The following post is from Emily of Live Renewed:
One of the easiest and cheapest changes you can make on your journey to live a more natural and greener lifestyle is to switch to homemade and non-toxic cleaners. Making cleaners at home can literally costs just pennies, and can save you hundreds of dollars off purchasing either conventional brand cleaners, or green and non-toxic brand cleaners — which can be even more expensive.
And the best thing about these homemade cleaners? Most of the actually work better than their store-bought counterparts!
At our house, we pretty much exclusively use homemade cleaners made from a few simple ingredients, with really easy recipes.
Here are my top five homemade green cleaners.
1. Vinegar and Water
This is our most basic, and cheapest, cleaner. I mix white vinegar with water in a 1:1 ratio in a spray bottle. Vinegar has disinfecting properties, so you can use this as a multipurpose cleaner all around your house — the bathroom, the kitchen, cleaning floors, mirrors and windows, it’s even a great natural laundry stain remover.
I keep at least three bottles filled with vinegar and water solution in different places around my house so I always have one close at hand for quick cleaning. One thing to keep in mind when cleaning with vinegar — you shouldn’t use it on porous surfaces like granite or marble.
2. Baking Soda in a Parmesan cheese container
I saved my Parmesan cheese containers and washed them out and now use them for baking soda shakers. I have one container in my bathroom that I add about 20 drops of tea tree oil too whenever I refill it. I use this one for sprinkling in the toilet, sink and shower as an abrasive cleaner.
I also keep one container under my kitchen sink with just baking soda that I use to scrub my glass top stove and white kitchen sink. And when we had carpet I had a container with baking soda and sweet orange and grapefruit essential oils to use as a carpet freshener before vacuuming — you could add whatever essential oils are your favorite.
3. Homemade Multipurpose Cleaner
We also use another multipurpose cleaner that we really like (and it’s the only one my husband will use because he doesn’t like the smell of vinegar), that’s made with Castile soap, tea tree oil, and water. I fill a spray bottle with water and add about a Tablespoon of Castile soap (I use unscented, but you could use whatever kind you like best), and 15-20 drops of tea tree oil.
The tea tree oil makes this an anti-bacterial and anti-viral cleaner, so you can also use this cleaner all around the house – the kitchen, bathroom, and cleaning floors. It’s the perfect multipurpose cleaner for all your cleaning needs.
4. Hydrogen Peroxide and Water
Take an old brown hydrogen peroxide bottle and fill it half and half with more hydrogen peroxide and water. Hydrogen peroxide is another natural disinfectant, so while it doesn’t actually “clean” very well the way that the multipurpose cleaner does, it’s perfect for using in places that you really want to make sure are completely disinfected – like a kitchen counter top after working with raw meat, or the bathroom pretty much anytime, but especially after someone in your family is sick.
It’s important to keep the hydrogen peroxide mixture in the dark brown bottle because it will break down when exposed to light. I bought a small spray bottle at the dollar store and just attached the spray nozzle to the brown bottle and use that to spray the solution.
This mixture is also a pretty decent laundry stain remover. It works especially well on blood and berry stains, and other hard to remove food stains. You can also mix it with baking soda to make a homemade oxygen cleaner to soak your clothes in.
5. The Best Floor Cleaner
Although the vinegar and water, and homemade multipurpose cleaner, both work well to clean floors, sometimes I like to mix up a bucket of this citrus scented floor cleaner from my friend Stacy at A Delightful Home. I love it because it makes my floors shine and makes my house smell fresh and clean. All you need is Castile soap, sweet orange and lemon essential oils and water. Head over to A Delightful Home for the basic recipe.
With a few simple, and affordable, ingredients and these basic recipes, you can clean your house from top to bottom with natural, safe and non-toxic, green cleaners. And one of my favorite things about using green cleaners? You can get your kiddos to help with the cleaning too! And, of course, make sure you label your cleaners appropriately so everyone in your house knows what they are.
Do you use homemade cleaners around your house? Please share your favorite homemade and green cleaning recipes with us!