We’ve written about the dangers of many store-bought household cleaning products – most are loaded with harmful chemicals. In fact, the average household contains some 62 toxic chemicals,as environmental experts have reported, many of which have been linked to asthma, cancer, reproductive disorders, hormone disruption and neurotoxicity.
Wasting your hard-earned money on chemical-filled cleaners that can harm your health, and the health of the environment just doesn’t make sense when they are plenty of ways to make highly effective, homemade cleaning products that will cost you a fraction of the price without the hazards, including these.
Not interested in making your own non-toxic cleaning products? If you prefer a ready-made solution, then take a look as we reveal The Top 8 Natural & Non-Toxic Cleaning Products You Can Buy
White vinegar is one of the most versatile natural cleaning products you can have. It can be used in so many ways to keep your home free of mold, excess bacteria, and, sparkling clean. In fact, experts say that using vinegar is just as effective as chemicals if not more so. By combining it with another non-toxic natural cleaning agent like baking soda, you can use it to clean just about anything. Baking soda and white vinegar make the ideal all-purpose cleaner – just add tea tree or lemon essential oil and it will have the ability to disinfect too.
To make it you’ll need the following:
- 1/2 cup white vinegar
- 2 tbsp baking soda
- 10 drops lemon or tea tree essential oil – we recommend Plant Therapy Essential Oils for their purity and price.
First, combine the vinegar and essential oils in a spray bottle, and then add the baking soda and mix well. Add water to fill the bottle to the top. Gently shake to mix all ingredients. When ready to use, simply spray the area you’d likely to clean and then wipe it with a cloth.
You can also use vinegar as a primary ingredient in homemade disinfectant wipes – combined with tea tree, eucalyptus, and lemon essential oils, it makes powerful wipes without harmful chemicals.
To make them, you’ll need the following:
- 1 cup water
- 1/4 cup white vinegar
- 8 drops tea tree oil
- 8 drops eucalyptus essential oil
- 8 drops lemon essential oil
- An empty container (an old baby wipe container is ideal)
- 15 – 20 squares of cloth, cut out of an old t-shirt, dish towel or similar material
Fold and place the cloth squares into the empty wipe container and then set it aside. In a mixing bowl, combine the water, white vinegar, and all three essential oils. Stir until thoroughly mixed. Pour the mixture over the cloths in the container, allowing them to soak up the solution. After a few minutes, they should be ready for you to pull out and use just like a store-bought wipe.
Traditional tile cleaner available at the supermarket, hardware or home store is typically filled with dozens of contaminants. It’s one of the worst offenders, with chemicals that have been linked to reproductive damage, hormonal problems, and even cancer. One 2009 analysis even discovered formaldehyde, benzene, and toluene, which are all components of gasoline, in the popular tile cleaner Comet. The good news is that you can say goodbye to Comet and others like it by making your own eco-friendly, chemical-free scrubbing paste.
To make your own tile cleaner, you’ll need the following:
- 1/2 cup baking soda
- Liquid castile soap (Dr. Bronner’s Hemp-Peppermint version is ideal)
- 5 – 10 drops lavender, tea tree or rosemary essential oil (available here)
Place the baking soda in a mixing bowl and then slowly pour in the castile soap, stirring until it looks like frosting, and then add the essential oil. To use, dip a sponge into the mixture and then scrub and rinse. For added power, cut a lemon in half and use it instead of a sponge.
Tough All-Purpose Bathroom Cleaner
The bathroom is often the toughest room in the house to clean, so you really need a powerful cleaner to get the job done, and this recipe is particularly effective. If you’ve never heard of washing soda, it’s simply a water-soluble sodium salt of carbonic acid, with proportions of sodium, carbon, and hydrogen that make it effective as a natural cleaner and cleaning booster. It’s easy to find in the laundry aisle at the grocery store, and it’s also available in bulk online and many other places. You can also make your own fairly easily, so we’ve added a recipe for doing so following the instructions for making the bathroom cleaner.
To make the all-purpose bathroom cleaner, you’ll need the following:
- 1 tsp Borax
- 1 tsp washing soda
- 1 tsp liquid castile soap
- 1/2 cup white vinegar
- 2 cups hot water
- 25 to 30 drops tea tree, grapefruit, lemon or eucalyptus essential oil (available from Plant Therapy here)
- 24 oz spray bottle
Combine the Borax, washing soda, castile soap, and white vinegar in a large bowl or measuring cup. Slowly add water and stir. Allow the mixture to cool and then add the essential oil. Pour it all into the spray bottle. Using a funnel pour it into the spray bottle.
To make your own washing soda, all you need is baking soda, a large baking dish and an oven. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Pour about a half-inch thick layer of baking soda on the bottom of your baking dish. Place it into the oven and bake for an hour, stirring once or twice in the middle during the process. When it’s ready, it should change from a powdery feel, to a texture that’s grainy rather than silky. Allow it to cool, and then store in an airtight jar.
Tub & Shower Cleaner
Cleaning the tub and shower will most likely call for something even more powerful than an all-purpose bathroom cleaner, and this one absolutely works like magic. It’s pretty much guaranteed to erase tough stains, soap scum, and hard water deposits without leaving you feeling as if you’ve just finished running a marathon when you’re done. We know that it probably sounds like it’s way too simple to be effective, but trust us, it works.
You only need the following ingredients to make it:
- 1 part white vinegar
- 1 part natural dishwashing liquid
- A spray bottle
Measure out equal amounts of dishwashing liquid and white vinegar – one to two cups of each should be more than enough. Put the white vinegar into your microwave and heat until hot, and then add it to the spray bottle. Now add the dishwashing liquid and shake gently to mix. To use it, first be sure your bathroom is well-ventilated by turning on the fan and opening the windows as this solution is extremely potent, with a very strong vinegar smell.
Spray the mixture liberally around your shower and/or tub, and then allow it to sit for 30 to 60 minutes. Afterwards, scrub any hard-to-clean areas, and then rinse well.
This window cleaner won’t aggravate asthma, allergies or cause any other sort of negative health reaction like those store-bought window cleaners, and it does a fabulous job too. It contains a special “secret” ingredient: orange essential oil. Pressed from the peels of oranges, orange oil is extremely high in the chemical constituent d-limonene which makes it one of the best cleaning agents there is, particularly for glass.
To make it, you’ll need the following:
- 1/4 cup white vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon natural liquid dish soap
- 8 drops orange essential oil
- 2 cups water
Put all ingredients in a spray bottle and shake to blend thoroughly. To use it, simply spray onto the window or a glass surface, covering as much as you can, wiping it off a few minutes at a time. For tough spots, scrub as needed using the rough side of a kitchen sponge, and then squeegee it all off. Use a cotton cloth to dry off the blade of the squeegee between swipes, and to wipe up any liquid that might pool at the bottom edge of a window pane.
It’s important to keep your house dusted, as dust tends to accumulate quickly, and it’s often loaded with harmful compounds, such as pesticides, flame retardants and all sorts of chemicals. Of course, most dust cleaners you buy at the store also contain contaminants and things like hormone-disrupting chemicals. This dusting solution is easy to mix up on your own and use to dust any surfaces where dust tends to collect in your home.
To make this dust cleaner, you’ll need the following:
- 10 drops pure lemon essential oil
- 2 tbsp 100% pure lemon juice
- 3- 5 drops extra-virgin olive oil
- Spray bottle
Add all ingredients to a small spray bottle and shake gently to combine. Spray directly on your dusty surfaces and then wipe dry with a cotton cloth. Shake before each use.
Carpet Stain Remover
You can even remove those stubborn carpet stains with a homemade cleaner.
Here’s what you need:
- Baking soda (enough to cover the stain)
- 1 Tbsp natural liquid dishwashing soap
- 1 Tbsp white vinegar
- 2 cups warm water
Sprinkle the stain with baking soda and then allow it to sit for about ten minutes before vacuuming it up. Combine the dish soap, white vinegar, and water together in a bowl. Sponge the mixture onto the stain and then blot using a dry cloth. Repeat until the stain disappears.
Prefer a made-for-you solution? Take a look at our Top 8 Recommend Natural Cleaning Products You Can Buy.