Avoid cleaning your home with harsh, unnecessary chemical cleaning products by using simple, natural ingredients you probably already have on hand. Discover 11 ways to effectively clean your space with items like vinegar, citrus fruit, olive oil, herbs and baking soda.
Let’s get back to natural.
Natural living. Real food. And all-natural cleaning.
No “greenwash” products that claim to be organic but deceptively include unwanted chemicals. Just simple, common household ingredients that have multiple purposes — such as eating, baking and cleaning.
Years ago when I jumped abroad the do-it-yourself train, I first began by making my own household cleaners. Had I known how easy it was to create simple formulas for a clean home, I probably would have started sooner. To help jumpstart your journey to healthy living, I have developed a list of of natural cleaning supplies that will create an array of DIY cleaners to tackle everything from common chores to tough, dirty jobs.
11 DIY Natural Cleaning Products
Effectively clean your home without toxic chemicals by using any these 11 common all-natural cleaning supplies.
1. Distilled White Vinegar
From cleaning the home to making a simple homemade salad dressing, distilled white vinegar can do it all! Vinegar is a powerhouse cleaning agent when it comes to tackling dirty jobs in the house. That is probably why it is one of the preferred cleaning products to use among those that choose all-natural home cleaning solutions.
All vinegar is originally created from alcohol. For example, if you place a few apple slices and peels into water, let it culture for many weeks, the mixture will eventually turn into alcohol. As the alcohol ferments, it transforms into vinegar. Apple cider vinegar is best for eating or using in DIY skincare products. Distilled white vinegar is a better choice for household chores.
This acidic liquid is excellent for removing grease, grime and dirt. It can be used as a disinfectant for some types of pathogens and can be used to clean sinks, showers, faucets, woodwork and dishwashers. We use it most often as a natural fabric softener and to clean our vinyl flooring.
2. Baking Soda
Baking soda or sodium bicarbonate is a well known baking ingredient. Due to its leavening abilities, it can help add a little lift and fluff to baked goods. However, baking soda is very versatile and can be used for more than just baking. You can use it to clean teeth (although I personally find the taste to be repulsive), soothe an insect bite, rid odors from clothing and fridges, remove carpet stains and even added to make a homemade bath bomb.
This inexpensive ingredient is a perfect addition to your natural cleaning arsenal. It can be found at any grocery store in the baking isle. Combine baking soda with a little vinegar for an effective kitchen sink cleaner. Grab the recipe in the All-Natural Home Handbook.
Vodka is one of my favorite cleaning products to use! Yes, you heard me. Vodka. It’s not just for making cocktails or martinis, it is a wonderful disinfectant for cleaning your entire home. Vodka is my go-to ingredient in my lemon thyme kitchen countertop cleaner. I love knowing it helps to degrease our countertops and backsplash while removing germs. Vodka makes a wonderful unscented air freshener and can be used as a multi-purpose cleaner for a variety of surfaces in your home. So go ahead and grab the cheap vodka on the bottom shelf! You’ll be amazed by its cleaning properties.
In our home, each item has more than just one purpose. Take herbs for example, we can grow them and toss them into a delicious soup recipe but we can also use them to relieve an upset stomach or soothe a bee sting. While most of the herbs we grow go are taken internally for medicinal purposes or to make homemade body products such as soap or balms, I do enjoy adding them into my DIY cleaning sprays. Dried herbs can be infused into vodka, vinegar, castile soap and oil to make an effective cleaner. Some of my favorite herbs to use in my natural cleaning recipes are thyme, rosemary, lemon balm, mint, sage and lavender.
5. Essential Oils
Essential oils are made from flowers, herbs and other plants. An enormous amount of plant material is needed to create a small amount of essential oil. This is why sometimes certain types of essential oils are outrageously expensive. Essential oils can boost the power of cleaning products and give them a pleasant scent.
When adding them into homemade cleaners, I like to err on the side of caution and use only a few drops diluted in water, vinegar, vodka or oil. Here is a list of some of our favorite essential oils for cleaning our home.
Antiviral Essential Oils
- Tea tree
Anti-fungal Essential Oils
- Tea tree
Antibacterial Essential Oils
- Tea tree
6. Citric Acid
Naturally derived from fruit, powdered citric acid works well to break apart grease and grime. Added into homemade dishwashing detergent, it effectively removes food particles and leaves your plates and cups looking brand new. Citric acid can also used in household bathroom cleaners by dissolving the powder into hot water.
Citric acid can be purchased in small quantities in the canning and preservation isle in the grocery store. I purchase the powder from Milliard and have found their 100% citric acid to be excellent.
7. Castile Soap
Castile soap is a vegetable-based soap often made with olive, coconut oil or hemp. It can be used in a variety of applications including homemade cleaning products, shampoo, face wash, dish soap and more. The soap is gentle on skin and created without any synthetic preservatives or detergents.
The most popular brand of castile soap is Dr. Bronners. You can find liquid castile soap and castile bar soap in many grocery stores and health food shops. When cleaning our home, I add this non-toxic cleaner into hand soap, all-purpose cleaning sprays and tile floor cleaners.
8. Washing Soda
Washing soda, also known as soda ash or sodium carbonate is most often used to make homemade laundry detergents and treat stains. Mixed with other natural ingredients, such as baking soda and essential oils it can be turned into a scouring powder to clean sinks and tubs. The most common brand of washing soda is Arm & Hammer and can be found online and occasionally in supermarkets.
9. Hydrogen Peroxide
Remove stubborn stains and baked-on food particles with a bottle of inexpensive hydrogen peroxide. This common medicine cabinet liquid can be used for more than just healing, it also makes a great non-toxic all-purpose cleaner. Among its numerous capabilities are cleaning the coffee maker, brightening the bathtub, mopping kitchen floors, disinfecting the garbage can and washing grungy toys. Peroxide can be purchased at any grocery store or discount retailer.
10. Olive Oil
Oil isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when you think of cleaning a home. But it is certainly one you want to have on hand. Olive oil nourishes wood, giving it a natural looking shine which makes it perfect for using on a real wood dining room table, an antique buffet, baseboards and other wooden furniture. Check out my lemon cedar dusting spray recipe for cleaning and nourishing your wooden fixtures.
Beeswax is most notably used for making candles, salves and balms. But did you know it works wonderfully to condition and polish wood? Use it to care for your cutting boards and wooden spoons or to keep your furniture looking new.
This natural, solid substance can be purchased online, at craft stores and from local beekeepers.
Are Natural Cleaning Products Effective?
Yes! As long as you use the right product with the best ingredients, natural cleaning products can effectively clean your home. Many natural cleaners are just as powerful as chemical cleaning agents. In my years of homemaking I have found that my homemade cleaners get the job done without adding toxins and artificial fragrances into our home.
Do Natural Cleaning Products Kill Bacteria?
The short and simple answer is yes. Vinegar, vodka, hydrogen peroxide and some essential oils have disinfecting properties to kill bacteria. However, none of those items have been proven to destroy all types of germs. If you are uncertain as to the performance of a particular product, find a trusted resource and do a thorough search.
Where to Buy Natural Cleaning Products?
Supermarkets and grocery stores
Health food shop