That’s when I decided to create a cleaning caddy that can be brought out at any time for any purpose. Carpet stain? Cleaning caddy. Time to deep clean the bathrooms? Cleaning caddy. Dusting day? Cleaning caddy. No more rifling through solutions to figure out which one I should be using or sending someone to the cleaning cabinet only to have them bring back the wrong product. Nope. Now I have it all in one spot.
And with kiddos in my home, you know I’m going to make sure that the cleaning products I use are safe, toxin free and not adding any chemicals into the air we breathe. Ever since my daughter was born 5 1/2 years ago, I’ve done my best to remove as many cleaning toxins as I can. I’ve tried and tested different methods and solutions and today I’m sharing my favorites with you in hopes that you can create your own decluttered, safe and healthy cleaning caddy.
1. Non-Toxic Concentrated Cleaner
A concentrated cleaner will be your main-stay. Many of these cleaners are multipurpose, meaning they can be used for many different cleaning jobs. I personally use my AvaShield for the kitchen every day cleaner as well as a floor cleaner.
Below is my ABSOLUTE favorite concentrated cleaner that I feel completely safe using around my kids, my dog and indoor environment.
2. Microfiber Cleaning Cloths with Silver
Silver is a natural disinfecting agent and is a great option when it comes to disinfecting countertops and surfaces that are germ magnets.
Combine these rags with a concentrated cleaner and you’ve got a powerful tool to disinfect and clean your home. The best part is, these can be used pretty much ANYWHERE. Not to mention they are 100% safe and non-toxic for babies, pets and don’t add any toxins to the indoor air.
3. Cleaning Brush(es)
I like to use these in sink basins and on tub fixtures to gently and softly clean fragile finishes. Tub fixtures can easily begin corroding when improper cleaning solutions are used. This is the exact reason I love baking soda, which is a gentle cleaner. If you choose to use vinegar on plumbing fixtures, make sure to completely rinse the viengar from the surface. Vinegar is highly corrosive, which is why it’s a great cleaner, however when left on it can cause huge problems.
4. Baking Soda
Baking soda is a go to for anything that needs a good scrubbing. The baking soda gently scrubs and removes dirt and grime with a little bit of elbow grease. It’s also a great way to deodorize and remove odors. Baking soda is extremely cost effective and it’s almost always in our homes, which makes it a great tool to utilize. The same baking soda used in cooking is the same baking soda you can use in your cleaning routine. It makes a great carpet refresher and can help absorb excess moisture within the fibers if you live in a humid climate.
5. Castile Soap
Non-toxic, plant based castile soap is another favorite cleaner by anyone who wants to ensure they aren’t adding chemicals and toxins into the air. I highly recommend an unscented castile soap. While the soap itself is a safe option for your home, castile soap with scents added can contain phthalates that are harmful and toxic to your family and indoor air.
I strongly recommend Dr. Bronner’s Pure Castile Liquid Unscented Soap. Not only is this soap healthy, it has MANY applications. It can be used for personal care as well as in the kitchen, laundry and most places you might use a soap or cleaner. Another plus? That big bottle goes a LONG way. Most times you need just a small amount of castile soap when using it around the house.
6. Hydrogen Peroxide (with a sprayer)
Hydrogen Peroxide, where do I start? This little gem is a couple dollars (if that!) at any drug store and it has many uses. It can be used in many practical cleaning applications. It’s a great replacement for toxic bleach in laundry and stain removal applications. It also serves a great addition to disinfect in bathrooms and kitchens. I can’t speak highly enough of Hydrogen Peroxide as a safe and natural cleaning product. It not only whitens and remove stains, but it sanitizes. Make this an easy-use option by adding an inexpensive sprayer to the top and keep it in your caddy.
LITTLE KNOWN FACT: Hydrogen Peroxide can actually keep fungus and mold off of your house plants. Not only is the fungus and mold toxic to your indoor air, but it hinders your plant’s growth.
7. Cleaning Sponges
Sponges are a handy little tool to have in your caddy for simple things like scrubbing a stain off the floor, cleaning the bathroom or kitchen counter and getting pesky little hand prints off your wall. Make sure to let your sponge dry out completely before puting back in the caddy though. A damp sponge sitting in a dark caddy can grow bacteria and create a bigger problem.
I like to keep a sponge at the kitchen sink as well. They are gentle enough to scrub pots and pans without scratching them, but tough enough to get stuck-on food off of the dishes.
One more great use for sponges? Lift pet hair out of your carpet by using a damp sponge as a lint grabber.
I use vinegar when cleaning just about any hard, non-porous surface in my home such as flooring, counters and sinks. Again, it’s important to remember that straight vinegar can be very abrasive if left on fixtures. So once you’ve used the vinegar to clean the faucet or fixture, make sure to gently wipe it down with a cleaning cloth.
Aunt Fannie’s cleaning vinegar is one of my favorite additions to a cleaning caddy that doesn’t require you to wipe it off when done.
9. Spray Bottles
Use one or two spray bottles to mix up a tough cleaner and another one for a disinfecting cleaner. I personally use a diluted concentrated cleaner in one with some essential oils added and then another bottle for windows and mirrors with my window cleaning recipe.
I love that most spray bottles come with a cap as well, so I can mix up a backup cleaner and leave it under the sink and switch it out with an empty bottle in a snap. The great thing about having a cleaning caddy is that you can have ONE cleaner and easily move it from room to room instead of having four different cleaners in any room you might want it. The idea here is to simplify, take out the clutter of cleaning products and make everything streamlined.
10. Essential Oils (Optional)
This last addition is definitely my favorite. Essential oils are AMAZING additions to cleaning routines if you’re looking to naturally disinfect and remove bacteria and viruses on your home’s surfaces. I love adding a few drops to my concentrated cleaner to not only boost it’s disinfecting power but also make the surface I’m cleaning smell fresh and clean as well.
I personally love Young Living for their transparency in listing ingredients as well as the third party quality control they have implemented when it comes to safe and natural blends. You can read more about why I trust Young Living for Essential Oils here.
There are many essential oils that disinfect and help kill biological toxins such as mold and fungus. Some of my favorites are listed below. (BONUS: I feature different oils that are beneficial for your home on my Instagram Page — I’d love for you to join me!)