DIY Natural Cleaning Products for Your Home

December 15, 2012 by  
Filed under Blog, DIY, Front Page, Green Cleaning, Homes, Slideshow, Sustainability

Walk down the aisle of almost any store, and you'll see a range of cleaning products—many of which are filled with less-than-healthy chemicals. Why not make your own cleaning products out of natural substances? Photo: J Wasson

Many of these cleaning products contain with less-than-healthy chemicals. Why not make your own out of natural substances? Photo: J Wasson

Take a stroll down the cleaning supply aisle in your local market, and you’ll find no shortage of ways to polish and shine your home. You will, however, find a shortage of chemical-free, unscented supplies that promote healthy cleaning and no ill-effects. When it comes to making your home sparkle, most commercially available cleaners will do the trick, but when it comes to your health, homemade cleansers are the best choice for both safety and shine.

Make Your Own Cleaners

The following easy recipes will get you started on green cleaning:

Vinegar & Water

  • 1 part vinegar
  •  1 part water

Natural and inexpensive, a mixture of one part vinegar, one part water provides a gentle cleaning solution for the hard surfaces of bathrooms and kitchens, including stoves, countertops, tile, and floors. Simply spray the solution on, allow it to sit for a few minutes, and wipe it down with a cloth. For more difficult cleaning jobs, heat the solution until warm or use undiluted vinegar.

TIP: To make sure you’re starting out with the cleanest solution, use filtered water in your mixture to avoid spreading chlorine, sediment, and other pollutants found in water around your home.

Vinegar, Water & Alcohol

  • 1 part water
  • 1 part isopropyl alcohol
  • splash of vinegar

The effective overall surface cleaner of vinegar and water can also be used on mirrors or windows, but will leave behind streaks. For a streak-free clean and shine, use a solution of one part water to one part isopropyl alcohol with just a splash of vinegar. Spray on, wipe clean, and the glass dries clear.

Baking Soda & Water (or Peroxide)

Some cleaning jobs require grit, and that’s what baking soda provides. Mix baking soda with a little water and apply to problem spots, like hard soap scum. Or, shake the mixture onto areas that need harder cleaning, like the inside of toilets. A baking soda-peroxide solution is ideal for cleaning the inside of the refrigerator to disinfect and eliminate smells.

Olive Oil & Vinegar

  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup vinegar

Dry-dusting is a poor home-cleaning habit, because it simply redistributes the dust. Dusting with a wet cloth will prevent the issue, but it doesn’t create that shine you get with manufactured furniture polishes. Just a small amount of olive oil in vinegar, though, both lifts dusts and leaves behind a shine on wood furniture.

Mold-Killers

Cleaning your home naturally won’t be beneficial to the health of you and your family if your cleaning style allows natural threats to grow. When the health threats of mold and mildew appear around bathtubs or windows, you don’t need harsh chemicals; there are a few natural remedies for mold that work quite well.

Undiluted white vinegar reportedly kills 82 percent of mold. Vinegar’s acidic nature can be hard on grout, though, so go easy on tiled surfaces. For a more pleasant smell, use tea tree oil and water.

Keeping your home clean won’t benefit your health if you’re filling the space with chemicals in the process. Fortunately, there are natural solutions to almost any cleaning problem that might arise. So, skip the cleaning section at the grocery store and head straight to the inexpensive basics of vinegar, baking soda, rubbing alcohol, and peroxide.

Felicia Savage

Guest Writer

Blue Planet Green Living (Home Page)

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