How to Make Household Cleaners With Simple Ingredients
Try These Easy Recipes for Natural Cleaning Products
Why Make Home Cleaning Products?
Whether you like it or not, doing the cleaning is an essential part of a happy and healthy home. Clean surfaces, stain free carpets and sweet-smelling rooms aren’t just for looks, they can help keep you and your family from getting sick.
You can’t just clean things with a bit of spit and polish though, you’re going to need some help. The cleaning aisles in the supermarket are covered in warnings though. Words like toxic, flammable and hazardous to health are all over big brand cleaning products.
So why not listen to nature and make use of tried and tested traditional remedies? After all, most of us want to use fewer chemicals in our everyday lives.
When you can’t pronounce more than a few of the ingredients on the back of a bottle of cleaning product, how are you supposed to know if it’s good for your health? Not only do natural cleaning products really work (they do), but they cost a fraction of the price of brand name cleaners and are much better for you and the environment too.
Let’s take a look at six of the best natural cleaning products you can make today.
What You’ll Need
You won’t need any special equipment to create fantastic cleaning products of your own, except a few things you probably have lying around in your kitchen already. If you want to get super specific with measurements you should invest in a digital kitchen scale that measures to the gram, but don’t worry about it too much.
Most of these recipes are pretty forgiving, we’re using natural products, not nasty chemicals after all. All you’ll need are:
- Measuring jug- A glass or plastic jug, for measuring by the ml or fl. Oz
- Plastic or wooden spoon- For stirring your mixtures properly
- Spray bottle- A vital piece of kit to target a stained area without getting it soaking wet
- Nylon brush- Tough enough to scrub out stains without scratching your surfaces
- Bucket- Great for soaking stained clothes in or making sandcastles on the beach
- Toothbrush- Preferably one you’re not using to clean your teeth anymore, it’s great for getting into those hard to reach areas
- Small funnel- Just try pouring anything into a spray bottle without it
1. All Purpose Magic Vinegar Spray
This is one you’ve probably heard of already from your nan. Vinegar isn’t just something you put on your chips, it’s a miracle product that has thousands of uses, from delicious salad dressings to potent weed killers. When it comes to cleaning, white vinegar is hard to beat.
It does have a strong smell, but don’t worry, it doesn’t linger for long. If it really bothers you, you can add a few drops of your favourite essential oils.
- White vinegar
- (Optional) Essential oils like tea tree or orange
How It’s Made
- Measure out equal amounts of white vinegar and water
- Carefully pour this 1:1 solution into a spray bottle using a funnel
- (Optional) Add a few drops of essential oils to mask the vinegar smell
Yes, it really is as simple as that. Just because it’s easy to make doesn’t mean it’s not a powerful cleaning product though. Spray it onto just about anything you want to clean, let it sit for a short while, then wipe away with a warm, damp cloth. The acid in the vinegar works to break down spills, making short work of even stubborn stains.
Note: Vinegar is a powerful cleaner, so be careful when cleaning natural stone surfaces like marble. Test on an inconspicuous corner or underneath before spraying it all over your expensive kitchen countertop.
As we said, vinegar spray really is all purpose. Try it on your bathroom sink, use it to clean the windows, de-scale your kettle, bring your showerhead back from the brink or deep clean your microwave. The list is endless.
2. Deep Cleaning Bubble Powered Solution
This one isn’t just a great cleaning product it’s also a lot of fun to do. In fact, you might end up “accidentally” spilling things just so you can whip up a batch of this bubbling wonder.
- White vinegar
- Bicarbonate of soda (known as baking soda in the USA)
- Liquid soap
How It’s Made
- Mix 200g of bicarbonate of soda with 120g liquid soap (this is where a digital scale is useful) in a bowl
- Dilute the mixture with 120g of water and slowly add two tablespoons of white vinegar
- Stir the mixture until smooth and free of any clumps
- Using a funnel, carefully pour the mixture into your spray bottle
- Give it a good shake before each use
Another simple concoction, this foaming, bubbling spray uses the power of a chemical reaction between the vinegar and bicarbonate of soda to help break down dirt and mess. Use it to clean the nasty corners of your kitchen or bathroom, when vinegar alone won’t quite do the trick.
The best method we found was to spray it on to the offending area, let the foam sink in and do its job, then attack the area with your nylon scrubbing brush. A toothbrush makes light work of those hard-to-reach areas, especially around the base of taps and the rim of the sink.
3. Banish Stains on Carpets with this Tough Mix
We’ve all been there. Spilling red wine, tea, coffee and chocolate (sometimes all in the same night) will leave carpet stains that might make you reach for expensive and nasty chemical cleaners. Don’t even think about it until you’ve tried this natural, powdered miracle method.
- Bicarbonate of soda
- Your All Purpose Magic Vinegar Spray from above
How It Works
- Sprinkle the bicarbonate of soda over the stain itself. Don’t be shy with it, make sure it’s covered and soaking up the mess
- Use your magic white vinegar spray to wet the bicarbonate of soda thoroughly
- Watch the reaction foam up and pretend you’re a famous scientist conducting research
- Don’t worry, it’s just creating carbon dioxide and salty water
- Leave this paste to harden for a few hours and really soak in
- Use your nylon brush to gently scrub the paste into the remaining stain
- Wait until the whole area is nice and dry, preferably overnight
- Hoover up what is left over and marvel at the clean carpet underneath
4. When Life Hands You Lemons... Make a Lemon Powered Scrub
Lemons are a wonderful sour fruit, that can lift the flavour of stews, cocktails and even your favourite biscuit recipe. But what you may not know is that they contain a powerful acid that can make cleaning an absolute doddle.
Not only do they smell nice, but the citric acid in lemons is anti-microbial too. Use it to clean stainless steel and ceramics for a cheap alternative to brand name cleaning products. Add to it the scrubbing grit of salt and you have a simple but potent cleaning product.
Note: You might not think it, but lemon juice can make a mess of natural stone and brass plated metals. When cleaning with neat lemon juice, wash the surface afterwards with warm, soapy water and rinse well to stop the acid from eating into your surfaces. You have been warned, it’s powerful stuff!
- Lemons, of course
- Table salt
How It’s Made
- Squeeze the juice of as many lemons as you need into a bowl
- Add a teaspoon of salt for each lemon you squeeze
You can use this simple mixture in a whole variety of ways. Use a scrubbing brush and your lemon and salt mixture to:
- Scrub clean a barbecue or oven grill pans
- Clean the grout around your bathroom or kitchen tiles
- Clean even the most stubborn baked on stains from your plates
- Shine up your stainless-steel taps
A little of this product and a lot of elbow grease will work wonders.
5. You’ll Go Nuts for Soap Nut Laundry Detergent
When you think of laundry products, you’ll probably think of powerful blue coloured liquids that smell of exotic plants, or plastic-coated liquid tablets that can’t be good for the environment.
Well, there is a brilliant and completely natural alternative available at your local health food shop. They’re called soap nuts and they come from the soap berry tree (really). The dried berry shells are packed full of saponin, a natural foamy cleaning product.
They really come into their own as a laundry detergent. They will soften your fabrics as well, while adding a little vinegar will supercharge this formula and keep your whites looking white.
- Soap nuts
- White vinegar
How It Works
- Place several half shells in a small cloth bag
- Tie the bag closed and place it in your washing machine
- Pour 60ml white vinegar into the fabric softener drawer compartment
- Wash your clothes as normal
- Replace the half shells when they lose their colour and begin to fall apart
You’ll be amazed at just how well these little shells will clean your clothes. The saponin breaks down dirt and grease for a real deep down clean. Naturally hypoallergenic, kind to your clothes and they work out to just pennies per wash. What’s not to like?
You can also use these wonderful little Himalayan berry shells to create liquid soaps for all sorts of cleaning uses at home, including shampoo, body wash and glass cleaner. Just boil up 200 grams of soap nuts in a litre of water for ten minutes and strain the liquid. Keep it in the fridge and you’ll have a natural liquid detergent on hand for all occasions.
6. Homemade Chemical-Free Air Fresheners
OK, so now you’ve cleaned your surfaces, your bathroom, your carpets and even your laundry with non-toxic and totally natural products. But what about the air?
Nasty smells are a part of life, and we often choose to banish them with a huge range of sprays, spritzes, reeds candles and wax melts. But, have you ever dared to read the ingredients on these things? There are so many chemicals in them that are entirely unnecessary.
Here’s a brilliant alternative that, you guessed it, rids your home of unpleasant smells using nature’s bounty.
- Your favourite essential oils
- Inexpensive vodka, or isopropyl rubbing alcohol
- Water (tap or distilled is fine)
How It’s Made
- Pour 200ml water into a bowl
- Add 30ml vodka or rubbing alcohol
- Add your blended essential oils, from the recipes below
- Pour into spray bottles using a funnel
You can try out some of these essential oil blend recipes, or make it up as you go along. One of the best things about making your own homemade air freshener is you can tweak the recipe to your own likings.
Note: Not all essential oils are made equally. Cheap oils are usually a false economy and have a weak and short-lived scent, so do your research before buying them.
Four Oil Blend Recipes to Transform Your Home
- Energising citrus– Five drops each of lime, lemon, grapefruit and orange oils
- Fresh lemon and basil- Five or six fresh basil leaves, five drops of lemon oil
- Woody musk- Five drops each of cedar wood, patchouli, sage and pine oils
- Clean and clear- Five drops of eucalyptus, four of tea tree and two of lemon oil
A Clean Home, Naturally
Now you’ve got the tools, the techniques and the inspiration to clean your home using some of the powerful but natural cleaning products that nature has given to us. Sure, it might take a bit of thought and preparation, but knowing what is going into your products can’t be a bad thing.
When you create your own things, whether it’s healthy food, your own shampoo or home cleaning products, you are making a statement that you can choose what goes into your body and the environment around you. You can change your lifestyle to make less of an impact on the environment and become an eco-friendly role model, all while maintaining a beautifully clean home.