Over the past year I’ve derived great pleasure from learning how to make many everyday cleaning solutions myself. In the past, the overwhelming scents and fumes of commercially sold cleaners burned my lungs and eyes and irritated my skin if contact was made.
Honestly, I’m surprised it took me so long to find a safer and less expensive way to keep my house clean.
There are many reasons to make your own cleaners at home, but the following are a few of my reasons:
- To avoid harsh chemicals and toxic ingredients.
- To save money.
- To be gentler to the Earth.
- To become more self-sufficient.
Since many of you have expressed interest in trying some homemade cleaners for yourself, I decided to provide this guide, which includes the recipes of my favorite homemade cleaners.
All of the household cleaners I use can be made using a combination of the following inexpensive, and widely available ingredients and tools:
- White distilled vinegar
- Baking soda
- Liquid castile soap (like Dr. Bronner’s)
- Hydrogen peroxide
- Olive oil
- Microfiber cloth(s)
- Disinfecting essential oils such as lavender, lemon, tea tree oil, thyme, cinnamon, clove, rosemary or peppermint
- Plastic spray bottles
Although not explicitly stated in the ingredients lists that follow, most of the below recipes (with the exception of the drain cleaner and sink, tub and stovetop scrub) will include a plastic spray bottle and funnel.
All-Purpose Cleaner (From Healthy Child Healthy World)
- 2 TBSP vinegar
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 1/4 cup liquid castile soap
- 10 drops essential oil
Combine the vinegar and water in a clean spray bottle. Add the liquid castile soap and essential oil.
To Use: Spray the cleaner on surface to be cleaned and then wipe clean with a clean, dry cloth.
I use this cleaner in my bathrooms on laminate, chrome and porcelain surfaces. I avoid using it on my kitchen counters because I know vinegar can pit granite.
Wood Floor Cleaner
- 1 part vinegar
- 3 parts water
Combine the vinegar and water in a spray bottle.
To use: spray on and wipe clean. We use a microfiber mop.
The vinegar smell dissipates within 15 minutes or so. If you have pets or children, you can set them free to play without worrying about any toxic chemicals on the floor!
Wood Floor Polish
- 1 part vinegar
- 1 part olive oil
- *optional – 10 drops of essential oil (lemon essential oil works nicely)
Mix the vinegar and olive oil in a clean spray bottle. Add the essential oil if desired.
To use: Spray on the floor in small sections and then rub dry with a clean dry mop or cloth.
When we polish our bamboo floors, Kirk sprays the floor and then buffs as much as he can with a microfiber mop. Robbie and I then crawl around and buff the remaining polish with clean cloths. It sounds worse than it is. And the gloss lasts for weeks!
Sink, Tub and Glass Stovetop Scrub
- Baking soda
To Use: Sprinkle baking soda in the sink, tub or on the stovetop. Moisten with water to make a paste. Take a damp cloth and scrub until clean. Rinse clean.
As a former Soft-Scrub addict, I can attest to the effectiveness of using baking soda as a scrubbing agent. And I don’t worry about the kids taking a chemical bath after I’ve scrubbed the tub!
- 1/2 cup baking soda
- 1 cup vinegar
To Use: Pour baking soda down the sluggish drain and follow with vinegar. Wait 15 minutes and then flush with very hot water.
You may have to repeat the process more than once for very tough clogs.
Mold and Mildew Killer
- 1 part hydrogen peroxide
- 3 parts water
Combine peroxide and water in a clean spray bottle.
To use: spray on mold or mildew. Let sit for at least an hour. Reapply if necessary.
This really works. It’s not as fast-acting as bleach, but it gets the job done. And without the toxic fumes.
Window and Glass Cleaner
- 1 1/2 TBSP vinegar
- 16 OZ water
Combine vinegar and water in clean spray bottle.
To use: spray solution on windows or glass and then wipe clean with microfiber cloth or newspaper.
The above recipes are basically the only things I use to clean my home right now. To clean the kitchen table and granite countertops I use a warm water dampened microfiber cloth. For heavier cleaning, I add a drop or two of dish detergent to the dampened microfiber cloth.
I feel good knowing that I’m not poisoning my family. And cleaning doesn’t bother me as much now that I don’t feel the need to leave the bathroom to stop my lungs and eyes from burning.
Don’t get me wrong, I can still think of about 300 things I would rather do than clean, but making my own safe and non-toxic cleaners has helped. The amount of money we have saved by making our own cleaners is nice bonus too!
Have you tried making any of your own non-toxic household cleaners? How did it go? Do you have any favorite recipes you would like to share?
Thank you so much for reading ExConsumer. I haven’t told you lately, but your reading and participation makes this blog a fun and meaningful part of my life. I hope it adds value to your life too.
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