DIY natural cleaning products can be your ticket to a sparkling clean house, but that’s not the only benefit. They’re relatively cheap, they’ll help you cut down on plastic, and you won’t have to worry about coming into contact with any nasty toxins.
But the real question: do natural cleaning products work and why should I use them?
Why Switch to Natural Cleaning Products
Maybe you’ve been thinking of switching to natural cleaning products for a while, but you’re not sure if it’s worth the hassle. Or maybe it’s never crossed your mind to follow DIY cleaning recipes; why worry, when store-bought products are effective?
In an era when we’re starting to question the things we put on our skin and in our bodies, we’re also asking questions about how we clean our homes. Is it really safe to use a product like bleach when it’s got a poison warning on the bottle?
Well, yes and no. Household cleaning products are designed for use in the home, so they’re comparatively safe in small quantities—when used as directed. But what about when your child breaks into the cleaning cabinet, your pet licks it off the benchtop, or you accidentally get some in your eye?
That’s when there could be trouble. Not to mention that many common cleaning products contain chemicals that some people find irritating. Ever notice that exposure to certain brands or products can make your eyes start itching or cause a skin rash?
This is reason enough for many households to switch to natural cleaning products. Why put up with toxic—and sometimes expensive—products in your home if you don’t have to?
Key Ingredients for DIY Natural Cleaning Products
There are a few key ingredients to keep on hand when following recipes for natural cleaning products. They should all be available at your local grocery store, and they’re non-toxic.
Pro tip: reduce plastic consumption by buying these items in bulk to cut down on the number of containers you go through.
Bicarbonate of soda
Bicarb soda is an amazing ingredient, which is why so many people keep it in their cupboards. It’s a leavening agent that can be used to make cakes rise, but it’s also an extremely versatile cleaning product. Use it to clean pots and pans, freshen carpets, scrub toilets, and more.
You’ll quickly notice that many of the ingredients for DIY cleaning products are also things you’ll find in your kitchen. These items can do double duty but are still safe to use, like white vinegar. This acrid liquid is a mixture of 90-95% water and 5-10% acetic acid, which is created through a fermentation process.
Note that vinegar should not be used on granite or marble countertops as it can leave marks on natural stone.
There’s a reason many cleaners are lemon-scented; they’re inspired by the real thing. The natural citric acid and low pH properties in lemons make them a gentle cleanser, plus they smell nice and fresh.
Tea tree oil and eucalyptus oil are two popular oils used in natural cleaning recipes. Both are native to Australia, and can be added to cleaning products. Use them for deodorising, disinfecting, and cleaning; in fact, you can even use them as beauty products!
5 Recipes for DIY Natural Cleaning Products
Ready to mix up your own cleaning products? It’s easy when you know how. Here are a few ideas to get you going.
DIY Toilet Bowl Bomb
Cleaning can be a drag, so why not start with something fun? Bonus: these toilet bowl bombs might just get your kids interested in cleaning too. These cleaners are reminiscent of Lush bath bombs, but they’ll get your toilet sparkling clean.
They do require eight ingredients, but one of them is water and four are essential oils. You’ll also need a mold to make them in advance. Drop them in the bowl, watch them fizz, and scrub with a toilet brush. For full instructions, see here.
DIY Glass Cleaner
Streaks are the worst, whether they’re on your bathroom mirror or picture window. Get rid of them with this homemade glass cleaner: mix one part water with one part white vinegar in a spray bottle. That’s it!
If you find that you need a little extra oomph in your cleaner, you can hack the recipe by adding ½ tsp of dishwashing liquid to the mix. Spray, wipe, then stand back and admire those shiny clean windows.
DIY Multi-Purpose Cleaner
Get ready for the best part about this recipe: it only has three ingredients. Pour ½ cup of white vinegar, 2 cups of water and 20 drops of your favourite essential oil into a spray bottle. Mix it up and you’re ready to spray on whatever grimy surfaces need freshening up (except for those granite and marble surfaces).
Bicarb Soda Sink Cleaner
If your stainless steel sinks are looking worse for wear, sprinkle them with bicarb soda, then scrub. Use a toothbrush for any stubborn bits, then wipe down with a vinegar-soaked paper towel for a final shine.
Granite Counter-top Cleaner
We’ll include one final DIY recipe for all of you with granite countertops wondering how you’re supposed to keep them clean. It can be done with a nontoxic mixture of rubbing alcohol, essential oils, and water. Had a long day? It’s okay to swap that rubbing alcohol out for vodka! Get the full recipe here.
DIY cleaners can be an easy, nontoxic, and inexpensive way to get your home clean and smelling great. Once you’ve stocked up with the basics, it’s easy to mix up a new batch when you run out!