We have been on a bit of a budget since the move back to the big city, so I have started making my own cleaning supplies. I know, I know, why haven’t I been making my own supplies all along? I have no good answer for you, there are so many simple recipes using products from your pantry that make incredibly effective household cleaning solutions. These natural products are often more environmentally friendly than even green commercial alternatives. Supplies you’ll need:
White Vinegar, which dissolves dirt, soap scum, and hard water deposits from smooth surfaces, yet is gentle enough to use to clean hardwood floors. White vinegar is a natural deodorizer, absorbing odors instead of covering them up.
Baking Soda's mild abrasive action and natural deodorizing properties make it a powerful replacement for harsh commercial scouring powders. It will eliminate odors and can also be used as an air freshener or a carpet deodorizer.
Tea Tree Oil is a natural antibacterial and antifungal essential oil. Although tea tree oil has a strong smell, it is an effective substitute for harsher, mainstream chemicals. You don't have to worry about children and pets being harmed by a tea tree oil solution, unlike many chemical cleaners.
Grapefruit Seed Extract is also effective for cleaning and disinfecting the home. The extract offers natural protection against Staph, Strep, Salmonella, and many other common bacteria, viruses and parasites found in the household. Grapefruit seed extract is a bit expensive, but has no smell and can be used similarly to tea tree oil.
Unscented Soap in liquid form, flakes, or bars is biodegradable and will clean just about anything. Avoid using soaps that contain petroleum distillates.
Lemons are one of the strongest food-acids, making it effective against most household bacteria.
My Favorite Recipes
All Purpose Grapefruit Cleaner (this is my go-to for cleaning children’s toys when I teach parent/child classes) Add 2 teaspoons of grapefruit seed extract to 2 cups water in a spray bottle. Use on all surfaces around the home. No need to rinse.
All Purpose Tea Tree Cleaner (what I am using currently in my home) Same recipe as above, only replacing the grapefruit extract with tea tree oil. Combine in a spray bottle, shake to blend, and spray on areas to be cleaned. Do not rinse. These are both very economical to use in comparison to other cleaners.
Soft Scrub pour ½ cup of baking soda into a bowl and add enough liquid soap to make a texture like frosting. Scoop mixture onto a sponge or towel, and wash the surface. I love to clean the sinks and bathtub with this because it rinses out so easily and doesn’t leave grit. This doesn’t store well, so only make as much as you need at one time.
Window and Glass Cleaner mix together ¼ teaspoon liquid soap, 3 tablespoons vinegar and 2 cups water in a spray bottle. Remember to use a towel (microfiber works great) instead of paper towels for wiping.
Furniture Polish Combine ½ teaspoon olive oil and ¼ cup vinegar or fresh lemon juice. Mix the ingredients in a glass jar. Dab a soft rag into the solution and wipe onto wood surfaces. Cover the glass jar and store indefinitely.
Pure Vinegar Spray Straight vinegar kills about 85 percent of mold. Pour some white distilled vinegar straight into a spray bottle, spray on the moldy area, and let set without rinsing. It will make your house smell like vinegar for a bit, but don’t worry; the smell will dissipate in a few hours.