By Marley Wells
If you’re anything like me, this time of year marks a shift in more than just the weather, but also my mood. Once spring rolls around, I welcome the sunshine (and flowers, and pollinators, and fresh produce!) by doing a deep spring cleaning to help boost my energy and jumpstart my productivity entering the new season. It’s not that straightforward, though– As I go to grab the cleaners under my sink though, I find that many of them contain ingredients that I am less than enthused about. How clean are the most popular cleaners, really? What can I trust to clean my house, without all the nasty extras that will disrupt my hormones and my health in general?
According to the Endocrine Society, “Endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) are substances in the environment (air, soil, or water supply), food sources, personal care products, and manufactured products that interfere with the normal function of your body’s endocrine system… EDCs can disrupt many different hormones, which is why they have been linked to numerous adverse human health outcomes including:
- alterations in sperm quality and fertility
- abnormalities in sex organs
- early puberty
- altered nervous system function
- immune function
- certain cancers
- respiratory problems
- metabolic issues
- cardiovascular problems
- neurological and learning disabilities
- and more.”
An example of an endocrine disruptor is the artificial fragrances/pthalates often found in laundry detergent– these fragrances interrupt hormone production and are harmful to wildlife.
Beyond endocrine disruptors, many household chemical cleaners can have outright adverse health effects. Air fresheners and dish liquids that contain volatile organic compounds, bathroom cleaners that contain butoxydiglycol (a solvent used in paint known for respiratory irritation as well as liver and kidney damage), the list goes on. While just a handful of endocrine-disrupting and unhealthy products isn’t necessarily a cause for concern, you realize it adds up very quickly when you take into account just how much of the products we use everyday contain these harmful substances. That is where our BRAND NEW Lemongrass Zen Castile Liquid Soap comes in. Our multi-purpose Castile Liquid Soap, free of artificial fragrances, colors, detergents, sulfates, and GMOs, is made of all-natural ingredients and plant oils– primarily organic olive oil. This makes it more safe for you, your kids, your pets, and the environment– no harmful chemicals down the drain!
So, with my spring cleaning… Sometimes, this first BIG cleaning of the year can be overwhelming. Where does one even begin between the decluttering and cleaning crevices of the home that haven’t seen the light of day, well, ever? One of our beloved Elderberry Co team members, Kerry, is known on the team for her ever-calm saying, “How do you eat an entire elephant? One bite at a time.” So, I want to help break your spring cleaning down in a way that you can conquer with more confidence than ever using our Lemongrass Zen Castile Liquid Soap
- When cleaning your house, always work from top to bottom. A good way to begin is by wiping down walls and windows– since our walls are such a large surface in our home, it similarly makes a large difference. Using ¼ cup of Castile Liquid Soap to 1 gallon of hot water, use a soft sponge or damp cloth to wipe away any dust or scuffs.
- Deep clean your fridge by making a multi-surface spray. Fill a spray bottle with 3.5 Tbsp Castile Liquid Soap and 1 quart of warm water. Use a microfiber cloth to get the inside really shining!
- Use the same multi-surface spray to clean your stainless steel appliances. Spray the surface with the cleaner (only a few sprays will do, as the cleaner is concentrated and stainless holds residues) and buff with the grain.
- You can ALSO use the SAME multi-surface spray on your houseplants! Gently wipe the leaves, tops and undersides, to make your plants shine and also deter pests. So versatile, right??
- Using the full strength Castile Liquid Soap on a sponge, or 50% dilution in the dishwasher, clean your dishes, leaving your kitchen feeling completely refreshed. Few cleaning steps make as big of a difference as an empty sink!
- Using the full strength Castile Liquid Soap on a sponge, you can also scrub your bathroom tile and other bathroom surfaces, removing grime and scum. For extra scrubbing power, you can also combine the Castile Liquid Soap with baking soda into an abrasive paste. While vinegar is also commonly used as a bathroom cleaner, vinegar is not recommended in combination with Liquid Castile Soap, as their opposite pH levels cancel each other out.
- Mop your floors using 6 Tbsp of Castile Liquid Soap and 2.5 gallons of hot water. If you have textured floors, you can also use a scrub brush to get in those hard-to-reach crevices that your mop tends to glide over.
- Clean and refresh all of your bedding using ⅓ cup Castile Liquid Soap per load, adding a little more for hard water or larger loads. You want to add enough soap so that you get just the barest start of foam early in the cycle. For extra freshness, sprinkle baking soda on top of the bare mattress. Then, after ~15 minutes, vacuum the mattress clean.