I started coming up with homemade cleaning product recipes over two decades ago when my kids were little. We all have allergies, so I didn’t like the thought of filling our indoor air with irritants.
The fact that making homemade cleaners costs significantly less money than buying them at the store was attractive, too. Plus, they work brilliantly!
Tips About Making DIY Cleaners
Although my homemade cleaning product recipes feature ingredients that are all safe individually, that doesn’t mean you can throw caution to the wind.
- Use safe, trusted cleaning recipes. There are many unsafe combinations of cleaning ingredients, particularly those involving bleach or ammonia.
- Follow the measurements provided. Just eyeballing instead of measuring the ingredients can create a strong concentration that damages surfaces, or a weak one that doesn’t clean well.
- Use clean containers. Reusing containers is great, but they need to be spotless to avoid potential reactions or contamination. Scrub them well first!
- Use proper storage. Don’t store homemade cleaning products near heat or flame, or they may not work as well. (Plus, some ingredients can be flammable until they dry.)
- Be safe around pets and children. Always store cleaning products in a childproof location and be cautious using essential oils to clean around pets.
Essential Ingredients for Natural Cleaning Recipes
As you get into making homemade cleaners, you’ll notice they often rely on the same ingredients, just in different amounts. Stock up on these items and you’ll always be prepared to make DIY cleaning products to keep every surface of your home naturally clean.
Vinegar: Probably the most frequently used ingredient in DIY cleaners, vinegar is a mild disinfectant due to its high acidity level. It can cut through grease, remove mildew, and eliminate odors. Although it has a strong smell, this fades as it dries, leaving your surfaces sparkling clean.
Baking Soda: Also known as bicarbonate of soda in the U.K., baking soda is a star player in the homemade cleaning product scene. It serves as a deodorizer, absorbing and neutralizing unpleasant odors. Thanks to its mild abrasive properties, baking soda is also excellent for scrubbing away stubborn grime without scratching surfaces.
Lemon Juice: The natural acidity in lemon juice makes it a mild natural disinfectant, similar to vinegar. It’s also great at cutting through grease and smells amazing, too.
Olive Oil: While it may seem counterintuitive, olive oil is an excellent cleaner and grime-remover, particularly for wooden surfaces. It polishes and restores wood, giving it a natural shine. It can also be used to lubricate things and clean stainless steel items.
Essential Oils: Essential oils are often added to homemade cleaning product recipes for their pleasant scents, but many also have antimicrobial properties. Oils like tea tree, eucalyptus, and lavender can boost the cleaning power of your homemade products while leaving a lasting fragrance.
Castile Soap: This plant-based soap is gentle yet effective. I love using Castile soap to clean a variety of things, from floors to dishes, even your body. It’s biodegradable and comes in various scents.
Hydrogen Peroxide: Standard 3% hydrogen peroxide is a common first aid supply that is so useful around your home! It can be used to whiten laundry, remove stains, and sanitize surfaces.