DIY Non-Toxic Cleaning Ideas

Recently, I listened to Ezza Valdez of The Alchemists’s Kitchen talk about how to make your own cleaning supplies using simple kitchen ingredients. The Alchemists’s Kitchen was started 14 years ago by two journalists at Burning Man and today it is a NYC based retail and online store where you can buy all plant based medicines, herbal remedies and beauty products sourced from small farm based facilities in the US.

Their mission is to educate people on the ancient wisdom of using plants holistically and Ezza told us how to make your own apple cider vinegar for cooking and cleaning, carpet cleaner, glass cleaner, and hand sanitizer! Now is the perfect time to be making your own products. One blessing of being at home is it gives us the time and space to create new, sustainable habits. You can ensure the products you are using are all natural and it eliminates the need to go to the store.

Apple Cider Vinegar

Ingredients: 1 tablespoon sugar, 2 cups water, 1 ripe apple, 1 mason jar

Step 1: Make the sugar water but adding 1 tablespoon for every 2 cups of water. Stir, let dissolve and put in a sanitized jar. (Sanitize by boiling in water or clean in dishwasher with heat cycle).

Step 2: Slice apples and add to jar. Cover with a paper towel, coffee filter or piece of cloth and secure with a rubber band (to keep out flies). You can add other fruits like blueberries or strawberries to give it color and extra flavor (only advised if you are going to use for cooking).

Step 3: After 3 days strain the liquid, put it back in the jar and recover. You can compost the apples.

Step 4: Let sit for 2-4 weeks so the microorganisms in the apples can eat the sugar and fully ferment into vinegar. Taste once a week to test the strength.

And you’re done! It is a bit time consuming but not labor intensive. You can use it to clean hardwood floors but dilute with water and check on a small patch first to be safe.

Carpet Cleaner

Ingredients: baking soda, essential oil (ie. lavender, rose, etc), air tight container

Step 1: Mix essential oil and baking soda in an air tight container. Sprinkle on your carpet, wait a few minutes and then vacuum it up. Be aware not to use any citrus based oils if you have pets.

Glass Cleaner

Ingredients: Lemon, orange or grapefruit peel, vodka or mezcal, vinegar, spray bottle

Step 1: Combine citrus peels in a jar.

Step 2: Add alcohol. The alcohol separates the oils from the peel.

Step 3: Steep for a minimum of 6 weeks.

Step 4: Strain out the liquid.

Step 5: Combine equal parts vinegar and the citrus-infused alcohol and put in a spray bottle and you are done!

Hand Sanitizer

Ingredients: 91% alcohol, aloe vera, spray bottle. You can use aloe from the plant or they sell it at Whole Foods.

Step 1: Combine the alcohol and the aloe vera in a small spray bottle. The alcohol can be very drying so the aloe vera will help your skin to retain moisture.

You can learn more about The Alchemist’s Kitchen and hear talks yourself by going to the Virtual Learning section of their site


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