Learn everything you need to know about using homemade cleaners. We cover the benefits, natural ingredients to keep on hand and DIY cleaning recipes.
Walk into the local supermarket and you will find a large selection of cleaners ready to go. With hundreds of choices why should you make your own homemade cleaners?
Why do I spend the time and effort to make my own homemade cleaners rather than relying on store bought green cleaning products for my family? Here are some of the top reasons.
1. Reduce Harmful Chemicals.
Children and pets are especially sensitive to environmental chemicals. By making natural homemade cleaners, you are able to reduce the amount of chemical exposure inside your home.
2. Reduce Your Carbon Footprint.
Homemade natural cleaners take less energy to create and transport. Most ingredients can make several products and contain several other household uses (see the list below). By making natural cleaners you use less chemicals.
3. Enjoy the Benefits of Essential Oils.
When you use essential oils in your cleaners to fragrance and provide cleaning and cleansing properties, you get the added benefit of the aromatherapy properties of the essential oils.
4. Save Money.
Making natural cleaners at home can save you hundreds of dollars a year. Natural homemade cleaners run a fraction of what you spend on chemical filled pre-made options. When you buy supplies at a discount in bulk, savings grow even further.
DIY Cleaning Product Ingredients
If you want to get started with your own DIY cleaning products, you’ll want to have these 7 basic and versatile ingredients on hand. I use them all pretty much daily to clean and freshen my home.
1. Essential Oils
Not only can essential oils add a wonderful natural scent to every single DIY cleaning product you make, but many oils themselves have disinfecting and cleansing properties that equal or outshine any chemical you can buy at the store but are much safer for your family.
I recommend Rocky Mountain essential oils.
2. Baking Soda
Baking soda deodorizes, scrubs, scours and cleans. It is used in homemade laundry soap, dishwasher soap, tub and toilet scrubs and much more.
It is really a household staple in every way. Mix it in anywhere you need a little gentle abrasion – sinks, toilets, grout and shower stalls.
I really couldn’t get along without a gallon jug of vinegar under my sink at all times. I use it as the base for my favorite all purpose cleaner, as a glass cleaner and fabric softener.
It can easily clean and deodorize the microwave if you have one. Put a shallow dish in the center of your microwave and heat almost to a boil, allow to sit for 5-10 minutes then wipe away grime easily.
Straight vinegar followed by water can descale and renew your coffeepot.
It battles mildew and can remove mineral deposits from shower heads. I slip a sandwich bag of vinegar over shower head, close with a rubber band and let it sit for 20 minutes. Then, remove and run water for 1 minute-clear unclogged water jets!
4. Castile Soap
I use a Dr. Bronner’s Mild unscented variety for hand soaps, dish soap, laundry soap. I add a bit to my all purpose cleaners, shower and grout scrubs, and anywhere I need a little bit of safe soap to help with the cleaning process.
5. Citrus Juice/Peels
Citrus juice can be used in furniture polish, tile and shower scrubs, polishing brass and copper, put a shine on chrome, deodorize and remove stains from cutting boards, sanitize surfaces, make homemade glass cleaner mixed with water, remove grease stains on clothing.
Citrus peels can be tossed into a jar of vinegar, left to soak and then used diluted with water as a great all-purpose cleaner.
6. Citric Acid
7. Coconut or Olive Oils
You can use a bit to polish chrome and other metals like flatware.
It can be used to remove gum, labels and adhesives or shine up and moisturize leather shoes.
Making your own homemade cleaners is a powerful step toward self-sufficiency and sustainability. When you can create your own natural cleaners you reduce the need for store bought products.
When you do not need to rely on consumer products, you can provide for your family during situations where shopping at the local market is not an option and reduce daily reliance on the current economy.
More Cleaning Resources
Or you can check out the diyNatural Household Cleaners book for over 60 homemade cleaning product recipes you do not want to miss.
If you’re just not ready to make your own DIY cleaning products, check out the Environmental Working Group’s Guide to Healthy Cleaning to see what cleaners are considered safe.