Homemade Cleaning Supplies
I stopped buying most commercial cleaners over a year ago, and have been making my own ever since.
Why did I make the switch? Because commercial cleaners contain toxins, chemicals, and other harmful ingredients that may cause a variety of negative side effects, including cancer and respiratory issues. They’re also bad for the environment, expensive, and unnecessary. It’s especially important to consider the harmful effects of commercial cleaners if you have young children or small pets at home, since they can be even more susceptible to the toxins.
The good news is homemade cleaners are very easy to make, they’re cheaper than buying them, and your house smells better after you’ve cleaned. There are 3 basic ingredients that I use to make all of my homemade cleaners:
Vinegar is a wondrous ingredient: it is all-natural, non-toxic and eco-friendly. Vinegar has a high acidity level, which makes it an effective mold, bacteria, and germ killer. In addition, the acid levels break down grease and dirt, making it a good choice for cleaning, even if you aren’t concerned about bacteria. Vinegar has a really really long shelf life, so a bottle of it should last through the duration of your life. It doesn’t need to be refrigerated, and best of all, it is insanely inexpensive. You can buy a gallon of vinegar for around $2.
Baking soda is incredibly versatile, and can be used in hundreds of ways for non-toxic cleaning. Baking soda is an antibacterial, and it has a mild abrasive quality that is useful for cleaning tough spots, without damaging hard surfaces. It is a natural deodorizer, and works great for tough jobs, like cleaning the bathtub or kitchen sink. A single box of baking soda is generally under $1, which makes it a very thrifty choice as well.
Essential oils are oil extracts from plants. Some essential oils have impressive disinfecting qualities that makes them a great addition to any homemade cleaner. Particularly useful essential oils for cleaning are:
- Tea Tree Essential Oil (Melaleuca) – Antibacterial and anti-fungal
- Lavender Essential Oil – Antiseptic, anti-fungal and anti-bacterial
- Lemon Essential Oil – Degreaser, antibacterial and anti-fungal
- Orange Essential Oil – Degreaser, antibacterial and anti-fungal
- Grapefruit Essential Oil – Degreaser, antibacterial and anti-fungal
- Frankincense Essential Oil – Antiseptic
For more information about essential oils, check out my oil posts.
These 3 items, combined with hot water is pretty much how I clean 95% of my house (I use Honest Co’s toilet cleaner, because I haven’t figured that one out yet). It feels great to have all that open space below my kitchen sink, because my homemade cleaning supplies take up such little space. In addition, I don’t have to worry about my toddler or pets accidentally getting into cleaners and harming herself!
Here are some recipes for homemade cleaners to get you started!
Do you make your own cleaners? What is your favorite recipe?