When it comes to cleaning our homes, we want something that is going to be effective, smell great, and not be full of harsh chemicals. Citrus cleaners can do all of those things! But how do they work? And are there benefits to making your own citrus cleaner with essential oils? Let’s take a closer look.
Why should we avoid large industry-made cleaners?
There are a number of reasons to avoid non-natural cleaners.
- They contain chemicals that harm our health
These cleaners often contain harmful ingredients that can damage your skin and respiratory system. Harsh chemicals found in commercial cleaners can harm our lungs, according to the American Lung Association. These chemicals include sulfur dioxide (SO2), sodium chlorite (NaClO3), and chlorine gas (Cl2).
These harsh ingredients are used to clean surfaces by degreasing and bleaching.
The pollutants contained in these substances can cause lung damage when they’re breathed in, especially if we work at a job that requires us to use these types of cleaners on a regular basis. Studies have shown that even low levels of exposure can increase your risk for asthma attacks and other respiratory problems.
If you suffer from any breathing issues, it’s important to avoid using harsh cleaning agents altogether. Instead, opt for gentle solutions that won’t harm your lungs or your environment.
The example of Pine Sol
Pine Sol Cleaner is a household cleaner that has been on the market for decades. Though it smells like it is doing its job and it leaves that pine scent behind, Pine-Sol contains harmful chemicals that do not come with a warning label. Some of the chemicals in Pine Sol Cleaner include ammonia, chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), and hydrofluoric acid.
All of these chemicals are known to have negative effects on human health. Ammonia is a hazardous gas that can cause eye irritation and respiratory problems; chlorofluorocarbons are ozone-depleting substances that damage the environment; and hydrofluoric acid can cause cancer.
Many commercially manufactured cleaners contain endocrine disruptors.
Endocrine disruptors are chemicals that can interfere with the body’s endocrine system, which controls the production and reception of hormones. This can have serious consequences for human health, including effects on growth, development, reproduction, metabolism, and behavior.
How Citrus Cleaners Work
Citrus cleaners are effective because of their natural degreasing properties. When you spray citrus cleaner on a greasy surface, the ethanol in the citrus peel extract breaks up the grease into smaller droplets. This makes it easier for the water to rinse the cleaner away, taking the grease with it.
The benefits of making your own citrus cleaner are twofold. First, you know exactly what ingredients are going into it. Second, you can customize the scent by choosing which essential oils to add. That means no more dealing with overwhelming chemical smells!
Making your own citrus cleaner is easy to do and only requires a few ingredients that you likely already have in your home.
Ingredients for homemade citrus cleaner:
- Distilled water
- White vinegar
- Lemon juice
- Orange peel oil
Process for making homemade citrus cleaner
Simply combine equal parts water and vinegar in a bowl or jar, then add in 10–15 drops of lemon juice and orange peel oil. Give it a good shake, and voila—you have yourself a homemade citrus cleaner that is ready to use!
For convenience, you can opt to have the orange oil on hand. This one is all natural and ready to be mixed:
Cold Pressed Natural Orange Oil Concentrate
Why we love this orange oil;
- All natural, just orange oil
- This bottle makes 4 gallons of cleaning product
- Pet odor eliminator
- All-purpose cleaner
- Highly rated on Amazon
For a more potent cleaning concoction, you can choose to soak citrus peels in white vinegar for 2 weeks. Then strain this into a cleaning spray bottle and mix with water at a ratio of 1 to 1. The Crunchy Ginger shows you how:
Citrus cleaners are a great natural option for cleaning your home effectively without resorting to harsh chemicals. When you make your own, you can control both the ingredients and the scent. So why not give it a try next time your kitchen needs a little TLC?
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