Making Your Own Natural Cleaners

There are many benefits to making your own cleaners and it is probably a great deal easier than you imagined.

Making you own natural cleaners is a great way to:
  • Save money
  • Reduce bulky waste & environmental impact of dangerous ingredients
  • Know & control what is in your cleaners
  • Eliminate or lower the chemical load in your household
  • Customise your cleaning products & create a safe, welcoming space

Many of the traditional cleaning products we rely on to keep our homes in bright, shiny, tip top shape often come with a dark side. Irritating chemicals can create health issues with skin contact or inhalation. Who among us hasn’t breathed in the fumes and irritating synthetic perfumes in store bought cleaners or had dry, itchy skin, eczema or worse from contact with chemical cleaners.

There are many organic, natural or more environmentally friendly cleaning products on the market now thanks to the growing interest in personal health, safety and environmental responsibility. Still, many of these green cleaning products are significantly more expensive than their less green counterparts or cleaning products you can make yourself at home.

Does this mean you should immediately clear out your stash of cleaning products under your sink? Probably not. It is more realistic to reduce your dependence on heavy load chemical cleaners. Start with a few of the easier suggestions and reduce and replace other traditional cleaning products little by little. Most people find their home created natural cleaners work as good or better than the heavily packaged, dangerous and over scented store bought cleaners.

There are a few basic recipes that can help you get started and a list of must haves to stock your cabinet with to help you make the basic cleaning products. Some of the recommended ingredients are still chemicals like isopropyl alcohol for example, so care must be taken. You can control what you use, how much of it and still get great natural, effective home cleaning products to make house cleaning safe, easy and environmentally sound. The essential oils we recommend are not usually a required ingredient in the recipes in which they appear and some people are sensitive to smells whether they are natural or not. Many of us like that “clean house smell” and varying the scents with natural essential oils can neutralize home odors and add a relaxing element and mild, lingering fragrance to your clean home. Essential oils are available at most local health food stores or can be easily ordered online.

Basic ingredients to help create your go to natural home cleaners

  • Isopropyl alcohol
  • Baking Soda
  • White vinegar
  • Hydrogen Peroxide
  • Dr. Bronner’s Pure Castile soap
  • Olive Oil
  • Essential Oils (lavender, geranium, lemongrass, rosemary & others offer effective solvent properties and fresh natural pleasant scents)
  • Plastic spray bottles (you can buy heavy duty empty spray bottles from your local hardware store or reuse store bought cleaner spray bottles like Windex or counter cleaner if they have been thoroughly cleaned and relabeled with exact product)
  • A few clean glass jars

Natural furniture polish:

For varnished wood, add a few drops of lemon essential oil into a clean spray bottle filled with about 1-2 cups of warm water. Add ½ tsp. olive oil and shake well. Spray onto a soft cotton cloth until cloth is just slightly damp. Wipe furniture with the cloth, and finish by wiping once more using a dry soft cotton cloth.

Natural scouring powder:

For the top of your stove, refrigerator and other such surfaces that should not be scratched, use baking soda. Apply baking soda directly with a damp sponge.

All-Purpose natural spray cleaner (for counters, bathrooms, tile & more)

  • 1/2 teaspoon olive oil
  • 2 tsp. isopropyl alcohol
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • Spray bottle
  • Pleasant smelling essential oil of your choice

Natural degreaser

Straight isopropyl alcohol is great for degreasing hard areas like kitchen cabinet knobs and range top hoods. Soak a cloth or cotton with the alcohol and rub into grease area. Isopropyl alcohol is very drying on your skin so we suggest you wear gloves.

Natural floor cleaner (generally suitable for most floors including wood and tile)

  • ½ tsp. liquid soap
  • 4 tsp. white vinegar
  • 2 tsp. isopropyl alcohol
  • A few drops of a pleasant smelling essential oil of your choice
  • Spray bottle or empty, clean squirting floor cleaner bottle
Put all the ingredients into clean container and shake it up a bit. We like using an empty floor cleaner bottle with the squirt top so you can squirt solution on small areas of floor as you clean. Or dampen a mop with the solution and wipe down floor.

Natural window cleaner

  • 1/4-1/2 teaspoon liquid detergent
  • 3 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 2 cups water
  • A few drops of a pleasant smelling essential oil of your choice
  • Spray bottle

Put all the ingredients into a spray bottle, shake it up a bit, and use the same as you would a commercial brand.

All natural creamy soft scrub cleanser

Pour approximately 1/2 cup of baking soda into a clean glass jar, and add enough liquid castile soap to make a texture like frosting. Scoop the mixture onto a sponge to scour the surface. This is the perfect recipe for cleaning the bathtub and tile because it rinses easily and doesn’t leave grit. Use the same ingredients with more liquid soap for cleaning your toilet.

Note: These formulas and substitutions are compiled to help minimize your use of toxic chemicals in your home, and reduce the environmental harm caused by the manufacture, use and disposal of chemicals. Results may vary and cannot be guaranteed to be 100% safe and effective. Before applying any cleaning formulation, test in a small hidden area. Always use caution with any new product in your home.

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