Top 5 Homemade Cleaning Products
Whether you have chemical sensitivities, don’t want to spend a lot on cleaning solutions or just want to start living a more natural life, making your own cleaning substances is the way to go. They’re quick and easy to make, plus they do the job as well, if not better, than many of the commercial cleaners.
Homemade Kitchen Cleaner
To help prevent the spread of germs, you’ll want a cleaner with good antibiotic properties. Vinegar and assorted essential oils do this job admirably. This cleaner works well on counter tops, our gas stovetop and the kitchen sink.
Here’s what you need to make your own counter top cleaner:
- Reusable spray bottle
- White vinegar
- Essential oil or lemon juice
Step One: Fill the bottle half full of water.
Step Two: Fill it the rest of the way with vinegar.
Step Three: Add about half a teaspoon of essential oil, or a tablespoon of lemon juice.
Step Four: Shake well to mix.
Quick and Easy DIY Kitchen CleanerClick thumbnail to view full-size
Tea Tree Oil
4 oz may not seem like much, but it will last a very long time. A little tea tree goes a long way. NOW Essential Oils is a favorite brand.
Use this spray to wipe your counters down with whenever you clean up after meals. The vinegar is a natural disinfectant, as is lemon juice and many essential oils.
I prefer teatree oil because it’s a well known germ killer, and I enjoy the scent. I put less than a teaspoon’s worth in, and it still helped cut the vinegar smell down when I used it. Next time, I’ll either use a little less vinegar or a little more essential oil. As it was, the smell cleared rather quickly. It works very well in wiping up dried on messes.
Since this recipe calls for essential oils, keep your counter top cleaner in a dark place when you’re not using it. This will help preserve the oils. Remember to shake well before using.
Our counters are some sort of vinyl or plastic, so they’re pretty tolerant of most substances, but if you have marble or granite topped counters, double check to see which cleaners are safe for every day use. I’ve read that sealed granite may withstand extremely diluted vinegar, but full strength vinegar may damage the stone. Marble, however, will eventually disintegrate and may stain due to vinegar’s acidity.
Cleaning the Stove Top
In our house, the arrangement is my husband does most of the cooking, while I do most of the cleaning. Since I don’t like cooking, and he doesn’t like cleaning, it works for us. That means he won’t necessarily clean up after himself, and I don’t get to the messes until they’re either dried or cooked on.
If I don’t give the kitchen a decent cleaning once a day or so, our gas range gets pretty disgusting. In early July, I stumbled upon the idea of using a baking soda/water paste to get rid of baked on food.
I tried it, and it worked wonderfully.
For this one, you’ll need the following:
- ½ cup baking soda
- Sponge/scrubby pad
Here’s how you make it:
Step One: Put baking soda in bowl.
Step Two: Gradually mix the water into the baking soda, using the spoon.
Step Three: Continue adding water until a thick paste forms.
Before applying the paste, remove loose dirt from the stovetop. If the mess is severe, dab the paste on and let it sit for several minutes before scrubbing with a sponge or scrubby. It will take a little effort, but it will come up with surprising ease.
If the mess is relatively minor, like the one pictured in this hub, you can just dab your sponge in the paste and start scrubbing. There were still some spots left over from when I’d cleaned up the worst of the baked on food, but they came up when I cleaned this time. All that’s left now are scratches from when someone used steel wool on the finish.
Once you’re finished, the used paste is easily wiped away, and you can remove any residue with a wet sponge or towel. Of course, cleaning the messes up as they happen is the best policy, but this method works very well, too.
According to the information I’ve found online, this should also work on glass top stoves, but you’ll need to wipe the remaining film of baking soda away in order to get the old shine back.
Essential Oils for Cleaning
What it does
Disinfects, repels insects
Disinfects, repels insects
Disinfects, repels insects, breaks down glue and tape residue
Homemade Bathroom Cleaner
I still had a little paste left over when I finished cleaning our stove, so I just added a little more baking soda and mixed it all with enough dishwashing detergent to make a paste. However, if you’re making a fresh new batch, you’ll need the following:
- Baking soda
- Dishwashing detergent (I used Dawn, but I’m sure other brands work as well.)
- Spoon or something to mix the paste up with
- Essential oil/lemon juice for extra germ killing action/fragrance (optional)
You mix and use this cleaner in the same way as the stovetop cleaner, but substitute dishwashing detergent for water. The resulting paste will look a bit fluffier than the stovetop cleaner. I didn’t add lemon juice, but if you decide to try it, the past may be a little thinner.
A half cup of baking soda mixed with the dishwashing soap was enough to clean our bathroom sink and to give our bathtub a decent good scrub down.
The detergent breaks soap and organic matter down, while the baking soda is abrasive enough to break up small adhesions without damaging porcelain surfaces. Again, you don’t need to scrub hard to get the surfaces clean. Once you’re finished with the paste, rinse the surface well.
The sink was easy enough to rinse, but our bathtub was a bit trickier. Instead of going over the areas repeatedly with a sponge, I used the spray bottle with water we keep on hand to rinse the cleaning solution away.
I’ve also used a mixture of lemon juice and salt, which worked just as well. There are recipes out there that include a bit of lemon juice in the paste, and I’m sure they work nicely.
Bonus Toilet Cleaning Remedy - Denture Tablets, Who Knew?
Since showers collect what comes off of our bodies when we clean ourselves, one of the best ways to keep them relatively clean is to use a spray on them every time you bathe. You can buy commercial preparations in the store, but I’ve found this one works just as well, and is far less expensive.
You’ll need the following.
- Reusable spray bottle
- Dishwashing detergent
- Lemon juice/essential oils (optional)
How to make it:
Step One: Fill bottle half full with water.
Step Two: Fill bottle the rest of the way with vinegar.
Step Three: Add one tablespoon of dishwashing detergent.
Step Four (Optional): Add tablespoon of lemon juice, or teaspoon of essential oil.
Step Five: Shake well to mix.
Remember, if you use essential oils in this one, keep it in a dark place when not in use. Since bathroom only has shelf storage, I didn’t add essential oils, and since I didn’t have lemon juice on hand, I didn’t add that either. As a result, the spray has a strong vinegar smell, though it clears quickly. I will be adding lemon juice the next time we have some.
After you shower, spray the tub and shower liberally. The detergent will break the soap down before it can settle much, and it’ll make bathroom cleaning a bit easier.
Make Your Own Carpet Freshener
Our current household consists of two humans, three cats and a rat, so I’ve gotten in the habit of using a carpet deodorizer once or twice a month to keep things fresh smelling.
Here’s what you’ll need:
- Baking soda
- Essential oil
- A plastic resealable bag
Step one: Pour half a box of baking soda into the bag. If you have more than a couple of rooms to vacuum, use more.
Step two: Add ten to fifteen drops of essential oil.
Step three: Shake well to mix.
Step four: Let it sit in a dark place at least overnight for the baking soda to absorb the scent.
Before you vacuum, sprinkle this preparation over the carpet and let it sit for at least five to ten minutes to allow the soda to absorb some of the smell. One of the nice things about this preparation is that so many essential oils have germicidal properties. When there’s less bacteria, there’s less odor.
I prefer to reuse the same plastic bag repeatedly for this. You may prefer to use a jar, if you don’t like plastic. Just remember to store it in a cool, dark place when not in use to preserve the integrity of the oil.
These are only a few of the many cleaners you can easily and inexpensively make at home, but they’re my favorites so far. If you have any ideas, please share them in comments below!
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