Are you keen on removing toxins from your living environment and currently live in a small space like a boat or caravan and aren’t sure which products to whittle it down to? Maybe you’re just heading away on holidays and want to know which natural products to pack that can stretch over a multitude of cleaning and personal care tasks. If that’s you, you’re in luck!
In this post I’ll share my top 5 product recommendations for toxin-free living in a small living space.
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Deteriorating economic conditions over the past couple of years have resulted in many of my close friends losing their jobs. But rather than dwell on what they’ve lost, so many have turned adversity into opportunity and are currently caravanning around Australia, creating memories with their partner and young children.
One close friend, who’s about to set off for an indefinite time caravanning around Australia, and who just so happens to also be one of my Home Detoxers, recently asked me what products I’d take if I was about to pack my life up into a caravan and I’ve decided to share my response with you.
I’ve actually packed these products up on several holidays, including a two week trip we enjoyed three years ago in a motor home and rarely leave home without them!
Here’s my top 5 product recommendations for toxin-free living in a small living space.
You can forget about having a multi-purpose spray altogether by investing in a couple of quality microfibre cloths ….one for the kitchen area and one for the bathroom.
The fibres in microfibre cloths are able to attach themselves to even the tiniest dirt particles …….. ones that standard cloth fibres (giant in comparison) brush past. They’re able to easily attach to the dirt thanks to an attraction force (hello van der Waals forces!) between the microfibre cloth and the dirt particle. And with millions of microfibers in a standard microfibre cloth, this means that the cloth can hoover up millions of dirt particles!
Used dry for dusting, the microfibres create static electricity that lift the smallest particles of dust and dirt up into the cloth and prevent them from resettling on surfaces. Used damp, they pick up dirt and grime using just water, leaving a sparkling finish in their tracks.
My favourite way for using these guys is damp (but well wrung out). They’re great for mirrors, wooden furniture, glass, stainless steel, tiles, chrome, car interiors and toys and they’re even gentle enough to wipe computer and TV screens!
A word of warning though…. don’t be tempted to use them with detergents or soaps; both will reduce the cloth’s effectiveness and diffuse their “magic”.
I’ve tested a few different microfibre cloths in my time and have found Norwex Enviro Cloths to be a great all-rounder and cost-effective microfibre cloth. They also contain BacLock, a micro silver agent in the cloth that has self-purification properties to work against mould, fungi and bacterial odour (which is priceless if you’re prone to leaving a gunky cloth bundled up on the bench).
Castile Soap (Liquid)
Pure soap is the original, natural, general purpose cleaner and it biodegrades completely. It also contains no extra additives like colour or fragrances.
Liquid castile soap, such as the Dr Bronners Baby Mild variety, is gentle on the skin and can be used as a hand and body wash. It’s also great for a detergent when hand washing the dishes. I usually just add a drop of Thieves Essential Oil (see below) for an extra cleaning boost.
Castile Soap (Solid)
A good quality solid castile soap, like Dr Bronner’s Baby Mild Soap, is very easy to grate (or process in a Thermomix or food processor) and use as a laundry powder. A super easy DIY laundry powder is to mix grated castile soap with washing soda in a 50:50 ratio. Use 1 tablespoon per load (less in front loaders..
Sodium carbonate (washing soda) is a water softener that’s fantastic at removing grease, oil and wine stains. I’d mainly have a bag of this in my caravan to blend with the grated castile soap for laundry detergent.
Young Living Thieves Essential Oil
There are many quality essential oils that are great at disinfecting surfaces and general cleaning tasks, but my absolute no.1 pick, and the one I never leave home without, is Young Living Thieves Essential Oil. In addition to its countless therapeutic uses it’s fabulous at removing stains (it even gives permanent marker a run for its money!), cleaning grease from ovens and grills, and sanitising surfaces. A drop of Thieves on a cloth is great insurance when wiping surfaces in grungy public amenity blocks.
Thieves is also effective at deterring many pests, including moths and silverfish. Simply soak cotton wool balls and place throughout your caravan or diffuse through the air. Small diffusers that plug into a USB drive are handy for this.
Of course there’s possibly some other fantastic natural products that may also make the cut if I were to head off caravanning for an indefinite period of time, but these five are definitely my non-negotiables.
If you often use distilled white vinegar in your cooking and you have it handy in your caravan I’d suggest using it to mop your floors. But you can just as easily use water and a few drops of Thieves Oil. Liquid castile soap is also effective in cleaning floors.
If you’re after plenty of other tips for how to use these products effectively in your caravan or your home, click HERE to pick up your FREE Home Detox Cheat Sheet.
Are you currently living in a small space such as a caravan or boat? What’s your no.1 natural product that you use for cleaning or personal care?
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