Toxic cleaners and harsh chemicals are all around us. They can cause havoc with your septic system. Your septic system relies on natural microorganisms to break down the effluent which flows into your septic tank. Harsh chemicals found in many cleaners such as bleach can kill some of these naturally occurring organisms. What’s a better solution? You can make your own household cleaners out of natural ingredients you can find in your home.
You can make your own drain cleaners, toilet bowl cleaners, counter spray, etc. out of natural and gentle ingredients which are better for your environment as well as family and child friendly. At this time of year, they also make great Christmas gifts, especially when decorative bottles and containers are used.
Here are some great recipes to try:
All Purpose Cleaner
- 2 cups white distilled vinegar
- 20-30 or more drops of essential oil (optional)
Suggested uses: hard surfaces like countertops and kitchen floors, windows and mirrors.
Tip: Warming in microwave until barely hot will boost cleaning power for tough jobs. Only microwave in a glass container.
Creamy Soft Scrub
- ½ cup to 2/3 cup liquid castile soap*
- 4 teaspoons vegetable glycerin (acts as a preservative)
- 5 drops antibacterial essential oil such as lavender, tea tree, rosemary or any scent you prefer (optional)
Mix together and store in a sealed glass jar, shelf life of 2 years. Dry soft scrubs can be made with baking soda or salt (or combination of both) with 10-15 drops essential oil to scent.
Suggested uses: Use this creamy soft scrub on kitchen counters, stoves, bathroom sinks, etc.
- 1-2 tbsp. oxygen bleach (optional for extra whitening power)
Soap flakes can be made by grating your favorite pure vegetable soap with a cheese grater. Mix ingredients together and store in a glass container. Use 1 tablespoon per load (2 for heavily soiled laundry), wash in warm or cold water
For soft water: use 1 cup soap flakes, 1/4 cup washing soda and 1/2 cup baking soda. For hard water: use 1 cup soap flakes, 1 cup washing soda, and 1 cup baking soda.
Note: This recipe can be safely used in HE washers..
Tips: Add 1/2 cup white distilled vinegar to rinse as a fabric softener. For a whitener, use hydrogen peroxide rather than bleach. Soak your dingy white clothes for 30 minutes in the washer with 1/2 cup 3% peroxide. Launder as usual.
- 1/4 cup white distilled vinegar
- 20-30 drops lemon essential oil
Shake well before using (2 teaspoons lemon juice may be substituted for lemon oil but then must be stored in refrigerator).
Dip a clean, dry cloth into the polish and rub wood in the direction of the grain. Use a soft brush to work the polish into corners or tight places.
Tips: To remove water spots rub well with toothpaste. To remove scratches use 1 part lemon juice and 1 part oil, rub with soft cloth.
Toilet Bowl Cleaner
Sprinkle toilet bowl with baking soda, drizzle with vinegar, let soak for at least 30 minutes and scrub with toilet brush.
Tip: Let ingredients soak for a while to make for easy scrubbing, especially on persistent stains like toilet bowl rings.
- ½ cup vinegar
- 1/2cup salt
Pour baking soda down the drain and follow with vinegar. Cover and let sit for at least 30 minutes. Flush with boiling water.
Tip: Prevent your shower from clogging by using a drain trap to catch hairs.
These recipes can be found on womensvoices.org
All Clear Septic and Wastewater Services is available to answer all your questions on your septic system and what you should or should not put in it. Call them at 508-763-4431 or visit www.allclearseptic.com