It’s understandable if the idea of deep cleaning your home seems daunting. Scrubbing, dusting, hours of intense vacuuming, cleaning rugs using a carpet cleaner, and searching for the correct cleaning chemicals for the job are all part of an overall, detailed cleaning.
Did you know that the most satisfactory cleaning solution is sometimes one you already have in your pantry? With household items including vinegar, baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, and essential oils, you can create a wide range of DIY cleaners, from all-purpose cleaning solutions for granite counters to scrubbing pastes for your showers as well as bathroom tiles to hardwood floor polishes.
That is right! Green cleaning professionals believe these DIY cleaning and sanitizing alternatives are effective. Remember that if you’re searching for a disinfectant, you should opt to use only those labeled as such since they have been tested extensively and certified by the EPA. However, for basic cleaning, the DIY solutions on this list are equally as effective as commercial cleaning products, with the added benefit of being gentler on the skin and the environment. They’re also ideal for families with little children and pets.
Natural Cleaning Essentials
Fill your cleaning bucket with these everyday household items. You can use most of the green cleaning substances alone or in various natural cleaning products made at home.
- Baking soda. It is very effective on grease, proteins, and pet messes, and it can clean surfaces without scratching because it’s only minimally abrasive. It’s also a natural freshener and far less expensive than scouring powders.
- Distilled White Vinegar. It dissolves scale, inhibits mold, and cuts soap scum in alkaline substances. It’s a mild acid that works well on rust, coffee, and tea stains. It’s usually offered at a 5 percent concentration, but more significant concentrations are more effective, so read the fine print.
- Hydrogen Peroxide. It is water containing an additional oxygen molecule (H2O2). It is more environmentally friendly than chlorine bleach since it breaks into nontoxic oxygen and water.
- Borax. It is an alkali that cuts grease, oil, and grime easily.
- Essential Oils. Tea trees, lavender, lemon, eucalyptus, and lemongrass essential oils increase the aroma of a cleaner. Tea tree oil is antimicrobial by nature.
- Castile soap. It is offered in liquid or bar form and aids in removing filth. It comes unscented or scented and is produced with olive oil or a vegetable base.
Is DIY Cleaners Effective?
For many tasks, homemade cleaners can be equally effective as store-bought cleaners. But, depending on how unclean the surface you’re cleaning is, you may need to scrub a little longer or apply a second coat. And, much like professional cleaners, it’s not like every homemade cleaner, especially ones branded “all-purpose,” is suitable for every surface or function. It’s usually a good idea to test any cleaner, homemade or not, on a hidden location first to determine if it’s suitable for the surface, especially if it’s your first time using it. If your homemade cleaner isn’t getting the job done, it might be better to change to a commercial cleaner. Keep all cleaners out of reach of youngsters and pets.
Cleaning Tips when using DIY Cleaners
Proper DIY cleaning ingredients and techniques can make cleaning more uncomplicated and manageable.
- Use clean containers. Keep homemade cleaning supplies in clean, unused containers. Never utilize bottles that were previously used to store chemicals. Make sure you use the proper solution for the job.
- Before spraying a cleaner on whatever item, test it in a small spot to ensure it won’t damage or ruin the material.
- When to avoid vinegar? Do not use vinegar cleaning solutions on granite or marble surfaces, aluminum, cast iron, or waxed coatings. Vinegar’s acid can etch, stain, remove finishes, and damage other surfaces.
- Label any DIY cleaner bottles with all of the ingredients inside. Identifying what the combination contains is critical in case any child or pet consumes it.
- White Vinegar (1 cup)
- Water (1 cup)
- Lemon Peels
- Rosemary Sprigs
Combine all the contents in a spray bottle, mix well, and set aside for at least 6-7 days before using. You may use the DIY all-purpose cleaner to eliminate hard water stains, wash garbage cans, clear away wall streaks, and more once it’s finished. The lemon peel may enhance cleaning power and provide a fresh smell.
Caution: On granite surfaces, avoid using acidic cleaners because they can etch the stone, and use stainless steel with caution. Some appliance makers advise against putting vinegar on their surfaces.
Kitchen Cleaner and Deodorizer
- Baking Soda (4 tablespoons)
- Warm Water (1 tablespoon)
All you need for this DIY kitchen cleaner is baking soda to clean your kitchen surfaces, appliances, and refrigerator interior. You can use baking soda to polish stainless steel sinks as well as appliances. To deodorize, put baking soda directly from the package into the drain or garbage disposal, or use the DIY baking soda solution above—mix baking soda and water to polish stainless steel and eliminate stains. Use a moist cloth to apply it and massage gently along the grain of the metal. Rinse well and pat dry.
- Water (2 cups)
- White Vinegar (1/2 cup)
- Rubbing Alcohol (1/4 cup)
- Orange Essential Oil (1 to 2 drops)
The windows and mirrors will sparkle with this DIY cleaner. To prepare a DIY cleaner with the components you now have on hand, mix them and pour them into a spray bottle. It not only cleans well but also has a pleasant natural citrus aroma thanks to the orange essential oil, and the rubbing alcohol enables it to evaporate rapidly to prevent spots and streaks. Avoid cleaning windows on a hot, sunny morning or in direct sunshine since the mixture will dry too quickly and produce streaks. Before wiping down mirrors, apply the solution on a clean cloth or soft towel first.
- Table Salt
- Lemon Juice or White Vinegar
To clean tarnished brass cabinet handles, ornamental ware, fixtures, and other non-lacquered brass items dampen a sponge with lemon juice or vinegar, then add salt. Scrub the surface lightly. Rinse with water or a damp cloth, then dry immediately using a clean, soft towel.
- Borax (1/2 cup)
- Lemon (half slice)
This powerful DIY cleaner can remove rust stains from porcelain or enamel tubs and sinks. Scrub the surface with a lemon dipped in borax, then rinse.
Caution: Do not do this to marble or granite.
- Sudsy Ammonia (1/2 cup)
- Water (1 gallon)
This DIY kitchen and oven cleaner can help you get rid of grease. Sudsy ammonia contains detergent, which aids in the removal of stubborn filth from metal surfaces. Combine a half-cup of sudsy ammonia with a gallon of water. Then, dip a sponge into the mixture and wipe it over the area before washing with clear water. Clean the stove hood, oven racks, and grill. You may also immerse the oven racks as well as grill grates directly in the liquid, adding a bit more ammonia if they’re very unclean.
Caution: Ammonia should not be used on aluminum. It has the potential to discolor it and create pitting.
- Mild Dishwashing Liquid (2 drops)
- Warm Water (2 cups)
You can clean marble with this DIY cleaner. Combine two drops of dish soap and water in a spray bottle to clean natural stone worktops. To eliminate any soap residue, sponge over the marble and rinse well. Buff with a clean cloth rather than allowing the marble to dry naturally.
Caution: Be careful when cleaning marble or granite surfaces with lemon, vinegar, or other acidic cleaners as they may etch the stone.