Why bother? Why go to the trouble of homemade cleaners when buying commercial products is so much easier?
That was my arrogant response years ago when the idea of making my own cleaning products made no sense to me at all. I’ve come a long way!
Here are my top four reasons to make your own cleaning products:
- It takes as little as 30 seconds to mix up any number of homemade natural cleaning products—a lot less time than finding the right aisle in the supermarket or another store.
- Homemade cleaners give you complete control over the ingredients. Conventional cleaning products often contain toxic chemicals, harsh smells, unpleasant residues, or allergy-inducing irritants.
- Making your own cleaning products is super cheap because they use simple everyday ingredients—things you may have already in your pantry.
- Homemade cleaners using natural ingredients often perform equally well if not better than expensive name brands cleaners.
Come to think of it, I can’t really think of any valid reasons not to make our own household cleaning products.
Kitchen Surface Degreaser
- 2 cups warm water*
- 2 tablespoons baking soda
- 2 teaspoons pure Castile soap (Walmart, Amazon)
- 20 drops lemon essential oil
Pour all ingredients into a clean, empty 16-ounce. spray bottle, mix well. To use: Spray onto any greasy surface then wipe away with a damp microfiber cloth. Polish to shiny clean with a second dry microfiber cloth.
All-Purpose Heavy Duty Cleaner
- 1 teaspoon borax
- 1/2 teaspoon washing soda
- 1 teaspoon liquid Castile soap
- 20 drops essential oil (lemon, lavender and or orange as desired)
- 2 cups warm water*
Pour all ingredients into a 16-ounce or larger clean spray bottle. Mix well. Use to clean just about anything around the house.
Natural Grout Cleaner
- 1/2 cup baking soda
- 2 tablespoons washing soda
- 2 tablespoons borax
- 3 tablespoons liquid Castile soap
Mix ingredients in a small bowl until incorporated. This will create a very loose paste-like substance. Clean tile and grout area first with a strong water-and-white vinegar mixture of 50:50 or greater. Now, sprinkle or apply this grout cleaner to the grout. Allow to sit for at least 15 minutes. Scrub with a heavy-duty brush and rinse well. Work on small areas at a time rather than trying to do the entire area at once.
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Natural Granite Cleaner
- ½ cup vodka (or rubbing alcohol)
- 1 1/2 cups water*
- ½ teaspoon Castile soap
- 20 to 30 drops lemon essential oil of your choice
Pour ingredients into a 16-ounce spray bottle. Mix well. To Use: Spray on the granite surface, wipe away with a damp microfiber cloth. Will not harm sealant or leave behind any residue or watermarks. Note: Absolutely fine to use on quartz.
All-Purpose Natural Bathroom Cleaner
- 2 teaspoons borax
- 1 teaspoon washing soda
- 8 ounces very hot water
- 1 tablespoon Sal Suds
- 1 cup warm water
- 1/4 teaspoons lemon essential oil
- 1/2 teaspoon orange essential oil
- 10 drops cinnamon leaf essential oil
- 1/4 teaspoon clove essential oil
Pour washing soda, borax, and hot water into a 16-ounce spray bottle. Shake well to dissolve as well as possible. Remove top and add Sal Suds and essential oil. Add just enough warm water to fit within about 1 inch of top. Apply spray top and gently shake to mix. To use: spray on all bathroom surfaces including sinks, toilets, tub, shower, walls, fixtures. Wait for a few minutes before wiping off for disinfection.
A word about essential oils
I’ve been learning a lot about essential oils and their benefits around the house. There is research to indicate that essential oils provide the antibacterial, antiviral, and anti-fungal properties to homemade cleaners. Essential oils, especially cinnamon, clove, and lime when used properly and in the right concentration, have germ-busting qualities. This explains why cleaners meant to kill germs, like the All-Purpose Natural Bathroom Cleaner above, require a greater concentration of oils.
Concentrations around 1% are effective on stronger pathogens commonly found in bathrooms, like E. coli, Staphylococcus, and salmonella. Essential oils also add a nice scent.
*distilled water is advisable especially if your tap water is hard. This assures no minerals or hard water marks are left behind.