A step-by-step guide to a toxin-free home

part one – the kitchen

By Stephie Hennekam

Hi there. Since you’re reading this, I’m going to assume you have an interest in wanting to live healthily? Dare I utter the word … live clean? Even toxin-free?

You might have kids and want them to live in a safe environment, not having to worry what they might have ingested when putting their yummy, dirty fingers in their mouths after crawling on the “freshly mopped kitchen floor” (read: chemically cleaned).

Your floor might be bacteria-free after the use of that highly chemical, cleaning product but how healthy is it when it takes your breath away when adding hot water? When it stings your eyes? When it dries your hands so much you feel you need to wear re-moisturizer gloves after every cleaning sesh?

I agree. Not so good after all, hey?
Whatever the reason for reading this, let’s just get down and dirty about how to get your house spick and span!

The good news is it is so easy, inexpensive, and time-saving to make your own, natural cleaning products. Because there are so many options in how to clean naturally, and so many rooms to apply these, I decided to bring this to you in bite-size pieces.
Over the next couple of months, I’ll tackle and explain how to clean each and every one of the rooms in your home with a toxin-free, home-made product. Expect an easy, step-by-step guide and DIY cleaning recipes to print out so you can get started right away.

Let’s launch this series with the most important room, the heart of your home, a place where you can start your healing from the inside out: the kitchen.

 

How I clean my oven naturally, without using the self-cleaning cycle

Oven.jpeg

The oven is one of my most used appliances in the kitchen. Using it often means it gets dirty often and to keep it running smoothly, and odor-free, a regular cleanse is recommended.

All you need to get rid of those burnt food stains in your oven is water and baking soda. Important: don't clean your oven after you used it. It needs to be cooled off.

Step 1: Fill up a water bottle with water to spray down your oven with. The goal is to have a wet oven so the baking soda will stick.

Step 2: Take baking soda and apply a thick layer everywhere. Especially on the stained spots.

Step 3: Check if the baking soda is wet. Spray more water on dry spots.

Step 4: Close oven and walk away for a few hours (my favourite part). Mind: the oven is still OFF.

Step 5: Take a cloth and wipe off the baking soda paste. All the ickiness will come off with it.

Step 6: Rinse and repeat if stains did not come off completely.

 

What I use to clean the kitchen floor and naturally disinfect any surface in the kitchen:

Kid_Mopping.jpg

Yes, there’s an efficient product that is DIY-dummy-proof, free of toxins and very efficient in disinfecting your beloved kitchen. To make it, you need the peel of an organic citrus, undiluted white vinegar, and a glass jar.

 

Step 1: Fill up the jar with the organic citrus peel

Step 2: Pour in the white, undiluted vinegar until the peel is fully submerged

Step 3: Close the jar and leave this be for 3-4 days (my favourite part)

Step 4: Strain out the vinegar in another jar. This is your super powerful, good smelling, and natural disinfectant concentrate.

Step 5: Before cleaning, add ½ cup of the concentrate to water (make it as strong as you like). You are ready to start cleaning the kitchen floors, countertops, and even the windows!

TIP: Change to using microfiber cloths to clean windows. You’ll soon notice water is the only cleaning product you need to get windows shiny and spotless.

How I clean pots and pans without using chemicals:

Baking_Soda.jpg

First of all. If you’ve burnt stuff in pots and pans (don’t worry, that’s what happens when you experiment in the kitchen) you can get rid of most of the stains by pouring water in your pot and boiling it. The heat will make the stickiness came right off. No more need to scrub your pots so rigorously.

 

If there are still some stains, apply the following combo of … -here we go again-: baking soda and white vinegar!

Step 1: Cover the bottom of the pot in a layer of vinegar

Step 2: Sprinkle in some baking soda. Just enough to get a reaction between both.

Step 3: Let baking soda and vinegar do their thang. Leave for 3-5min (my favourite part)

Step 4: Rinse out with warm water. You can use a scrubby sponge if you really want to scrub something … :)

-By now I hope you’ve come to realise how absurdly easy it is to keep your kitchen clean and chemical free-

 

The above tips and DIY recipes to clean your oven, kitchen floor, countertops, windows, pots and pans, should get you going.

I have to admit: the first time I tried these I felt a little awkward. Thinking: “Can it be that simple?”. I had my doubts about the effectiveness of it all. But I remembered the words of a very dear friend of mine who introduced me to how to create a toxin-free home: “Natural cleaning is all about going back to basics: water, vinegar, essential oils. You don’t need much.”

I couldn’t have put it into words better.

 

What are your DIY, natural cleaning tips? Share in the comments below!

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Stephie Hennekam likes to think of herself as a knowledgeable foodie, wandering traveler, teacher, active yogi, lover of nature, free spirited writer & life long student. She loves going off the beaten path, following her (gut)- feeling and isn't shy to try new stuff. After all, nothing beats experiencing something yourself.


As a former university college teacher, researcher, independent (sports)dietitian and jack of all trades at a vegan restaurant, she has now discovered her life goal of teaching & helping others to work towards a healthy, energised life filled with love, peace & happiness.