Green cleaning, natural cleaning, eco-friendly cleaning are some of the few ‘buzz words’ flying across the web. With reason, experts from medical doctors, environmentalists and international organisations like WHO, are creating awareness on improving the quality of air – from fossil fuel burning to industrial pollution down to the very ingredients we are exposed to on a daily basis, inside our homes. 


The original article was published in Served Magazine Malta July 2019.


A Global Health Concern:

Over 300 million people suffer from asthma, the most common chronic disease of childhood affecting 14% of all children globally. [1] Fortunately, most respiratory diseases are preventable by improving the quality of the air. Common sources of unhealthy air are tobacco smoke, indoor and outdoor air pollution, and air containing microbes, toxic particles, fumes or allergens.[2]

Whilst respiratory diseases associated with poor indoor air quality are a higher threat to poor rural households, we cannot ignore the ever-increasing toxicities we are exposed to on a daily basis in ‘developed’ areas of the globe; from construction dust, industrial pollution and chemical toxic product exposure.

Find healing with natural remedies report that in 2000, cleaning products were responsible for nearly 10% of all toxic exposures reported to U.S. Poison Control Centers, accounting for 206,636 calls. Of these, 54% exposures involved children under six, who can swallow or spill cleaners stored or left open inside the home.

What are toxins and where are they usually present in the house?

Toxins are present in many areas of the home from the paint and construction material, to appliances, furniture and soft furnishings.

Many of the common household cleaning products used contain chemical (VOCs) Volatile Organic Compounds and other toxic substances such as ammonia and bleach. VOCs are gases that are emitted into the air from products or processes. Some are harmful themselves and may react with other gases and form other air pollutants in the home.

These toxic ingredients are found in common household cleaning products such as (not limited to): aerosols, floor detergents, dishwashing detergents, surface cleaners, oven cleaners and even beauty & cleaning products.

How can we avoid toxins in the home?

1. Carefully look at the product labels before buying: avoid ingredients like Phthalates, PERC, 2-Butoxyethanol, ammonia, and chlorine (to mention a few). Opt for trusted natural and ‘eco’ alternatives that preferably use plant-based surfactants like OnGuard Cleaning Concentrate available from doTERRA.

2. Avoid direct skin contact with any chemical-based cleaners. Use reusable cleaning gloves if necessary.

3. When using detergents, make sure the room is well ventilated, preferably using a fan to pull any toxins in the air and wear a mask.

4. Purify the air using pure essential oils (from a trusted source – I recommend doTERRA due to their extensive testing methods and purity… and social give back!).

5. Make your own household cleaning products, using simple and effective ingredients.

6. See more ways to detoxify your home and bedroom for better quality sleep.

Whether or not you like to clean, it is much easier to keep a clean house when you have useful and effective cleaning agents that are safe for you and your family.

Use Natural Cleaning Base ingredients

Vinegar: great for cleaning glass, floors (tiles), all surfaces. 

Baking soda: great for dishwashing, surface cleaners.

Soap nut concentrate: a cleaning concentrate made from natural soap nuts

Clean With Essential Oils

Essential oils can also be extremely useful for cleaning. These naturally occurring, volatile aromatic compounds are found in the seeds, bark, stems, roots, flowers, and other parts of plants that give plants their distinctive smells. In addition to their intrinsic benefits to plants and their beautiful fragrance, essential oils have long been used for food preparation, beauty treatment, and health-care practices. 

Why clean with essential oils?

They are a natural and safe alternative to cleaning products with toxins and chemicals. They are potent (1 drop can go a long way!), powerful, and effective, offering versatile options for cleaning whilst creating a clean and inviting aroma in your home.

Try this multi-purpose natural cleaning spray recipe:

1 cup water
1 cup white vinegar
20-25 drops essential oil (use an oil dropper if you want an exact number of drops)
Recommended Blend: 10 drops Lemon, 10 drops Tea Tree (Melaleuca)

Instructions: In a spray bottle, combine water and vinegar. Add essential oil(s) of choice. Shake well. Use on counters, glass, stainless steel, and porcelain. Wipe with a microfiber cloth.

[1] WHO: The Global Impact of Respiratory Disease, 2017

[2] WHO: The Global Impact of Respiratory Disease, 2017