Cleaning with Plants

Plant-Based Cleaning with ALMAS

We are so excited to partner with ALMAS Alianza de Mujeres Activas y Solidarias (Women’s Action and Solidarity Alliance) of The Graton Day Labor Center in the creation of a non-toxic, plant based cleaning guide.

The synthetic chemicals, specifically those included in product fragrance, are unregulated, not required to be listed on product labels, and many suspected to be harmful to our health.  Diethyl phthalate (pronounced tha-late), or DEP, is one ingredient widely used in fragrances to make the scent linger. The European Commission on Endocrine Disruption has listed DEP as a Category 1 priority substance, based on evidence that it can interfere with hormone function, cause obesity and insulin resistance in men, and cause liver and kidney failure.  In addition, DEP is considered a Priority and Toxic Pollutant under the U.S. Clean Water Act, based on evidence that it can be toxic to wildlife and the environment.

Here are a few simple recipes that help us break free from dependence on products that endanger our health.  !Sí se puede! Essential oils and other non-toxic plant based cleaning supplies are not only safe and effective but can be therapeutic.  Mixing lavender, citrus or pine essential oils into simple formulas using castile soap, hydrogen peroxide, lemon, vinegar and baking soda can calm the nerves, uplift the mood, and promote respiratory health.

Disinfectant Spray:

  • ½ cup Hydrogen Peroxide (3%)
  • 1 cup water
  • 20-40 drops essential oil (optional)
  • Sprig of Rosemary (optional)

Mix all ingredients in a dark colored spray bottle (the dark color plastic or glass preserves the Hydrogen Peroxide). Spray on surface and wipe with a clean cloth. Store in a dark cool place. If using essential oils on the surface of a tub, rinse before bathing as some essential oils can irritate sensitive skin. Do not use on dark stone or hardwood surfaces as it may cause discoloration.

All-purpose Cleaner:

  • 32 oz spray bottle
  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • 4 teaspoon Castile soap
  • 4 cups water
  • 20 drops essential oil (optional)
  • Sprig of Rosemary (optional)
  • Mix all ingredients in a spray bottle. Apply to surface and wipe with a clean cloth. In cleaning hardwood or stone surfaces, leave out the vinegar.

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