DIY Natural Cleaning Products Recipe Guide
Did you ever wonder what exactly are in the cleaning products you’re using around your home? Unfortunately, more often than not, commercial cleaning products are full of nasty chemicals which could be harmful to both your own health and the health of the planet, such as formaldehyde, 2-Butoxyethanol, ammonia, and many others.
There are more and more safe, chemical-free, natural cleaning products coming to the market every day. However, if you’re on a budget or live somewhere where your access to eco-friendly options is limited, DIY natural cleaning products may be the best option for you. Even if you already enthusiastically use some store-bought cleaning products, why not try experimenting with the homemade options as well?
Aside from being free of nasty chemicals that you’ll find in conventional cleaning, DIY natural cleaning products are also great because they can often be made without any plastic or waste!
A few best practices before you get started with making your own:
- Use a new, clean bottle so that you can be sure there is no chemical residue left from its previous contents
- Avoid using any vinegar cleaner on marble, granite, tile, and slate as it could potentially cause damage
- It’s always best to test a small amount first on an out-of-sight area to be sure it doesn’t damage the surface
Below, you’ll find a few simple ways to make your own natural DIY cleaning products that cost a fraction of the price, don’t pollute the earth or damage your health and still clean your home effectively.
All-purpose surface cleaner
An all-purpose cleaner is a staple in many households. To take a step towards sustainable, zero waste cleaning, learn to make it at home!
What can scare some people off is the use of vinegar in this recipe, as they worry that their entire home will then smell of vinegar. We can assure you that that’s not the case. The smell of vinegar doesn’t linger in your home and quickly disappears when you’re done cleaning.
If you want to mask the smell of vinegar even more, you can do so by adding some essential oils to the mixture – but they’re certainly not necessary.
For this sustainable cleaning recipe, you’ll need:
- 1 cup of water
- 1 cup of vinegar
- A spray bottle (reuse one from an old cleaner or purchase a glass one)
- 2-3 drops of citrus/mint/eucalyptus essential oil – optional
This is as simple as sustainable cleaning gets – simply mix the water, vinegar and optional essential oils and pour in a spray bottle. Use this anywhere that you’d usually use your all-purpose cleaner. On particularly tough stains, you may want to let the cleaner sit on the stain for a while or lightly sprinkle it with baking soda.
Toilet cleaning powder
Zero waste cleaning of your toilet may seem like an unpleasant chore, but it certainly doesn’t have to be. This toilet cleaning powder makes the process simple, cheap and sustainable.
We recommend that you prepare a jar of this cleaner in advance and keep it on hand for whenever you need to clean your toilet, but you can always just mix up a small amount separately before cleaning.
The ingredients you’ll need for this zero waste cleaning recipe are:
- ¾ cup baking soda
- ½ cup citric acid
- 20-30 drops of citrus essential oil
These three simple ingredients are all you need. Combine them in a bowl, making sure that the essential oil is mixed in evenly, and store in a jar in a dry place.
If you’ve got any citrus peels that you’d otherwise throw away, feel free to zest them and add the zest to the mix, to add some more natural scent. This won’t affect the cleaning process, but it will make your bathroom smell really nice and fresh.
When it comes time to clean your toilet, simply sprinkle a few tablespoons of this mixture into the toilet bowl, let it fizz up and then clean with the brush – that’s all there is to it!
Natural bleach alternative
Bleach is a common cleaning ingredient – but it can be very damaging to our health and the environment. Thankfully, if you spilled red wine over your white shirt or your tea towels are starting to get a little smelly no matter how much you wash them, there is a great natural alternative.
The ingredients you’ll need are:
- 1 gallon of hot water
- 1 tablespoon of castile soap
- 2 tablespoons of hydrogen peroxide
- 20 drops of tea tree oil
- ¼ cup of lemon juice
Combine these ingredients together in a bucket or bowl (make sure the water is very hot). Place your stained or smelly laundry in the mixture and let sit for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the water becomes cool enough for you to squeeze and mix the clothing to ensure it’s fully submerged and soaked.
Then, let your clothes sit in this mixture for several hours or overnight. Once finished, rinse the laundry with cold water and hang it up in the sun, which should do the rest of the work.
Some parts of our home need something a little stronger than diluted vinegar, which is where you may want to use this scrub instead. You can use the mixture to clean your oven, tub, shower, or anywhere else that needs some more thorough cleaning.
The ingredients for this zero waste cleaning recipe are:
- 1 cup of baking soda
- ¼ cup of hydrogen peroxide
- ¼ cup of castile soap
Mix all ingredients together and you’re good to go. This is around the amount that you should need to do all deep-cleaning in a smaller home with one bathroom, but the mixture won’t last long if you keep it in a cupboard. If possible, use it up in one day.
Leave your glass and windows sparkling clean with a homemade, eco friendly glass cleaner. So easy to make and we’ve found them just as effective (if not better) than the chemical options purchased from the supermarket.
You will need:
- 2 cups distilled water
- 1/2 cup vinegar
- 10 drops essential oil
Combine all of the above into a spray bottle and give it a good shake. We recommend you use distilled water instead of tap water as it’s purer and less likely to leave any marks on your glass and mirror surfaces. Its also best to us.
It’s always best to clean your glass and mirrors starting from the top and working your way down.
Zero waste carpet cleaners
If you have carpet in your home, you’ll know that it can be a pain to clean – especially if you’re trying to do so with zero waste cleaning products. Fortunately, this is a quick and effective recipe that you can use to get rid of the stains on any carpet in your home.
- 1 cup of baking soda
- 1 cup of cornstarch
- ¼ cup of vinegar
- ¾ cup of water
Mix the cornstarch and baking soda together and place in a mason jar with a pierced lit or a salt shaker. In a spray bottle, combine the water and vinegar.
Spread the powder as evenly as possible over your carpet (you can use thicker layers in the dirtiest spots) and spray the carpet with the vinegar solution, until the carpet is damp but not wet. Brush this mixture gently into the surface of the carpet – take care not to damage it. Lastly, leave the mixture to dry on the carpet overnight and vacuum up any leftover powder.
Now that you’ve make your very own DIY natural cleaning products, you might be wondering what to use with them? Instead of those pesky plastic scouring sponges, consider picking up some wooden dish brushes or natural scouring pads to scrub away at tougher stains and marks, or switch to a biodegradable dish cloth made from natural fibers.
There are also some wonderful reusable cleaning spray bottles available which are perfect for storing your new natural cleaning solutions in.
Want to protect your hands whilst cleaning? Opt for natural rubber gloves instead of the many synthetic washing up gloves available in the supermarket. Not only is the rubber sustainably grown, but it is fully biodegradable and compostable after use – just chop them into small pieces and pop them in your composter.
Hopefully, there are a few new recipes here that you can start putting to work right away for you. And if you didn’t want to make your own DIY natural cleaning products, then you can always pick up pre-mixed eco friendly cleaning products that come with the plastic!