Natural Cleansers: A Safe and Happy Kitchen

Antibacterial spray cleaner? Not for THIS Kitchenette

I am one of the lucky ones. Yes, my husband came to me pre-trained. On our first “date”, he invited me to his house for dinner. While the food was delicious, what had me swooning was the way he cleaned the kitchen after dinner! Wow, could that man clean a countertop! Whoo!

So, it didn’t surprise me the other day when I found our “all-purpose cleaner” spray bottle patiently sitting on the kitchen counter waiting to be refilled.

natural cleaner

Gone are the days when I would run to the store to buy a new one. I watch every penny – well, nickel now. When we had pennies, my folks didn’t just teach me, “Watch your pennies; your dollars will look after themselves”, they also showed me how to stretch those pennies so hard, they became copper wire … but I digress.

I make my own cleaners whenever possible – partly to save money, and partly because I feel a sense of obligation to do whatever I can to protect our little third rock from the sun.

What pushed me to this, was the experience of SEVERAL bouts of Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA for short). This is an antibiotic-resistant strain of bacterial infection. Some theorize it is the result of overuse of antibiotics since their invention. Many more point to the introduction of “antibacterial” products marketed to the masses in recent years. Whichever or both, when you have to battle MRSA, you have time to rethink a lot of what you do in your life.

Ever looked at the label on your favourite cleaner? How many words can you really understand? It is mostly chemical-scientific words – some downright dangerous – just so you can think you have a truly clean  house.

Fragrance alone can be made up of up to three thousand chemicals – lovely.  My personal favourite chemical to resist is Trilosan. That is the antimicrobial agent found in countless products from liquid soap to mattresses; garbage bags to mouthwash – Yum-MY! This toxin is suspected of being an endocrine disrupter that can mimic or interfere with hormone function.

The European Union classifies Triclosan as irritating to skin and eyes and toxic to the aquatic environment. The Canadian Medical Association has called for a ban on antibacterial consumer products.

So, my fellow clean freaks, here is one cleaning solution that I use.

All Purpose Cleaner

  • One reusable spray bottle*
  • 16 oz. water
  • 1 Tbsp. Castile Soap **
  • 5-10 drops Tea Tree Oil ***
  • 3-5 drops Essential Oil (optional) (I use grapefruit or lemongrass – both smell very fresh)

Shake gently to combine. Spray away the grime, spills, or whatever and know you are not hurting your family or the environment.


* Your local Dollar Store often carries a variety of spray bottles – they appear to hold 16-20 oz. on average and can be yours for about $1.25 a piece!

** Castile Soap – best price I have found is Save-On but, you use so little at a time, the price differential won’t really matter in the big picture. Comes in unscented (my personal favourite) or a variety of scented (with essential oils – not chemicals)

*** Tea Tree Oil – one of nature’s best gifts to us. It contains antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties

But WAIT, there’s more!

I refer to Gillian Deacon’s book, “Green for Life” for many tips and recipes.

Here is a quick antiseptic and antifungal spray to use on the countertops, dining tables, anywhere that you place food (or where our furry “kids” might put their paws when no one is looking – right, Iggy and Zoë?)

Heck, I even use it as a quick spritz for the cutting board (provided I haven’t had raw meat or fish on it}

Antibacterial Cleaner

 Quick Spritz

  • One Reusable Spray bottle
  • Filled almost to the top with water
  • 10 drops Tea Tree Oil
  • 10 drops Lavender Oil

Quick gentle shake and it is ready to use.

The scent is very calming and lavender is Tracey Lewindon’s (our favourite aromatherapist) favourite essential oil.  Not only is she a registered Aromatherapist, she is also an Art Journaling Instructor. She is featured on last week’s Everyday Happiness Podcast. Be sure to have a listen, and visit Tracey online. 

Yup, kitchen counter is clean – oh, but what about the floor? Stay tuned for more recipes. We’ve got a million of ‘em.


How about you? What is your favourite alternative cleaner? 

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  1. Thank you for the mention and kind words. You have wonderful suggestions here! I always make my own cleaners, too. My favourite kitchen cleaner has Eucalyptus, Tea Tree, Thyme,and Lavender essential oils. Thanks for sharing your experience!

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