April 7, 2017

18 DIY Cleaning Products to Try for Spring Cleaning (and why you should ditch toxic cleaning products from the store)

18 diy cleaning products to try for spring cleaning

People who suffer from eczema and allergies can prevent their symptoms from showing up if they maintain a clean environment. However, depending on the products you use to clean your house, the cleanliness you see may come at a cost to your health. That is one main reason why people choose to use DIY cleaning products instead of commercially available cleaning products.

What’s in Your Cleaning Product?

It’s easy to get persuaded by the colorful bottles and cheery ads of most household cleaners. But did you know that the chemicals in those bottles may trigger skin and respiratory reactions in people with eczema and allergies?

Not only can they cause allergy attacks, but they can also create new sensitivities.

Avoid Harsh Chemicals

You can be on the safe side if you know that your cleaning materials do not have any toxic substances. However, if you are not a chemist, how can you identify all the ingredients in your cleaning products and make sure that they are non-toxic?

That is almost impossible because commercial cleaning product contains multiple compounds and if you do not have the equipment, it is hard to determine exactly what chemicals cause health problems.

Some even contain known irritants, such as ammonia, bleach, amines, and sodium hydroxide.

Scents Can Be Deceiving

Most cleaning products have fresh, clean smell, but many of these fragrances have chemical compounds that can trigger allergies.

Then again, just because a cleaning product does not have a strong smell, it does not mean that it is completely safe. Most of them still have toxic chemicals.

What’s worse is that you can’t really tell if a cleaning product has a certain eczema or allergy trigger.

Going Natural

Fortunately, you can now keep away from those chemical-laden cleaners and make your own cleaning products out of non-toxic and natural ingredients that you may already have in your house, such as baking soda and vinegar.

The Dangerous Ingredients in Regular Household Cleaning Products

These ingredients found in cleaning products contain toxins that are not safe and can cause skin irritations and allergies.

1. 2-Butoxyethanol

This is a “glycol ether” that is used as a solvent in window cleaners. When inhaled, it can cause a sore throat; at high levels, it can cause pulmonary edema, narcosis, and severe kidney and liver damage.

2. Ammonia

Polishing agents for sinks, jewelry, and bathroom fixtures usually have ammonia. It is also a common ingredient in window glass cleaners because it evaporates and does not cause smudges. However, it’s a powerful irritant and frequent exposure can cause asthma and chronic bronchitis.

3. Chlorine

Chlorine can cause respiratory problems at an acute level. It is found in toilet bowl cleaners, scouring powders, laundry whiteners, and mildew removers.

4. Perchloroethylene or “PERC”

This is a neurotoxin and also a possible carcinogen, a substance that can cause cancer. This is found in carpet cleaners, spot removers, and dry-cleaning solutions.

5. Phthalates

In most cases, exposure to phthalates happens by inhalation, but the skin can also absorb it from scented soaps. This poses a major concern because the skin doesn’t have protections against toxins. The chemicals absorbed go directly to organs. Phthalates are found in dishwashing detergents, air fresheners, and other scented household products. High levels of phthalates may affect human development or reproduction.

6. Quaternary Ammonium Compounds (Quats)

Quats are known skin irritants and may also cause asthma. They can be found in many household cleaners that are labelled “antibacterial.”

7. Sodium Hydroxide

This is found in drain cleaners and oven cleaners. When inhaled, it may cause lung inflammation, breathing difficulty, and a sore throat.

8. Triclosan

Triclosan may cause muscle weakness and disrupt hormonal function. Many hand soaps and dishwashing detergents that say “antibacterial” contain triclosan.

The Basic Ingredients of DIY Cleaning Products

These are the common, natural, non-toxic ingredients that you can use for your DIY cleaning products.

bar soap

Bar Soap 

It’s good to always have bars of handmade or store-bought natural soap. You can use this for your homemade laundry or dish soap.

baking soda

Baking Soda

Softens water, scours, cleans, and deodorizes. It causes grease and dirt to easily dissolve in water to effectively remove them.

borax powder

Borax

An ideal all-purpose cleaner that removes stains, whitens, and deodorizes. This is a must-have for dishwashing detergent and laundry detergent formulas.

dr bronner's castile soap

Castile Soap

Made from olive oil, but can also be made from hemp, coconut, walnut, and other vegetable oils. It softens dirt from surfaces.

Milliard Citric Acid

Citric Acid

This is an organic acid used in dishwashing detergents to remove cloudiness and streaking.

Essential Oils

Essential Oils

Most essential oils contain antibacterial, antiviral, and anti-fungal properties. Some of the most commonly used include tea tree, peppermint, lavender, and lemon.

Hydrogen Peroxide 3%

​Hydrogen Peroxide

It can be used to replace chlorine bleach and ammonia. It cleans, disinfects, and removes stains.

lemon

Lemon

A natural disinfectant. It is effective in removing many household bacteria.

Jojoba oil

Oils

Pure oils are non-greasy oils that have excellent moisturizing properties. Examples include jojoba, olive, sweet almond, and grapeseed oil.

Washing Soda

Washing Soda

It removes stains, cuts grease, and cleans sinks, tubs, and tiles.

Heinz White Vinegar

White vinegar

It effectively cleans most hard surfaces. It removes stains and soap residues, cuts grease, and disinfects.

vodka

Vodka

Grain alcohol or high-proof vodka works as a natural preservative to prolong the shelf life of many DIY products. You can use it for your glass cleaner or stainless steel cleaner to get rid of streaks.

Recipes of DIY Cleaning Products

1. All-Purpose Cleaner

all purpose cleaner

This cleaner is great on almost everything – from messy countertops to dirty sinks. It can leave most surfaces squeaky clean.

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon baking soda
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup white vinegar
  • 1 lemon
  • 5 drops lemon essential oil

Instructions:

  1. Use a non-metal bowl and combine baking soda and water.
  2. Stir until baking soda is dissolved.
  3. Add white vinegar, lemon juice, and 5 drops of lemon essential oil and stir for one minute.
  4. Wait at least two minutes and stir again.
  5. When there is no foaming, transfer to a spray bottle.
  6. Swirl gently before using.
  7. Spray on the target area and wipe clean using a microfiber cloth.

Note: Add the ingredients in the specified order so that the baking soda will not make a mess and react with the acidic ingredients.

2. Glass Cleaner

glass cleaner

This homemade glass cleaner is as effective as many commercial glass cleaners, but environmentally friendly and not as expensive. Although it has a slightly strong smell, it evaporates completely when it dries.

We recommend that you use a microfiber cloth to clean your windows, but old T-shirts and newspapers are also fine. Do not use paper towels to avoid leaving lint.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons vinegar
  • 10 drops essential oil (optional)

Instructions:

  1. In a spray bottle, combine all ingredients.
  2. Use a microfiber cloth to clean windows.

Note: You may use any of your desired essential oil to reduce the smell of vinegar.If you used to clean your glass windows using a commercial product, add a few drops of liquid castile soap in your homemade glass cleaner to wipe out detergent residue.

3. Carpet Cleaner

carpet cleaner

This is an effective cleaner for stains on carpet.

Ingredients:

  • Baking soda
  • White vinegar
  • Lemon essential oil (optional)

Instructions:

  1. If you are using lemon essential oil, combine it with baking soda.
  2. Sprinkle on the area that will be treated.
  3. Let it sit at least one hour. You can leave it overnight, if desired.
  4. If you are not using lemon essential oil, simply sprinkle baking soda over carpet stain.
  5. In a spray bottle, combine a 1:1 ratio of water and white vinegar.
  6. Spray the mixture over baking soda on the carpet.
  7. Let the mixture fizzle.
  8. Lay rag or towel over the wet spot.
  9. Put pressure to absorb moisture. You may apply a few more applications, depending on the age and severity of the stain. You may also opt to vacuum treated spots.

4. Stain Remover

stain remover

Treat the stain with cold water once you notice it. Do not use warm water as it would set the stain. Then, use this all-natural recipe to remove the stain.

Ingredients:

  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1/2 cup hydrogen peroxide
  • 5 drops lavender essential oil
  • Salt
  • Old toothbrush

Instructions:

  1. Combine all ingredients in an opaque container.
  2. Apply a small amount of the mixture onto the stain.
  3. Allow to sit for at least 10 minutes.
  4. Add another small amount of the cleaner onto the stain.
  5. Add salt.
  6. Scrub the stain using an old toothbrush.
  7. This will remove 99% of the stain on your clothing. Cold wash the clothing as usual.

Note: Before putting the clothing in the dryer, make sure that the stain has been removed.You may repeat the process if the stain still there or leave the mixture on longer.

5. Alternative to Household Bleach

You can whiten your clothes, disinfect your bathrooms, and clean your toilets naturally using this recipe for homemade bleach.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 cup hydrogen peroxide
  • Water
  • 10 drops lemon essential oil

Instructions:

  1. In a gallon jug, combine lemon juice and hydrogen peroxide.
  2. Fill the jug with water.
  3. Gently shake the jug to mix the ingredients.
  4. To whiten clothes, put one cup of your bleach in the washing cycle.
  5. Wipe clean your toilet and other areas in the house using this homemade bleach as you would with your old commercial bleach.

Note: As the hydrogen peroxide is photosensitive, it is best that you put the bleach in an opaque container so the light would not go in. In case you don’t have that kind of container, you can simply wrap it with a brown (or any dark) paper.

6. Kitchen Cleaner

kitchen cleaner

Cooking can be messy, especially during the holidays. Using this all-natural homemade kitchen cleaner, you can now do away with your dirty dishes, scraps of food on the floor, and sticky countertops, while avoiding the toxic chemicals of commercial cleaners.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • 3-5 drops grapefruit essential oil
  • 3-5 drops tea tree oil

Instructions:

  1. In a glass spray bottle, put in the vinegar, and then put in water.
  2. Add tea tree oil and grapefruit essential oil.
  3. All the ingredients to evenly distribute by shaking the bottle vigorously.
  4. Spray onto a kitchen towel or directly onto the surface.
  5. Wipe the area clean.

Note: Shake the bottle vigorously before every use because the essential oils would usually stay at the top of the mixture and you need to mix the solution thoroughly.

7. Stainless Steel Cleaner

stainless steel cleaner

You can use this cleaner to put that shine back on stainless steel, as well as clean glass windows.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup high-proof vodka
  • 1/3 cup white vinegar
  • 12 oz. water
  • A few drops of your preferred essential oil (optional)

Instructions:

  1. In a glass spray bottle, combine the vodka and vinegar.
  2. Add water to fill the bottle. Use a funnel when necessary.
  3. Add a few drops of essential oil.
  4. Spray the cleaner on the target spot.
  5. Wipe clean.

Note: We recommend using microfiber cloth to wipe the area to achieve a lint-free look. Before using on stainless steel, check the appliance manual first because some appliance manufacturers only allow that you use plain water to wipe the surface. Our old formula used to have isopropyl / rubbing alcohol, instead of vodka, but there was evidence that rubbing alcohol buildup may cause illness.

8. Bathroom Cleaner

bathroom cleaner

For a sparkling clean bathroom, use the following recipes to make your own bathroom cleaners.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup baking soda
  • 1/4 cup borax
  • 1 tablespoon liquid castile soap
  • Water
  • 10 drops peppermint or lemon essential oil

Instructions:

  1. 1. In a jar, combine baking soda, borax, and Castile soap.
  2. Add water to fill the jar.
  3. Stir until consistency is thick but still pourable.
  4. Add essential oil.
  5. Use to clean bathtubs, counters and sinks.

9. Air Freshener

air freshener

What if the air freshener in your home does not actually deodorize and clean, but instead, it poses a threat to the health of your family and the environment? If you are still using a commercial air freshener, it’s time to switch to a health and environmental friendly homemade product. Best of all, it is easier and less expensive to make.

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon baking soda
  • 6 drops of your preferred essential oil
  • Water

Instructions:

  1. In a small dish, combine the baking soda and essential oil.
  2. Mix well using a spoon.
  3. In a spray bottle, put the baking soda and essential oil mixture, and add water to fill the bottle.
  4. Shake the bottle well to mix all the ingredients.
  5. Use this mixture to freshen the air in the rooms of your home.

10. Furniture Polish

furniture polish

This homemade furniture polish can effectively clean and restore the shine on your wood furniture. You can also use this to help get rid of glass water rings on your wood tables.

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon lemon juice or lemon essential oil

Instructions:

  1. In a bottle, use a funnel to combine all the ingredients.
  2. Shake well to mix.
  3. Put on polish on a microfiber cloth and wipe the wood furniture.
  4. Make sure to evenly distribute the polish.
  5. Use a clean cloth to remove any excess polish.

11. Floor Cleaner

wooden floor cleaner

If you have a little one, you want your floors to be clean all the time.

Wooden Floor Cleaner Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup white vinegar
  •  1 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • 1 cup water
  • A few drops of your preferred essential oil

Instructions:

  1. In a jar, combine white vinegar and vegetable oil.
  2. Add water and a few drops of your preferred essential oil for a better scent.
  3. Mix well.
  4. To use, apply an ample amount on a rag and lightly rub into wooden floors to clean spots and restore the shine.
  5. To avoid slippery floors, wipe the cleaner off completely.

All Purpose Floor Cleaner

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • 1 cup water

Instructions:

  1. Mix vinegar and water.
  2. Apply on the floor and mop clean.

Note: For tough stains, dissolve 2 tablespoons of washing soda in 16 ounces of water. Apply on the floor and mop. To rinse, dampen mop with water.

12. Scrubs

scrubs cleaner

This scrub cleaner is effective against the toughest dirt, odors, and mildew.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon hydrogen peroxide
  • 1/4 cup castile soap

Instructions:

  1. Using a medium-sized bowl, mix the baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, and castile soap.
  2. Stir until the consistency resembles thick glue.
  3. Transfer to a large jar.
  4. Apply desired amount to a dirty surface.
  5. Allow the scrub cleaner to sit for a few minutes.
  6. Scrub the surface using a brush or cloth.
  7. Wipe using damp cloth.

Note: Leave a space of about 2 inches on top of the jar as the scrub cleaner will expand within 24 hours. Make sure that the jar is sealed. The scrub cleaner will harden upon exposure to air for a long time. You can use the scrub cleaner immediately and keep at room temperature.

13. Disinfecting Spray

disinfecting spray

Kill the germs in your home using this all-natural disinfectant spray.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • 1 cup water
  • 24 drops of your preferred essential oil

Instructions:

  1. In a spray bottle, mix vinegar and water.
  2. Add 2 drops of essential oil.
  3. You can use this spray to disinfect rooms in your home, such as your kitchen, dining room, living room, and bathroom.

Note: This recipe makes 16 ounces of disinfecting spray. You can make more if you have a bigger spray bottle. Just make sure that you mix equal parts of vinegar and water. For every 16 ounces, add 24 drops of essential oil. For a more powerful formula, increase the amount of vinegar and lessen the water. For a lighter solution, increase the amount of water and lessen the vinegar.

14. Dishwashing Detergent

DISHWASHING DETERGENT

This homemade dishwashing detergent fights tough grease to leave your dishes sparkling clean.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoon borax
  • 2 tablespoon washing soda
  • 3/4 cup castile soap
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 15 drops tea tree essential oil
  • 15 drops peppermint essential oil

Instructions:

  1. In a saucepan, heat the water until it boils, and then turn off the heat.
  2. Add borax and washing soda. Stir to dissolve.
  3. Let it cool for about 3 minutes or until warm.
  4. Add the castile soap and essential oils.
  5. Whisk all the ingredients together vigorously.6. Using a funnel, transfer the mixture into a soap dispenser.

Note: If you are using the dishwashing detergent with bare hands, you can add ½ tablespoon of skin-nourishing oil, such as almond, jojoba, or olive oil.Before every use, shake the bottle vigorously because the soap tends to separate when not in use for 24 hours.

15. Oven Cleaner

oven cleaner

Are you sometimes embarrassed to open your oven when having dinner parties because you have a dirty little secret in your kitchen? Then use this formula for a homemade oven cleaner.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup baking soda
  • 1/4 cup hydrogen peroxide
  •  tablespoon white vinegar
  • Juice of 1 lemon

Instructions:

  1. In a bowl, combine all the ingredients and stir until it looks like thick glue.
  2. Before using the cleaner, wipe down the grime in your oven using a scrub sponge with warm water.
  3. Wash the sponge to remove the grease.
  4. Apply the cleaner on the whole interior of your oven.
  5. Allow it to sit for several hours to overnight.
  6. Scrub the racks, walls, floor, and ceiling of the oven.
  7. Wipe down using a sponge with warm water.
  8. Wipe dry using cloth.

16. Tile and Grout Cleaner

tile and grout cleaner

You can use this homemade tile and grout cleaner to remove the set-in dirt in your tile and grout. This can remove even the mold buildup in grouts.

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup hydrogen peroxide
  • 1/2 cup baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon liquid dish soap

Instructions:

  1. In a bowl, mix all the ingredients together.
  2. Transfer the mixture to a squeeze-top container.
  3. Squeeze ample amount of the cleaner over tile and grout.
  4. Let sit for about five minutes.
  5. Scrub the area, and then wipe it down using a sponge.
  6. Rinse with water.

Note: You can also use this to clean your tub and sink. Simply squeeze the cleaner onto a sponge, scrub, and the rinse with water.

17. Toilet Cleaner

This homemade toilet cleaner does not need a lot of effort to make. It is also all-natural unlike conventional products that contain so many toxic chemicals. With this cleaner, you can be sure that there are no smell, residues, and germs that will be left behind in your toilet bowl.

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup liquid castile soap
  • 2 tablespoon baking soda
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 10 drops of tea tree or lemon essential oil

Instructions:

  1. In a 16-ounce squeeze-top bottle, combine all the ingredients and gently shake to mix them all together.
  2. Squeeze it into the toilet bowl.
  3. Using a brush, scrub the toilet bowl clean.
  4. Rinse with water.

18. Laundry Detergent

laundry detergent

Many commercial laundry detergents contain chemicals that are linked to lung disease and cancer. You can avoid these chemicals by switching to this homemade laundry detergent.

Ingredients:

  • 1 grated bar soap (homemade or laundry bar castile soap)
  • 1 cup washing soda
  • 1 cup borax

Instructions:

  1. Use a hand grater to grate the soap. You may also use a food processor or blender. This will create a powder that easily dissolves even in cold water.
  2. Mix all the ingredients together.
  3. Transfer into a sealed container.
  4. For a small load of laundry, use 1 tablespoon of the mixture; 2-3 tablespoon for heavily-soiled or large loads.

Note: When using a food processor or blender, make sure that the dust has settled before taking off the lid so you will not inhale fine particles.

Conclusion

You can use these cleaners if you are getting ready for spring cleaning. However, there is going to be a huge difference in the way you have been cleaning.

This time, you will use all-natural recipes, which means they don’t have the toxic chemicals that are usually found in conventional cleaners.

Did you know that your old commercial cleaners can also pollute the air in your home? When you are using non-toxic cleaners, you can be sure that the air that your family breathes is clean.

Not only that, they are much cheaper than commercial products. The recipes involve basic ingredients that you may already have in your home.

You probably have always thought that switching to natural living is a difficult endeavor. But with these homemade cleaners, you can have a smooth transition to using chemical-free cleaners in your home.

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