, which corresponds to the different chemical makeup. The ones to watch out for are number 1 and number 7. These particular chemical makeups are shown to decrease sperm count and reduce the number of eggs.
Replace nonstick pots and pans with cast iron, aluminum, or ceramic options. Cast iron pans can actually be beneficial for women because it adds iron to your system. Women tend to need more iron, particularly when pregnant.
Look for Tupperware options that use plastics 2-6 or opt for glass food storage options.
Under the Sink
You likely store your different cleaning supplies under the sink. Products like bleach, drain cleaners, oven cleaners, polishes, and other cleaners are full of toxic components.
Think of them as poison. That’s why your parents put the little green poison control sticker on them while you were growing up.
While you won’t necessarily be applying them to your skin, especially if you use rubber gloves cleaning, you will breathe in the fumes as you use them.
The other cleaning product to consider is laundry detergent. The chemicals in detergent are transferred to your clothes during the wash cycle. You then transfer the chemicals directly to your skin as you wear them throughout the day.
There are several great natural options to the typical chemical-rich cleaning options. In lieu of bleach, choose essential oils. Bicarbonates and apple cider vinegar are strong enough to clean things like calcium deposits in the bathroom or even your oven.
If you are looking for a more traditional cleaner, look into companies like Seventh Generation who focus on environmentally friendly and non-toxic products.
There are two ways we absorb water. The first is through enjoying your ice-cold glass of water in the afternoon. The other is during your hot shower or bubble bath. Many people use water filters on their drinking tap. This still leaves you vulnerable while showering.
Especially in a hot shower, your open pores can absorb more water than you drink in a day. If you live in an area with poor water quality, then you are absorbing all the pollutants directly through your skin.
Call your water department to determine the quality of your city’s water. Most likely you will be surprised to learn how it is far from desirable.
Depending on your budget, you can either explore individual water filters for your tap water and showerheads or a house water filter. While a house filter will be a more expensive option upfront, often it saves you money in the long run. Individual water filters need to be replaced every six months. A house filter will not need to be touched for fifteen years.
If you are like most couples planning to add a new member to the family, you will be gearing up for a remodel or creating the baby’s room. There are several different aspects to a remodel that are extremely hazardous to someone trying to conceive, as well as an expectant mother.
Paints and varnishes release toxic fumes. New furniture, curtains, and even carpets have flame-retardants they release into the air. These chemicals can cause miscarriages and reduce sperm count.
For furniture, look for used options. These flame-retardants stop outgassing over time, so older items will be safer to bring into the home. If you still want to paint the home or add new carpet, then use low VOC paints, use the time the house is being painted as an opportunity for a short getaway. Allow for the home to air out before returning.
This is a very long list, which can be overwhelming if you try to implement it all at once. It would also be very costly. Instead, start by identifying items in your home you want to replace. When you eventually run out, start replacing items with healthier alternatives.
By changing your purchasing habits, you will start to recognize and look for the safer and healthier options.
Working With an Expert
Changing lifestyle habits can be a lot to take on alone. That’s why I am here to help. I partner with you to look at all areas of your life and identify solutions to creating a healthier environment. This applies both to increasing natural fertility as well as creating the safest environment for your baby to grow.
Often times I help couples find natural solutions to IVF. Other positive byproducts of removing these hidden toxins in your life are enjoying better sleep, improved digestion, lusher hair and nails, and overall better vitality.
Just as you wouldn’t want to bring a guest into a dirty home, you don’t want to create your child in an unhealthy or even toxic environment. Together, we can ensure that your body is a healthy and beautiful place to allow your baby to grow in.
I want you to think about your body for a moment. You entered the world around 8lbs and have grown to a fully developed adult. Right now there are over 37.2 trillion cells making up all the major and minor players completing your necessary functions. Your bones, organs, tissues, nerves, and more have all grown from the time you were born into the complete system you have today.
How did you accomplish that feat?
You nourished the body through nutrition and nutrients, also known as food. The body processed this, digested it, pulled the nutrients out and created everything that makes you who you are. This happened through the continual process of eating, processing, and digesting food.
Which means your entire body is created by the food you eat.
Not only does the food you eat give your body fuel to energize you, it impacts all aspects of nourishing your health. The body continually works to renew itself:
Every 7 years we have a new skeletal system;
Every 3 days the body recreates a mucus lining for the small intestine;
Every few weeks you have a new coat of skin.
So if food did all the work to create who you are today, continually fueling the renewal process, why are we ignoring the powerful effects when it comes to healing you?
Despite the incredible power that food accomplished to create you, it is continually overlooked in modern medicine. Instead, this factory conveyer belt pumps you full of medicines and sends you on your way, failing to look at all the factors impacting your health or less invasive ways to restore your body to its natural rhythm.
Instead look to the natural resources of your body and the fuel that drives it to restore your optimal health. Unless we have altered it and eroded the natural components replacing them with autoimmune diseases, the body has the ability to heal itself.
You just need to give it the right raw materials.
Many of today’s prevailing diseases can be addressed through diet modifications and lifestyle changes. For Acid Reflux, we start by removing dark chocolates, spicy foods, caffeine, oranges, and other triggers. We then work to balance the PH of your stomach, introducing healing elements such as cabbage juice, vitamin U, chlorophyll, and other gastro protectants to start to repair the digestive system.
High cholesterol healing starts with introducing an anti-inflammatory diet. Heart conditions need diets robust with high-quality amino acids. Repairing the causes of Irritable Bowel Syndrome means removing of foods full of toxins.
From autoimmune diseases to learning disabilities to digestive distress to depression and more, transitioning to a nourishing diet has two powerful side outcomes. It stops the discomfort and pain while increasing overall health, energy, and brain function.
All because you included diet in your overall view of health and prescriptions.
Additionally, this creates long-term success. The majority of mainstream medications issued by our conveyor belt medicine system are not designed for prolonged use. Diet, on the other hand, is essential to living. When you leverage it to increase your overall health, the benefits are monumental.
As a general guideline, I personally recommend the Paleo Diet (with grain-free, grass-fed beef) for everyone. It’s a great place to start to alter your health.
But it’s a cookie cutter solution. Each of our bodies has different genetic makeup, which means they respond to food differently. Add to that, if you have already done damage and are suffering the symptoms of autoimmune diseases, then you need to work on repairing. This is where a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner comes in.
Together we can create a custom diet tailored to your specific makeup.
Most of my clients have suffered for years as well as done damage to their systems for decades. Together we remove the components of your diet causing inflammation or irritation. Once removed, we work to repair the damage. Then we build a custom diet that helps you achieve optimal health.
I give you the tools, education, and power to take control over your health.
Some practitioners print stale, out-of-the-box diets and try to pass them onto clients. I can promise that you won’t find that here. I only provide custom solutions designed to target your specific systems, complement your unique body makeup, and work with your lifestyle.