We use household cleaners on daily basis, and cleanliness has become even more of a focus in the last few years, but with this there has also been a demand for greener, non-toxic products.
Recently even traditional cleaning brands have been launching environmentally-friendly products to jump on the trend, but they are more costly. With a few simple ingredients, it’s possible to make effective, safe, and non-toxic products at home! And as a bonus, this basic combination will give you a reason to clear out your cupboards and make more space!
- Baking Soda - Baking soda is slightly basic and cuts through grease and smells, but is safe enough to eat! A small pot of this in the fridge absorbs strong odours so you don’t have to worry about that strong cheese or potent curry!
- Castile Soap - an allrounder, this soap is made from plant oils and is biodegradable
- Vinegar - An acid that cuts through all manner of grease, dirt, and scum!
- Lemon Juice - Another acid with a zesty, citrusy scent that works wonders on mould and mildew as well as grease and grime
- Olive Oil - Perfect for polishing, it's nice and gentle so won’t strip expensive finishes
- Salt - A very accessible ingredient that works for absorbing stains as well as working as a scrub for stubbornly stained cookware and rust
- Essential oils (Tea tree oil, your favourite fragrance) - Some such as tea tree oil have antibacterial and antiseptic properties, while others have wonderful scents that enhance the cleaning experience
First, gather all the ingredients - you should be able to find most of them in supermarkets or online. With this combination of ingredients, you can create various types of cleaning products for each of your rooms. You can keep them in your store cupboard ready to mix up when you need them, or prepare all the concoctions and keep them in spray bottles so they’re handily convenient to use. While some recipes online include Borax - a boron mineral and salt - there has been some debate about its safety and effect on hormones, so we have left it out.
This is a mix of bases and acids, and as we know from chemistry these may neutralise each other when mixed (and therefore lose effectiveness!). So, be aware that many experts advise against mixing ingredients like castile soap (basic) with vinegar and lemon juice (acidic). However, you can use them one after another, so wash with castile soap first and then rinse with vinegar.
Also, be sure to check that these are appropriate for your surfaces - just because they are natural, doesn’t mean that they will work for specialist surfaces like antique wood, marble or granite!
1 cup - Water
1 cup - Vinegar
Mix together in a spray bottle and use directly on household surfaces. For smaller or larger quantities keep the ratio at 1:1 for each ingredient. This will be your go-to for all household cleaning issues - you can use it to clean up after messes or maintain a clean home!
2 cups - Water
3 cups - Liquid soap
20-30 drops - Tea tree essential oil
Mix together in a spray bottle and apply directly to household surfaces for a non-toxic disinfectant with a beautiful fragrance.
½ cup - Baking soda
10 drops - Tea tree essential oil
¼ - Vinegar
Add the baking soda and tea tree essential oil first. Then add the vinegar and scrub while the mixture fizzes for a sparkly clean toilet!
1 cup - Liquid castile soap
3 tbs - Water
3 drops - Essential oil of your choice
Combine all the ingredients in a bottle and shake up before you use it so it’s mixed nicely.
Cast iron pan cleaner
¼ cup - Olive oil
3 tbs - Salt
Combine the ingredients and scrub with a stiff brush.
¼ cup - Lemon juice
½ cup - Olive oil
Combine and use on a soft cloth to buff. This recipe can be used for wood too but double-check for antique woods or special finishes!
Window and mirror cleaner
1 cup - Vinegar
4 cups - Water
Lemon juice for a citrusy scent
Mix it all together and pop it into a spray bottle. Use a microfibre cloth to limit streaks and enjoy your shiny, clear windows and mirrors!
1 gallon - White vinegar
A few drops - Essential oil of your choice
Make a big batch ready for your washing, and give it a big shake before adding ⅓ cup to each load of washing. Your clothes will be soft and smell of your favourite scent!
1 cup - Water
1 tbs - Baking soda
3 drops - Essential oil (or combination) of your choice
Mix this up into a spray bottle and give a little spritz whenever you need to freshen up the air in your home.
1 part - Water
1 part - White vinegar
How much you make will depend on your floor space, but mix up equal parts and use a mop for a floor so clean you can see your reflection!
There are so many combinations to create cleaning products with a small list of key ingredients that you can keep your home spotless from top to bottom easily and cheaply!