Replace All Household Cleaners with Green Alternatives

by Lisa Appelgren

Lemon Vinegar

Lemon Vinegar

My challenge to replace all household and personal cleaners with simple, cheap and green alternatives...

I am a 39 year old mama of a 1 & 3 year old. Former teacher and trained psychologist. I currently spend my days sheep wrangling, trying to keep the possums and wallabies out of the veggie patch, making really bad wine, being a pirate/dragon/ferris wheel. .. Trying to do and be a million things at once. You know that feeling? When you've got a huge list of things you've always wanted to do, but they somehow never get done?

Towards the end of last year I was feeling a bit overwhelmed by all of the things I wanted to change in my life, and stressed because I just didn't feel like I was achieving any of them. Like the proverbial chicken with it's head cut off, I found myself running in frantic circles, achieving nothing.

So I made a plan. Starting in the new year, I would dedicate each month to a particular challenge. Sort of like a new years resolution, x 12. My idea was that by just concentrating on one challenge at a time I'd be more likely to feel focused, rather than frantically headless. And I figured that a month was a goodly amount of time for the change to become ingrained, before I moved on to the next one.

My first challenge of the year was to start a Gratitude Jar. That experience changed me. By the end of the month I was a much more positive person, constantly on the look out for things to feel grateful for. Its July now, and The Jar is still going strong.

In February my challenge was to go gluten free. In March I went a month dairy free. I didn't feel any differently after these changes, so I'm happy to eat them again. But my husband and daughter both experienced vast improvements with their digestive issues,
so I have adjusted their diet accordingly.

April's challenge was to write a letter each night. I used to love writing letters, to allow my mind to flow across the page and share a little of myself with others. I wrote 22 letters, couldn't think of anyone else to write to after that. So its not something I'll do every night herein, but it was lovely to pour a cup of tea, sit by the fire and connect with someone far away.

In May I attempted to go caffeine free. I failed miserably. I could blame it on my having had 19 full nights sleep in the last 3 1/2 years, what with babies waking at least every 2 hours...but the truth is I Love Coffee. I love the smell of it. I love the taste. I love how well it goes with cake. So I'm not going to beat myself up over this. Coffee stays.

June's challenge was to replace all household and personal cleaners with simple, cheap, green alternatives. This has been my favourite challenge so far. I loved the witchy element of mixing potions, as well as the fact that I was detoxing my home and family.

Following is a list of the replacements I made...

1. Lemon vinegar for bathroom, floor and surfaces

2. Washing up liquid; soap flakes in hot water and stir

3. Clove oil in vinegar; for mold

4. Fabric softener
  • 2 cups of Epsom salt or course sea salt
  • 20-30 drops of your favorite essential oil or blend of scents
  • 1/2 cup baking soda

Mix and store in a glass jar. Use 2-3 tbsp before rinse cycle starts.

5. Laundry powder
  • 1 1/2 c Baking Soda

  • 1 1/2 c Washing Soda

  • 1/2 c Epsom Salt

  • 2 Tbsp Salt

  • A few drops of essential oil for fragrance 

Blend well and store in glass jar. Use 1 Tbsp for a large load of laundry.

6. Comfrey salve

Comments for Replace All Household Cleaners with Green Alternatives

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Jul 12, 2017
washing soda
by: Max


What is "washing soda"?


Apr 18, 2017
Once a month is great idea to improve habits.
by: Anonymous

Thank you. Enjoyed this post. I like that you made changes once a month. Great idea.

Jul 20, 2013
great job!
by: Sarsha Lall

very inspirational and interesting Lisa!! great what u did, especially with kids so young!! your method makes sense, i like it !

Jul 11, 2013
Beautiful Homemade Products!!!
by: Nadia (Site Author)

Wow Lisa - you are quite an inspiration. Thank you so much for sharing.

I love your resolution of doing a new thing every month!! And love the challenges you chose. Very excited to hear what challenges you have in store for the rest of the year!!

Please do keep us posted; me (and I know many others) would love to hear how the rest of the year goes and what things you do.

The household and personal cleaners you made are great - and really shows us that even a very busy Mom can find time to make these things .. these things that save money and add to the health of our family and planet.

Love the gratitude jar!!

Love to you and best wishes for the coming months' challenges,

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