The ultimate guide for easy eco lifestyle

ECO CLEANING


Not everyone knows that self-made cleaning products are as effective as conventional methods, while also having other important advantages: they don’t contain harmful substances and are simple to prepare and even less expensive than commercial ones. In this Ethy Guide we recommend ingredients of organic and ethical production in less waste packaging versions.

Many of these cleaning products can even act as a health agent, particularly when you use natural, organic essential oils with therapeutic grade. These oils are the added value to cleanliness, they help oxygenate, improve circulation, remove toxins and increase the electromagnetic vibrations of your whole living environment. A hygienic living space with our tip for extra vibrations will bring health and vital energy to your life. 

You probably know that cleaning and washing products available in conventional stores contain massive amounts of chemical substances.  There are about 200 of the thousands of ingredients which have been tested and proven to be highly toxic. These toxins can have severe negative effects on all kitchen surfaces and fabric fibers. And most importantly, our health systems: endocrine, nervous, respiratory. 

We will inspire you to create your own cleaning formulas. Many items you will most likely already have in your kitchen. And if you are missing any of them, we help you locate those ingredients at the many stores you can find at Ethy Maps.

The expiry date of all cleaning products we are writing about here is 12 months, unless stated otherwise in a specific recipe.

We have learnt all the recipes and intriguing facts from specialists in the field of ecological cleaning and healthy zero waste living. The sources and references are provided at the end of the guide.

SUPPLIES

BAKING SODA (sodium bicarbonate)

This versatile powder, which you probably have in the kitchen cabinet, is a natural product that neutralizes the pH in water, whether too acidic or too alkaline, absorbs odors and moisture, makes fabrics soft and whiter and has a lot of hygienic and therapeutic applications: brushing teeth, disinfecting wraps after vaccination and insect bites, heartburn, deodorant treatment and multi-use disinfectant. And these are only some of its properties – it replaces a dozen or so commercial products with a complicated, toxic list of ingredients. In contrast to those: it is natural, biodegradable, edible, affordable and “less waste”! However, it should be used wisely, because it is not a renewable raw material.

NOTE: Do not mix baking soda with vinegar or citric acid – the only thing you get is salty water, which will not clean anything.

You can buy it by the weight in your own container or zero waste packaging, like all the ingredients listed in the recipes.

VINEGAR

This liquid acetic acid solution with a characteristic pungent smell and sour taste is formed as a result of vinegar fermentation of alcohol. It is often used as an acidifying spice, although consumed in excess it is harmful (like everything). However, in small quantities it stimulates the appetite and promotes better digestion of hard-to-digest foods.

As a cleaning agent it copes well with ceramics and bathroom surfaces, and if you notice the infame soap residue in the bathtub or shower tray – vinegar will be a great saviour. It’s best to pour it into the atomizer bottle (we list all the cleaning accessories at the end), add a few drops of essential oils, spray on dirty surfaces, leave for a few minutes and then wipe with a cloth. The dirt goes away without heavy scrubbing.

CITRIC ACID

Citric acid is present in small amounts in most living organisms, fulfilling an important role in carbohydrate metabolism. It is a natural, safe and biodegradable descaler. It is considered a safe compound, but it can cause eye damage in direct contact.

It is reliable, efficient and affordable, like most of the ingredients listed in this Ethy Guide. It easily removes limescale from the kettle, coffee maker, bathtub, dishwasher, washing machine, toilet, taps. It can also be made into a universal cleaning fluid that removes bacteria and dirt.

THERAPEUTIC ESSENTIAL OILS

We recommend only products that we have personally used and checked ourselves. It turns out that only 2% of essential oils available in stores have a pure, organic and biologically active origin and properties that not only improve the mood with an intense fragrance, but also heal the body, clean the air and increase electromagnetic vibrations, which according to numerous studies are extremely important for raising immunity.

The pioneer who initiated a new chapter in the industry of essential oils is Young Living. Combining modern science and technology with ancient and medieval wisdom and experience – it’s been leading the naturotherapy world for 25 years, since the revolutionary founders circulated their first oils in hand-signed bottles. Today, everyone who has tried them knows that Young Living oils are incomparable to any other, which is why we refer to them in the recipes given here. YL was followed by several other companies producing therapeutic oils – yet, we recommend you the producer whose purest organic farms we have visited ourselves.

It is thanks to Young Living that we can enjoy today’s pure oils with therapeutic value, as well as patented blends (for the first time ever created by YL), tested in many world laboratories from every angle. To this day, Young Living paves the way for other producers, cooperating with the largest scientific institutions on every continent.

One drop of Young Living essential oil is equal to thirty drops of other essential oils – the proportions given in the recipes apply to YL oils, so if you use regular fragrance oils, multiply the amount by x 20 or 30. This is because YL oils are distilled in a completely different way than standard fragrance or cosmetic oils. From the perspective we take, this one drop is not only a huge saving, but also introduces the true value and essence of a properly grown plant, providing us not only with the intense smell of its extract, but also with all its healing properties. That is why it is so important to become familiar with the properties of individual therapeutic oils so you know what awaits you when you use them. We invite you to the school of Julia Mafalda’s ~Essensual Academy~.

If you prefer to supply your “detergent baked goods” with essential oils that do not have therapeutic properties, but still smell beautiful – we recommend you look for certified organic essential oils – not only to avoid inhaling pesticides and other harmful chemicals, but also because supporting such products equals voting for a healthier planet and a better quality of life for all its inhabitants. Such oils are a little more expensive than those “ordinary” ones (often synthetic and diluted with fatty oils), but in turn a little less expensive than the therapeutic ones 🙂 

For cleaning we recommend these Young Living oils:

Lemon, Grapefruit, Orange, Peppermint, Cinnamon, Clove, Eucalyptus, Tea Tree and blends Thieves, Purification, Citrus Fresh.

CITRUS SKINS & CITRUS OILS

Lemon, orange, grapefruit or lime peels and essential oils pressed from these skins are suitable for making a natural air freshener or household vinegar that you can use for cleaning. Countertops, mirrors, windows, bathroom and kitchen will shine!

EMs

Effective Microorganisms (EMs), or Terra Biosa, is a complex of cultures of beneficial microorganisms found in nature (not genetically modified), remaining in a state of equilibrium. Mixed with herbs, they are completely safe for humans, animals and plants. They replace most cleaning products. Using EMs you can completely restore the fertility of your backyard, strengthen the immunity of animals and plants, fight weeds, diseases and pests, clean the water in a pond, pool, toilet, remove mold and bad smells, bring the farm to order and at the same time improve your and your family’s health.

We mix them in a 1:1 ratio with water in an atomizer bottle and use to clean pretty much everything: floors, countertops, mirrors, furniture. The number of applications and innovative technology are really impressive. This incredibly effective product allows the simplest cleaning style (even vinegar and liquid soap become unnecessary).

RECIPES

UNIVERSAL

DESCALER

• 10 grams of citric acid (1 tablespoon)

• water

You can descale a KETTLE by boiling water with 1 tablespoon of citric acid. Put aside for 15-20 minutes and rinse thoroughly. Use the hot water from descaling the kettle, e.g. for bleaching GROUT, scrubbing them with this water, or descaling the FAUCET by wrapping it with a cloth soaked in such water and leaving it for an hour, after which rinse.

ACID BASED LIQUID

• 10 grams of citric acid (1 tablespoon)

• 150 ml of water (over ½ glass)

• optionally 3-5 drops of essential oil or a blend

Dissolve the acid in water in an atomizer bottle. Add the oil. Use liquid to clean kitchen countertops, sinks, tables and bathroom frameworks.

VINEGAR BASED LIQUID

• 125 ml of vinegar (½ glass)

• 125 ml boiled water (½ glass)

• 3-5 kropli drops of essential oil or a blend

• optionally 30 grams of baking soda (2 spoons)

Add all the ingredients to a clean bowl (preferably porcelain) and mix thoroughly. When you get a homogeneous consistency, pour into an atomizer bottle and spray surfaces that need cleaning to remove bacteria, scale and dirt. Then wipe with a wet cloth or brush.

HOME CITRUS VINEGAR

•  ⅓ jar of citrus peel

• 1 litre of water (4 glasses)

• 45 grams of sugar cukru (3 tablespoons)

• optionally 10 drops of essential oil or a blend

Dissolve sugar in water and pour it on the peels in the jar. Cover the jar opening with gauze or a cotton/linen/hemp cloth and set aside in a dark place. Stir daily to prevent mold from setting. After a few weeks, check if the liquid smells of vinegar (and not alcohol). Ready household vinegar has golden to deep orange color (depending on the type and proportion of citrus peels used). Sweep the vinegar from the jar through gauze or a paper coffee filter into the atomizer bottle. Add the essential oil.

The sediment that remains at the bottom can be used as a leaven in the next setting – thanks to which another vinegar will clear up faster.

ANTISEPTIC

ANTIVIRAL MIXTURE

basic version

• 500 ml of 70% alcohol 

• 15 drops of Clove essential oil

• 15 drops of Cinnamon essential oil

• 45 drops of Rosemary essential oil 

• 45 drops of Eucalyptus Radiata or Globulus essential oil 

• 45 drops of Lemon essential oil 

turbo version

• 2 litres of 70% alcohol

• 5 ml Clove essential oil

• 5 ml Cinnamon essential oil

• 15 ml Rosemary essential oil

• 15 ml Eucalyptus Radiata or Globulus essential oil

• 15 ml Lemon essential oil

Pour everything into a dark glass bottle (e.g. after olive oil) – and if you only have a transparent one, wrap it around with paper or dark material. An atomizer cap will be useful for spraying various surfaces.

WOOD

NON-PAINTED WOOD SERUM

• 500 ml base oil, e.g. olive oil, linseed oil (may be rancid)

• 10 drops of essential oil or a blend

Mix the ingredients and gently grease the mixture into the wood with a cotton/linen/hemp cloth.

WINDOWS

The easiest way to clean a window is a little water and an old newspaper! However, if this method does not work, try this recipe:

• 15 grams of baking soda (1 tablespoon)

• 125 ml of water (½ glass)

Dissolve the baking soda in an atomizer bottle. Spray the entire glass surface thoroughly and wipe the window dry with a soft cloth or a dry piece of newspaper.

FLOORS & CARPETS

UNIVERSAL ALL-KIND-FLOOR LIQUID

• 250 ml of vinegar (1 glass)

• 5 liter of hot water

• 5-7 drops of essential oil or a blend

Mix all the ingredients in a bucket. Make when needed.

CARPET POWDER

• 250 grams of baking soda (1 glass)

• 5 drops of essential oil or a blend

Mix the ingredients and sprinkle on rug evenly. After 30 minutes shake or vacuum the carpet.

GROUT

• 10 grams of citric acid (1 tablespoon)

• 125 ml hot water (½ glass)

• a pinch of baking soda

Dissolve citric acid in hot water and spread along the sealings. After 20 minutes sprinkle with soda, scrub and wipe for a bit. This mixture leaves no traces.

BATHROOM

ANTIFUNGAL LIQUID

• 60 ml of hydrogen peroxide (¼ glass)

• 125 grams of baking soda (½ glass)

• 1 tablespoon of ecological liquid soap

Dissolve baking soda in hydrogen peroxide and add liquid soap. After thoroughly mixing all ingredients, scrub all dirty surfaces, using the appropriate amount of the prepared compound. If you find more stubborn dirt, pour it with this mixture and leave for 10 minutes. Then rinse with plenty of water.

BATHROOM PASTE

• 200 grams of baking soda (¾ glass)

• 50 ml of water (¼ glass)

• 5-7 drops of essential oil or a blend (we recommend Thieves)

Mix the ingredients, spread over the surface of the bathtub, shower, sink and toilet and leave for 5 minutes, then rinse the paste thoroughly with water. 

REFRESHING TOILET SPRAY

• 30 ml of glycerine (2 tea spoons)

• 45 ml of 70% alcohol (3 tea spoons)

• 80 ml of distilled water (⅓ glass)

• 30 drops of Thieves

• 10-15 drops of other essential oils

Combine glycerin with oils in an atomizer bottle. Add alcohol and mix well. Fill with water. Shake a few times so that the ingredients mix well. Always shake before use to ensure that the oils are properly distributed. Pour 3 to 6 times onto the toilet bowl before using the toilet. This mix is remarkable because its ingredients form a barrier on the water, through which other fragrances cannot pass. Glycerin and spirit play the role of fixatives that combine water with oils.

Suggestions of oil compositions:

  • 10 drops of Lemongrass + 15 drops of Bergamot + 15 drops of Cedarwood
  • 15 drops of Spearmint + 20 drops of Eucalyptus Globulus 
  • 15 drops of Lavender + 15 drops of Eucalyptus Radiata
  • 10 drops of Orange + 10 drops of Peppermint + 10 drops of Tangerine

KITCHEN

DISH LIQUID SOAP NR 1

• 60 grams of soda ash = sodium carbonate* (4 tablespoons)

• 1 tablespoon of ecological grated soap, soap flakes or liquid soap

• 30 ml of boiling water (2 tablespoons)

• 5-7 drops of essential oil or a blend

Dissolve the soap in boiling water, add soda ash. When the liquid cools, add essential oils. Mix everything well, pour into an atomizer bottle and leave until the mixture is hard as a stone. Then top up with water and shake. Keep doing this until everything blends into a uniform fluid.

*You can buy soda ash in stores on Ethy Maps or make it yourself by heating the baking soda in the oven for 45 minutes at 200 degrees C.

DISH LIQUID SOAP NR 2

• 450 ml of water (almost 2 glasses)

• 1 tablespoon of ecological grated soap or soap flakes

• 15 grams of borax (1 teaspoon)

• 5-10 drops of essential oil or a blend

Boil water in a kettle. Mix the soap and borax in a bowl. Pour water and mix until combined. Leave to cool, stirring occasionally. The fluid will begin to thicken. After cooling add the essential oil and pour into a container (we recommend a glass or ceramic bottle with a pump or whatever you already have that is convenient to use).

DISHWASHER POWDER

version 1

• 250 grams of borax (1 glass)

• 125 grams of soda ash (½ glass)

• 125 grams of sodium percarbonate (½ glass)

• optionally 5-10 drops of essential oil or a blend

In this version, sometimes add salt to the dishwasher (cleans the dishwasher).

version 2

• 250 grams of borax (1 glass)

• 250 grams of soda ash (1 glass)

• 150 grams of salt (½ glass)

• 80 grams of citric acid (½ glass)

• optionally 5-10 drops of essential oil or a blend

Mix the ingredients and keep in a jar. Always mix before use. Pour one full spoon into the dishwasher drawer.

Pour vinegar (approx. ⅕ glass) into the rinse aid compartment instead of a special liquid.

SILVER PASTE

• 30 grams of hard ecological soap 

• 125 ml of vinegar (½ glass)

• 3 liters of water

• juice from 1 lemon or 3-4 drops of Lemon essential oil

Grate the soap and dissolve it in water. Add vinegar and lemon juice or Lemon essential oil. Mix all ingredients thoroughly and use the mixture to wash silver cutlery, plates, pots or jewelry.

SINK REFRESHER

• 20 grams of baking soda (2 tablespoons)

• hot water to drench

• 10-12 drops of Lemon essential oil

Pour soda into the water outlet, wait a few minutes, then rinse with water. Finally, add Lemon oil.

MILK FOR SLIP SURFACES

• 185 grams of baking soda (¾ glass)

• 45 ml ecological liquid soap (3 tablespoons)

• 125 ml boiling water (½ glass)

• 10 kropli drops of essential oil or a blend

Grate the soap and dissolve it in boiling water. Pour baking soda into the jar, add liquid soap and mix well. If you prefer a denser consistency, add more baking soda. Finally, add the essential oil and mix everything again. The milk works well for cleaning the stove, the bathroom & kitchen sink, the shower and the bathtub. Store in a closed container.

FRIDGE

• 20 grams of baking soda (2 glasses)

• 125 ml of water (½ glass)

• 3-4 drops of essential oil or a blend

Dissolve soda in water and add oil. Use this mixture to clean both the inside and the outside of the refrigerator. Let the detergent work, leaving it in the fridge for about 10 minutes, and then thoroughly wash with a damp cloth.

To eliminate unpleasant odors leave a small amount of brewed coffee grounds inside or a slice of lemon or a bowl of soda with essential oils.

WARDROBE

Too frequent and too seldom washing can damage fabric. That is why in an ecological home we focus on airing, freezing, brush cleaning and storing the clothes in a non-crowded closet which smells of essential oils that repel moths, such as Lavender, Lemongrass or Peppermint.

LAUNDRY DETERGENT

proportions 1:1

color

• borax

• soda ash

• 4-5 drops of essential oil or a blend

white

• borax

• soda ash

• sodium percarbonate (natural whitener)

• 4-5 drops of essential oil or a blend

Put 1-2 tablespoons of laundry detergent in the powder drawer or the bottom of the washing machine drum.

LAUNDRY LIQUID (add sodium percarbonate to the whites, as above) 

• 1 or 2 bars of ecological soap or 2 glasses of soap flakes

• 500 grams of borax (2 glasses)

• 500 grams of baking soda or soda ash (2 glasses)

• 4-5 drops of essential oil or a blend

• 1 liter of water 

Grate the bar of soap to achieve approx. 2 cups of soap flakes. Boil water in a pan and add grated soap or soap flakes. Cook on low heat, often stirring with a wooden spoon. Prepare a second container with baking soda and borax. Add soapy water to them and mix well with a wooden spoon until everything dissolves. Then add oil.

Store in a dark glass bottle. Shake well before each use to mix the ingredients.

LAUNDRY PASTE

proportions 1:1

•  ecological liquid soap

•  borax

•  soda ash

•  water

•  5 drops of essential oil or a blend

Blend the whole thing into a smooth paste and put into a tightly sealed container.

MUSTINESS

• 1 flat tablespoon of ecological grated soap or soap flakes – to the bottom of the drum

• one splash of vinegar (on eye) + 4-5 drops of essential oil or blend – into the rinse drawer

DEGREASING

Pour very hot water over a fresh fat stain until the stain disappears. You can also iron it through thick paper.

For old stains – mix two heaped tablespoons of baking soda with water and apply this mixture to the stained area. In the case of light grease, you can spray the liquid (use more water compared to soda). If fat has accumulated a lot, add more soda to form a thick paste. Leave the mixture on the stain, then scrub it. Rinse the stain with warm water and dry the surface. For more on removing stains from various substances, see our Ethy Guide ECO WARDROBE.

SOFTENING

Vinegar is the most natural, affordable and effective way to replace a rinse aid. It helps to clean clothes, soften fabrics, prevent pilling and static electricity. In addition, vinegar softens excessively hard water, which contains a lot of lime. It has one more great advantage: it helps unclog and clean pipes and ducts from lime, soap and mold.

Dissolve 125 ml of vinegar (½ cup) in a liter of water, then soak dirty fabrics in the solution for about 40 minutes.

You can also pour vinegar into the washing machine rinse drawer. For a better aroma, add 5-10 drops of essential oil or blend of oils.

BLEACHING OF BEDDINGS AND CLOTHES

One of the oldest ways is raw milk (but organic!), which pleasantly softens the fibers and, at the same time, makes them perfectly clean, because the active particles penetrate deep into the fibers and thoroughly remove dirt.

Dip white fabrics in a bowl of organic raw milk and leave for an hour or two. Then wash the fabrics as usual. If necessary, immerse them in milk again.

REFRESHING WHITENESS IN WOOL AND OTHER DELICATE FABRICS

• 60 ml of the LAUNDRY LIQUID from the recipe

• 60 ml of hydrogen peroxide

• 2 liters of water

Dissolve the liquid in water, then add hydrogen peroxide. Immerse the fabric for about 30 minutes, then rinse it thoroughly in lukewarm water and hang it to dry.

WHITENING ON A FEW TONES

version with: lemon

• 2 lemons or 4 drops of Lemon essential oil

• 1 liter of water

Boil the water. Cut the lemons into slices and add them to the boiling water. If you add Lemon essential oil instead – wait until the water is about 40 degrees C. Immerse the fabrics you want to bleach and leave for 40 minutes.

version with: hydrogen peroxide + ammonia

This method is slightly more aggressive than the previous ones and, although it is very effective, we recommend using reusable rubber gloves when applying it.

• 60 ml of hydrogen peroxide

• 4 drops of ammonia

• 1 liter of water 

Pour water into the dish, add hydrogen peroxide and ammonia. Soak the fabric for about 10 minutes, then rinse thoroughly.

NOTE: Avoid this method for delicate fabrics.

YELLOW ARMPIT STAINS

version: vinegar + soap

Apply the vinegar directly to the yellow spots under the armpits, then rub with a little bit of ecological liquid soap.

version: baking soda + lemon

• 10 grams of baking soda (1 tablespoon)

• ½ of lemon or 2 drops of Lemon essential oil

Spread the baking soda over the entire surface of the yellow stain, then rub in with half a lemon squeezing it so that it releases the juice, or put some Lemon essential oil on it. Leave for 15 minutes, then rinse thoroughly in lukewarm water.

version: laundry liquid + lemon + salt

• 60 ml of the LAUNDRY LIQUID from the recipe

• 2 liters of water

• juice from 3 lemons or 5 drops of Lemon essential oil

• 10 grams of salt (1 tablespoon)

Boil water, then add liquid, salt and lemon juice or after cooling the water to approx. 40 degrees C add Lemon essential oil. Immerse the fabric in the liquid and leave for about 40 minutes. After this time, rinse thoroughly and take to the sun to dry.

CLEANING ACCESSORIES

safe for the environment and health

WOODEN BRUSHecological alternative to plastic brushes and sponges

  • durable and effective
  • made of natural, recyclable raw materials: beech wood, metal and bristles (animal or vegetable)
  • has a replaceable head
  • makes a lot of foam and cleans properly (both delicate glasses as well as pans or pots)
  • allows you not to wet your hands (which will be appreciated by people with problematic skin)
  • dries quickly
  • does not absorb odors
  • sufficient for daily use for at least a year
  • it can be boiled and cleaned in the dishwasher

HEMP CLOTH / WASHERecological alternative to plastic scourers

  • hand-knitted or crochet from raw hemp string
  • hemp material has antibacterial properties
  • 100% compostable
  • ideal for washing dishes, scrubbing pots, cleaning any surface or even scrubbing the body
  • just like a brush – with daily use, it lasts for at least a year, which even the most ecological sponge cannot
  • usual dimensions of one hemp washer – approx. 11 x 11 cm

BOTTLE WITH ATOMIZER

  • capacity up to 300 ml should be sufficient for the recipes given here
  • dark glass or metal protects against damage to the fluid structure under the influence of the sun (plastic reacts with essential oils or other active ingredients)
  • ideal for storing liquid detergents and spraying surfaces or dishes
  • infinitely reusable

JARS FROM PRESERVESideal as a containers for loose detergents and pastes

ALL INGREDIENTS AND ACCESSORIES YOU CAN BUY IN ECO STORES. MANY OF THEM CAN BE FOUND ON ETHY MAPSCREATED FROM THE NEED TO ASSEMBLE ALL PLACES AND BUSINESSES OPERATING TO ENABLE BETTER, HEALTHIER AND MORE BEAUTIFUL PLACE. Search in the SHOP category.

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