Why Make Your Own, All Natural Cleaning Products?

Conventional Cleaning Culprits
We all love to have a sparkling-clean, sweet-smelling home. But did you know that many of the cleaning products that you routinely buy are made with noxious substances that can be extremely harmful if ingested, inhaled, or even touched? Fragrances added to most laundry detergents and fabric softeners contain all kinds of irritants, including some that are toxic. Other cleaning chemicals can act as “hormone disruptors,” associated with low sperm counts, birth defects, and breast cancer. 

Chlorine bleach and ammonia are perhaps the worst culprits. The fumes of both are extremely irritating to eyes, nose, throat, and lungs – especially to people with asthma or heart problems. Worse still, mixing two cleaners together – such as chlorine and ammonia or ammonia and lye (found in many oven cleaners) – will actually generate a poison gas right in your own home! 

The use of chemical detergents is also an attack on our ecosystem. Even though our wastewater is treated, a high proportion of these chemicals still find their way into our rivers and streams after the purification process, threatening and killing fish and wildlife.

The Natural Solution
Making your own cleaning supplies from safe, natural ingredients is the most prudent and cost-effective way to keep your home clean and fresh. In just a few minutes, you can whip up a product that will do the job effectively without threatening the health and well-being of your loved ones. By following the simple instructions, below, you can have the satisfaction of knowing that you are safely cleaning your home with products created by your own hand!

All-Natural Products You Can Make at Home

All-Purpose Cleaner

  • 2 cups white vinegar
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 tsp. natural dish soap (NOT castile soap)
  • 30 drops lemon essential oil
  • 20 drops tea tree essential oil

Mix together in a spray bottle. Spray and wipe away on surfaces in your kitchen and bathroom.

Lemon Lavender Air Freshener

  • 1 ½ cups water
  • 4 Tbs. vodka or pure vanilla extract
  • 20 drops lavender essential oil
  • 10 drops lemon essential oil 

Combine in a spray bottle, shake well, and spray throughout your home to eliminate odors.  

Dish Liquid

  • 1 ¼ cups boiling water
  • ¼ cup grated castile bar soap, tightly packed
  • 1 Tbs. washing* soda
  • ¼ cup liquid castile soap
  • 20 drops lemon essential oil
  • 10 drops tea tree essential oil

Add grated soap to boiling water and stir until dissolved. Add washing soda and stir and then liquid castile soap and stir.
Let mixture cool and add essential oils. If soap mixture gets too thick to pour, just add a bit of warm water.

* NB: washing soda is NOT the same as baking soda. It is an important ingredient in your dish liquid because it is a good grease cutter. If you have a hard time finding washing soda, you can make it yourself from baking soda – and it will be even more economical!

To make washing soda:
Heat your oven to 400 degrees F. Pour a thick layer – about ½ inch – of baking soda (large box!) on the bottom of a baking dish. Bake for 1 hour, stirring 1-2 times as it cooks. The texture should become grainy. Cool and store in an air-tight jar. 

Glass Cleaner

  • 3 cups distilled water
  • ¼ cup rubbing alcohol or vodka
  • ¼ cup vinegar
  • 20 drops lavender essential oil

Mix ingredients together in a spray bottle. Spray on mirrors and windows and wipe off with old newspaper to minimize streaking.

Toilet Bowl Cleaner

  • ½ cup baking soda
  • 1/3 cup dishwashing liquid
  • ¼ cup hydrogen peroxide
  • 30 drops eucalyptus essential oil
  • ¾ cup water 

Combine all ingredients in a plastic squeeze bottle and squirt into the toilet. Scrub and let stand 20 minutes before flushing. 

Keep-It-Clean Shower Spray

  • 2 ¼ cups water
  • 1 ½ cups white vinegar
  • ¾ cup rubbing alcohol
  • 1 ½ teaspoon natural liquid dish soap (NOT castile soap)
  • 20 drops lemon essential oil
  • 25 drops tea tree essential oil

Combine in a spray bottle. After each shower, spray a little on the shower doors and walls to prevent scummy build-ups.

Tub and Shower Gel

  • 2 cups white vinegar
  • 1 cup natural dishwashing liquid (NOT castile soap)
  • 20 drops peppermint oil

Heat the vinegar on the stove until hot, but not boiling. Stir in the dishwashing soap until well-combined, cool somewhat, and then pour into a squeeze bottle. Squirt onto shower and tub and allow to sit for 2 hours. Wipe off with a scrubbing sponge.

Floors and Walls Cleaner
Simply combine white vinegar, peppermint oil, and warm water to make a safe, effective cleaner for floors and walls. Mix a stronger solution for floors: 1-quart vinegar with 2 quarts water. For walls, ½ cup vinegar to 2 quarts of water will suffice. For those stubborn black spots, scrub with a bit of baking soda. 

Enjoy your clean and fresh home, and especially the satisfaction of knowing that you did it yourself, the safe and natural way!