There was a time when your house was considered clean if you could smell the cacophony of chemical scents that made cleaning products smell “natural.” But time and experience have given us a new understanding of what those chemicals do to our environment and bodies. This has led new products that trade harmful chemicals for more organic ingredients. Unfortunately, most of these also come at a hefty price.
If you want a clean house without the detrimental effects of commercial cleaners but don’t have the extra cash for the organic versions, consider making your own. You probably have everything you need to make the switch. By creating your own DIY cleaners, you not only control what’s in them, you save money, too.
Here are a few simple recipes to get you started:
The kitchen is a good place to start because that’s where you prepare your family’s food and you probably don’t want to serve up a hefty side of chemical additives with your favorite food recipes.
General Purpose Cleaner Recipe
The essential oils makes this cleaner an excellent disinfectant as well. Here’s what you need:
● 1 teaspoon borax
● ½ teaspoon baking soda
● 1 teaspoon liquid castile soap
● 2 cups warm water
● 15 drops essential oil or combination of oils
Mix the borax, soda and soap in a spray bottle, then add the water and shake well. Spray on surfacesand wipe off.
Tip: Never use vinegar or citrus juice or citrus essential oils on marble or granite because it will cause the protective layer of the stone to break down and damage the surface. Tea tree, eucalyptus or oregano oil are good options if you have natural stone countertops.
Your bathroom is one of the dirtiest rooms in the house, so it’s important to use good cleaning products with disinfecting qualities as well.
Disinfectant Spray Cleaner Recipe
This is an all-purpose spray that can be used to disinfect your bathroom while it cleans. The vinegar has antibacterial properties, and I like to add tea tree oil because it also removes mold and mildew. You’ll need:
● 1 cup vinegar
● 2 cups water
● 1 tablespoon castile soap
● 15 drops essential oil or combination of oils
Add ingredients to a spray bottle and mix well. Spray and wipe off to clean and disinfect surfaces.
Toilet Bowl Cleaner Recipe
Not only does this recipe give you a nice clean throne, it’s fun to use. Remember the baking soda vinegar experiments from your elementary school days? All you need is the following two ingredients:
● 1 cup baking soda
● 2 cups white vinegar
Add the baking soda to the toilet bowl, then pour in the vinegar. Let it fizz and sizzle, then scrub your toilet with a brush. Follow by cleaning the bowl and outer parts with the disinfecting general cleaner listed above.
Tip: A one-to-one ratio of baking soda followed by vinegar, then washed down with boiling water will also help unclog your drains.
Glass Cleaner Recipe
Despite the seemingly unusual addition of cornstarch, this recipe is an effective glass cleaner. You’ll need:
● ¼ cup of rubbing alcohol
● ¼ cup of white vinegar
● 1 tablespoon cornstarch
● 2 cups of warm water
Put all ingredients into a spray bottle and combine by shaking. You may need to do this before each use if the cornstarch has settled on the bottom of the container. Spray and wipe as usual.
Tip: When cleaning windows either in your home or garage, never use abrasive or highly alkaline mixtures because they can scratch the glass.
Powdered Laundry Detergent Recipe
This soap contains ingredients that clean, loosen dirt and stains, eliminate odors and help soften hard water. Use the following ingredients:
● 4 pounds borax
● 4 pounds baking soda
● 4 pounds Epsom salt
● 3 bars of castile soap, finely grated
Combine all ingredients and store in a two gallon container. Use one to two tablespoons per wash, depending upon load size.
Tip: Adding distilled white vinegar to the rinse cycle will help brighten clothes and act as a fabric softener. You can add a drop or two of your favorite essential oil to the vinegar to help cut the odor, but if you want to add a nice scent to your clothes, put a drop or two on a washcloth and place in the dryer as you would a fabric softener sheet. Never put oils directly on clothing, as it may damage the fabric.
We all want our houses to be as clean as possible, but using toxic substances to create a dirt free environment may be defeating the purpose. Whether you decide to purchase known brands or make them yourself, using natural and organic ingredients is a simple and effective way to care for the planet and your body.
Megan Wild loves cleaning her home in a way that keeps her friends, family, and fuzzy kids safe and healthy. When she’s not sprucing up her home, she can be found writing about her adventures in home decor on her blog, Your Wild Home.