Creating a store cupboard for a toxic free home

It’s six months since I started my toxic free home experiment and I have been surprised at how smoothly the transition from conventional, chemical filled products to natural alternatives has been. So far we have switched our cleaning, dishwashing, laundry and bathroom products to almost exclusively non-toxic options and we continue to work towards making better choices with our food (organic and fairtrade) and reducing our waste and plastic.

I have stuck by my resolution of not buying any new ‘conventional’ products, but also made the decision to get rid of the many different toxic cleaners I had sitting under my sink as well. While they were still there I ended up using them even though I knew there were non-toxic alternatives and I wanted to make a clean break.

The idea that we need different cleaning products for every area of our house is a relatively new phenomenon, largely marketed by big corporations to get us to spend more money on their products. In fact you only really need a small number of powerful natural ingredients to fulfil your homemaking needs. After some research and trial and error I have created a natural store cupboard which is not only effective for a number of purposes around the home, but also works out much cheaper than buying eco-friendly alternatives.

I really love its simplicity. There are no garish branded bottles and no really dangerous chemicals to worry about the kids getting in to. Several of the products I use for both cooking and cleaning!

For those of you who may be interested in starting your own toxic-free journey I have compiled a list of things we have been using, and for your convenience have linked to where we have bought them.

Thieves Cleaner
If you want to begin a toxin-free journey I would definitely recommend starting off with some Thieves Cleaner from Young Living. It’s an all purpose concentrated cleaner which can be used on anything from floors to windows. I team it with e-cloths and I wouldn’t go back to a conventional cleaner because it really does work and is completely natural and toxin free! It is really concentrated so one bottle can make up to forty spray bottles which works out at less than 60p each. If you’re interested in getting some get in touch with me or become a member.

Bicarbonate of Soda
Bicarb has been used for millennia and its effectiveness goes way beyond its culinary uses. It absorbs odours (a good alternative to shake-and-vac) and is an abrasive cleaner. Honestly, I was surprised with how well it works. We use it as a base for our dishwasher powder and I often mix it into a paste with water to clean the bathroom grouting or the ceramic hob.

(I’ve been buying mine in bulk here, but I soon hope to go plastic free and buy it from the Plastic Free Pantry)

Essential Oils
I have been using essential oils for a few years and they really need their own blog post because I could talk about their uses all day. They are a natural toolkit for so many things around the home from cleaning, to air-freshening to immunity and emotional support. They allow me to DIY many products from scratch and know that I am using completely non-toxic products around my family.
Not all essential oils are made equal and some brands use synthetic fillers, which reduces the price but also reduces their quality. For that reason, after some research I decided to use Young Living essential oils because of their Seed to Seal promise which, in a nutshell, guarantees that all their oils have passed stringent guidelines from the moment the seed was planted to the time the oil was bottled. You also get wonderful support and advice from the other UK Young Living members online. If you would like to know more then read ‘Getting Started with Essential Oils‘, please do message me or you can sign up to be a member HERE.

Citric Acid
Citric Acid can kill bacteria, mould and mildew which makes it a powerful cleaning agent, as well as reducing water hardness and descaling. We use it in our dishwasher and toilet cleaning powder.
(Buy it here)

Coarse Salt
Similar to Bicarb, salt is abrasive (the coarser the better) and absorbent and can be used to clean lots of different things – just Google it! I mostly use it as part of our dishwasher powder.

Everyone knows about the dramatic chemical reaction between bicarb and vinegar, but even on its own vinegar is great for cutting through grease and creating a great shine. I use it for cleaning the toilets or drains, as a rinse aid in our dishwasher and anywhere else I want to give a little extra cleaning power.
(Buy it here)

Our glass jars can be found here – large & small

I would love to hear about any natural products you use around your home. What have you found to be effective?

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