Did you know that many of the household cleaners that we use on a daily basis can be harmful to both our health and the environment?
In fact, many of these cleaners contain toxic chemicals which can cause respiratory problems, skin irritation, and even cancer.
Luckily, there are alternatives! In this article, we will explore some of the best organic, green, and environmentally friendly cleaners that you can make yourself using common household items.
So read on for safe, healthy cleaning solutions that are good for your home and good for the planet!
Homemade Cleaning Products
Making your own household cleaning products is important for several reasons. First of all, it’s a great way to avoid exposing yourself to harmful chemicals. Second, it’s a great way to save money. And third, it’s a great way to reduce your environmental impact.
When you make your own cleaners, you know exactly what’s in them and you can be sure that they are safe for both you and your family.
You can also customize them to meet your specific needs. And by using ingredients that are already in your home, you’re saving money and reducing waste.
Making your own cleaners is also a great way to reduce your environmental impact. Many of the commercial cleaners available today contain harsh chemicals and pollutants which can damage the environment.
By making your own cleaners, you are doing your part to protect the planet for future generations.
Let’s take a look at some of those household goods that make excellent cleaning products:
Baking soda is a powerful cleaning agent because it is a natural deodorizer and it can remove stains and grease. It also helps to neutralize acids and alkalis, making it ideal for cleaning many surfaces in your home.
Baking soda consists of mostly sodium bicarbonate, a natural mineral salt. Therefore, it contains no harsh chemicals and is completely non-toxic.
It also has a low pH level which means that it can safely be used to clean many surfaces in your home, including countertops, floors, walls, etc., without causing any damage or releasing harmful pollutants into the environment.
In addition to being an excellent cleaner on its own, baking soda can help you make even better cleaners by combining with other ingredients such as vinegar and essential oils. Here are a few recipes you might want to try:
All-Purpose Cleaner: Add 1/2 cup of baking soda to a spray bottle filled with water. Shake well before spraying the surface that needs to be cleaned and wipe clean with a sponge or cloth.
All-Purpose Stainless Steel Cleaner: Combine 1 tablespoon of baking soda, 1 teaspoon of dish soap and 2 cups warm water in a spray bottle. Shake well before spraying the surface that needs to be cleaned. Wipe clean with a sponge or cloth.
Window Cleaner: Mix 2 tablespoons white vinegar, 1/4 cup rubbing alcohol, and 5 drops of Blue Dawn Dish Soap in a spray bottle filled with water. Shake well before spraying the window and wipe clean with newspaper for a streak-free shine.
Carpet Freshener: Sprinkle baking powder on your carpet to remove odors and leave your home smelling fresh!
White vinegar is another great cleaner because it is a natural disinfectant and deodorizer. It also has the ability to soften the water which makes it great for cleaning various surfaces around your home, such as tubs and floors.
White vinegar consists of 5% acetic acid which gives it both its odor-killing properties and its disinfecting qualities. The fact that it isn’t an alkali also means that it won’t bleach fabrics or cause damage to certain surfaces like hardwood floors.
Adding white vinegar to other ingredients can make them even more effective cleaners. For example, you could add about half a cup of white vinegar to half a bucket of hot water in order to clean your bathroom tiles thoroughly without leaving behind any streaks or residue.
You can also infuse a spray bottle with white vinegar and add essential oil to it in order to make a general-purpose cleaner.
Here are some more recipes you can try:
Window Cleaner: Mix 1 cup water, 2 tablespoons white vinegar, and 4 drops of dish soap in a spray bottle. Shake well before spraying the window and wipe clean with newspaper for a streak-free shine.
Laundry Soap Additive: Combine 1/4 cup of Borax, 1/2 cup baking soda, 1 tablespoon liquid soap or detergent, and 3 cups white vinegar into a jar that has a tight-fitting lid. Shake well before using about one-quarter of this mixture with each load of laundry. This mixture will help clothes to get cleaner while not wearing away at clothing and fabrics.
Other Uses: You can also use white vinegar to kill weeds, clean coffee pots, remove fruit stains from countertops, and to unclog your drains!
Because of its ability to dissolve in water as an alkali, borate minerals such as sodium borate decahydrate (Na2B4O7 * 10H2O) or disodium tetraborate pentahydrate (Na2B4O7 * 5H2O), are often used as a source of active hydrogen which neutralizes acidic soil conditions and also provides essential nutrients for plants.
For cleaning purposes, borax works well on many surfaces because it can help to loosen up stubborn dirt. Just be careful when using it on marble, because if you use too much borax it can lead to etching in your marble which isn’t very attractive.
Borax also acts as a laundry softener by preventing soap scum buildup on clothing and makes for excellent drain cleaner by breaking down clogs that are caused by hard water deposits.
When combined with lemon juice it makes for one formidable toilet bowl cleaner. Just mix both ingredients together in equal parts and scrub the mixture over the toilet bowl before rinsing.
When combined with white vinegar it becomes a soap scum remover. Just mix approximately 2 parts vinegar to 1 part borax and apply the mixture with an old toothbrush on areas that have built-up soap scum or hard water stains.
For cleaning purposes, you could try one of these recipes:
Window Cleaner: Combine 1 cup hot water, 1/4 cup white vinegar, 2 tablespoons borax, and 4 drops of dish soap in a spray bottle. Shake well before spraying the window and wipe clean with newspaper for a streak-free shine.
Floor Cleaner: Add half a cup of borax, half a cup baking soda, and one teaspoon dish soap to 1 gallon of water. The borax should help break down dirt while the baking soda provides some scrubbing power for that stubborn grout.
Hard Water Stain Remover: Combine 4 cups white vinegar with 2 cups borax and 1/8 cup lemon juice in a large bucket. Allow the mixture to sit on colored or light clothing overnight before washing as usual. Repeat if necessary. This will also remove stains from sinks!
Laundry Soap Additive: Combine 1/4 cup Borax, 1/2 cup baking soda, 1 tablespoon liquid soap or detergent, and 3 cups white vinegar into a jar that has a tight-fitting lid. Shake well before using about one-quarter of this mixture with each load of laundry. This mixture will help clothes to get cleaner while not wearing away at clothing and fabrics.
Other Uses: You can also use borax to deter the squirrels in your yard, soak off any rusty tools you might have lying around, unclog your drains if you run into some hard water buildup issues, clean stubborn stains on carpets or floors, kill weeds growing between patio bricks or cracks in walls, and even prevent mold growth!
Lemons are full of citric acid which is what gives them their sour taste.
Citric acid is an excellent disinfectant because it works as a natural antioxidant but can also be used as an acid that can break down rust, scale deposits, and mineral buildup.
This is one of the reasons why lemons are so effective at killing weeds in your garden without actually harming any of your plants. Citric acid doesn’t stop working after you extract it from a lemon so keep that in mind when deciding what to use it for.
It’s also an excellent cleaner because it has the power to cut through stubborn stains on dishes, pots, pans, sinks, showers, tile grout, outdoor furniture, etc.
Lemon juice when mixed with baking soda or borax also makes for a very effective cleaner. For instance, you can use it as a degreaser and deodorizer in your kitchen if mixed with baking soda and water to wipe up grease and grime on your stovetop or any other surface that’s dirty.
When people think of household cleaning products they often forget that salt makes for a pretty good cleaner as well.
Salt is made of sodium chloride which can be used to scrub surfaces clean, whiten teeth by rubbing salt on the teeth and then rinsing it off with water and deodorizing and absorbing moisture.
It’s also a great rust remover (with or without vinegar), clothes softener, grease cutter, weed killer, and plant fertilizer.
When you mix salt with white vinegar it’s an excellent weed killer because it kills the weeds you don’t want while leaving behind the plants you want to keep.
Potassium salts of fatty acids
Often referred to as “soap salts” or “potash soap” this is a very popular alternative to commercial soaps and detergents.
It’s great for allergies because it doesn’t harm the skin or cause irritation, but works effectively at providing a deep clean that leaves your skin soft and smelling fresh.
Soap salts can be used as shampoo, shower gel, facial cleanser, bath salt, dishwasher soap, among other things.
They work as hard as regular soaps but without the harsh chemicals or ingredients, you might experience using traditional products from the store. The best part about them is that they’re made of natural oils which makes them biodegradable!
It is excellent to be used as an outside cleaner. It is strong enough to remove animal urine, feces, and droppings so you can use it on your garage floor and sidewalks.
Although not the most environmentally friendly choice out there because it pollutes our waterways and is toxic to plants and animals, bleach is a powerful disinfectant that kills mold and mildew as well as germs.
And contrary to popular belief, you can use bleach without harming your plants or grass if done correctly.
However, chlorine bleach does lose its strength over time so make sure you always purchase the freshest bottles of bleach possible.
If you have some older bottles around it might be best to mix 1/2 cup white vinegar with one-gallon water before adding one-third cup of clear liquid chlorine bleach (if you still want a little bit of disinfecting power).
Now, this amount will not harm your plants but keep in mind that the chemical composition of this mixture has been altered from what it originally was and is best for spot treatment.
When you’re using bleach to clean the bathroom, kitchen, or any surface that’s not colored I recommend mixing one tablespoon of bleach with a gallon of water.
If it doesn’t get the job done add another tablespoon but make sure you mix well. This will disinfect without damaging surfaces or fabrics (unless your clothing happens to be soaking wet at the time).
Toothpaste has so many interesting uses around the home as a cleaning product.
Toothpaste contains abrasives, fluoride, and detergent which makes it an excellent cleaner and whitener.
It’s great for removing stains from surfaces like your stovetop, sink, tile flooring, and bathtub tiles. And if you really want an intense scrubbing action then add a little baking soda to the mix or use toothpaste with baking soda instead of just plain white toothpaste.
Toothpaste is also wonderful for polishing gold, silver, stainless steel, brass jewelry, copper pots and pans (but beware that soaking in hot water afterward might remove some of that stain), leather shoes, fiberglass tubs with hard water buildup, marble countertops with hard water build-up and soap scum, and most other surfaces in your home except wood because it will scratch most surfaces.
When you’re polishing silver with toothpaste don’t forget the rims. A lot of time people ignore the rims because it’s a bit harder to get to but if not polished they can/will stain and ruin your hard work.
But whatever you do, don’t use it on porcelain or ceramic tile flooring unless you want white trails going everywhere for some odd reason.
Now you know what type of homemade cleaning products you can make using items around your home already.
Although not 100 percent natural like some companies out there would like you to think, these homemade cleaning products are far better for the environment than the options in traditional cleaners you find at the store. And they’re just as effective!
So go ahead and give them a try. I promise you won’t be disappointed with your results because what do you have to lose?
Well…except the stains, mildew, mold, grime, and whatever else might be on your surfaces. But other than that…nothing at all!
Have we missed anything off of this list?
Do you have your own homemade cleaning recipes?
If so, we would love to hear from you in the comments section below.