How to make your own chemical-free cleaning products

Updated: Jun 5

Going green at home is a goal so many of us share. And with Covid-19 in our worlds, we are now more focused on cleaning more than ever. But how can we create a safe and hygienic environment without adding more chemicals to our lives?

In light of World Environment Day on 5 June, we tap into the tips of essential oil enthusiast and doTERRA Wellness Advocate, Anneke Newing who makes all of her own chemical-free cleaning products.


Awareness of the harm that chemicals, even in small quantities, can do to our bodies is on the rise. We now know endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) are found in products we use every day, such as plastic bottles, detergents, cosmetics, pesticides and even food.


Bisphenol A, or BPA, is one of the highest-profile endocrine disruptors, which can be found in plastic containers used to store food and drink. Like other EDCs, BPA affects our hormones and has been linked to hormone-related health issues including diabetes, asthma and obesity.


You may have also heard of Parabens, an EDC found in cosmetics and personal care products, and Triclosan, found in antibacterial soap.


With EDCs being so common, how can we minimise and remove them from our lives?


Finding a natural solution


Mum of three, Anneke has been seeking natural solutions for her family for as long as she can remember. For more than a decade, she has been eating an organic, dairy-free diet and buying vegan beauty products.


In recent years her attention has moved to living chemical-free, avoiding putting her family in contact with harsh chemicals which disrupt the endocrine system.

Some years ago, Anneke came across a peppermint slice recipe which she wanted to recreate without using anything synthetic. She put a callout on Facebook for answers and someone suggested she use Peppermint essential oil.


Anneke had never considered using an essential oil in cooking, and after much research she purchased a doTERRA Home Essentials Kit comprising 10 oils, including Peppermint which she then used in a raw slice.


The more she read, explored and experimented with different essential oils, the more she discovered ways to apply them beyond cooking, as a natural solution for a multitude of things in the home and the family.


“I realised that by getting creative with essential oils around the home, I could take our chemical-free living to the next level,” Anneke said.


“I began using essential oils to support my body and my family’s bodies, including for mental health and wellbeing. For example, diffusing the oils in a diffuser, applying topically to support a skin issue or digestive issue, for ongoing immune support, for calming and soothing, for sleep support... the list goes on!”


Pure and simple


Anneke began to incorporate oils into her family’s daily routine. Each of her three kids has a diffuser in their bedroom with a personalised oil blend for each of them. She has created oil blends for bed time, for happy and calm moods. She also adds essential oils to liquid coconut oil to use for massaging the kids after a bath at night.


But at the heart of her essential oils use has been chemical-free cleaning - Anneke makes all of her own products naturally.


“Making your own cleaning products for the home is really easy to do, even just to create a handwash and a multipurpose spray,” she said.


“All you need is a couple of essential oils, castile soap (an amazingly-versatile vegetable-based soap), purified or boiled and cooled water, and an amber glass spray bottle. Most pharmacies sell castile soap, or you can buy it in bulk from suppliers such as Aussie Soaps Supplies or Dr Bronner's.”

Anneke recommends using essential oils that are uplifting and fresh and most importantly have antibacterial properties for cleaning, such as Lemon, Wild Orange, Eucalyptus and Tea Tree.


“It’s also very easy to source beautiful labels, bottles and ingredients to make cleaning products which are very presentable, as well as being environmentally friendly.”


Incredibly, Anneke also makes her own plant-based beauty products such as lip balm, body moisturiser, facial toner, face serum, facial cleanser, plastic-free deodorant, perfumes and dry shampoo.


“I love that we can use essential oils as a way to teach the kids about the environment and sustainability.”


To support this philosophy, Anneke and her family also incorporate plastic-free and sustainable practices in their household items and daily routines, using a compost, beeswax wraps, and bamboo toothbrushes for instance.


She cautions that essential oils shouldn’t be handled by kids, and should be kept away from sensitive areas of the body, including eyes.


Recipes


Here are two of Anneke’s simple recipes for getting your chemical-free cleaning routine started.


Chemical-free multipurpose spray


Approx 2-3 tablespoon castile soap

20 drops of essential oil

Top with water, give it a good shake

500ml spray bottle


Chemical-free handwash recipe


Approx 2-3 tablespoon castile soap

10-12 drops of essential oil (per 300ml)

Liquid/fractionated coconut oil, also known as MCTs (medium chain triglycerides), to emulsify

Top with water, give it a good shake

Foaming bottle

Giveaway


To help kick start your chemical-free cleaning at home, we’re giving away a Dr Bronner’s Rainbow Sampler Pack. See here for details and to enter.

About Anneke

Anneke was one of the first mums to warmly welcome Bodhi owner Heaven Leigh into a new mothers’ group when she moved to Sydney’s North Shore five years ago. They have since discovered a shared passion and focus on creating a low tox home environment and lifestyle for their families. Anneke has been working with doTERRA essential oils for four years.

Follow her on Instagram.


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