Many domestic cleaning products are detrimental to the user and the world around us. The Environmental Working group examined the safety of over 1000 ingredients which are used in commercial domestic household cleaning products..! The results of their investigation found that more than half of the cleaning products explored contained products that were not natural AND harmful to our lungs!
As well as being potentially damaging to the user, the chemicals found in domestic cleaning products are damaging our ecosystems. Since the 1940s, PFAS (short for perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances), a group of at least 4,700 synthetic chemicals, have been in commercial production and used to remove stains, water, and grease. However, crucially, most of these products are not biodegradable. This means that every time we use PFAS cleaning products, we are contributing to the accumulation of these chemicals in our water ecosystem and environment.
From products ranging from fairy liquid to bleach, a lot of household cleaning products end up going down the drain.
Unfortunately, it is not only the chemical inside the bottle which poses a problem for the planet. A variety of domestic cleaning products include ingredients such as petroleum and phthalates – not very natural… While this ensures that the packaging can safely contain the cleaning product itself, these chemicals also make the container incredibly reluctant in decomposition.
Single-use plastics are replaceable, the harmful ingredients in many cleaning products are not essential in sanitizing your home; ultimately, many domestic cleaning products are not necessary and there are natural alternatives.
The following products can be made at home with relatively common household items and ingredients. They can be held in glass bottles and these can be replenished once the cleaning product has run out in order to establish a zero-polluting method of cleaning the house.
To encourage you to take action and responsibility for the betterment of our planet, here are 19 homemade completely natural and most importantly, harm-free DIY cleaning products.
1. All-Purpose Cleaner:
What you’ll need: white vinegar, water, essential oils
Method: mix together equal parts white vinegar and water. Add around 10 drops of essential oils to offset the smell of the vinegar; the smell if vinegar will disappear once cleaning is done. Avoid use on marble, stone or granite surfaces.
What you’ll need: sea salt (or course salt mixed), lemon juice, bicarbonate of soda
Method: mix the salt and the lemon juice together with the bicarbonate of soda to make a paste and scrub away. This also works well for removing stains from coffee or tea mugs.
3. Kitchen Deodorizer and Cleaner:
What you’ll need: white vinegar, baking soda, hot water, lemon
Method: mix ¼ cup of white vinegar, 1 tablespoon of baking soda, 1 litre of hot water and ½ a lemon together. Use on any surface to get rid of grime and grub.
4. Glass/Window/Stainless Steel Cleaner:
What you’ll need: white vinegar, water, spray bottle
Method: mix ½ white vinegar with ½ part water. Combine into a spray bottle and wipe with a paper towel or old newspaper. Can be used on windows, mirrors, or stainless steel.
5. Toilet Cleaner:
What you’ll need: baking soda, white vinegar, tea tree oil, essential oil
Method: mix ¾ cup of baking soda with ¾ cup of white vinegar, 10 drops of tea tree oil, and 10 drops of lavender essential oils. Put this into the loo, leave to sit for a few minutes and scrub away. Flush when finished.
6. Laundry Detergent:
What you’ll need: soap nuts
Method: soap nuts are a traditional and simple way to clean your clothes. When they’re mixed around in the washing machine, they release saponin, which dissolves dirt. Add them to the washing machine in a pouch, grind them or make them into a homemade liquid detergent by boiling them in water. The soap nut pouch can be used for around 4 – 5 washes (or until they turn grey). When they’re done, they can be composted in the garden.
7. Windows and Mirrors:
What you’ll need: white vinegar, water, add essential oils
Method: mix 1 part white vinegar to 4 parts water and add the essential oils for a fresh scent. Spray on the windows and mirrors and wipe off with a cloth.
8. Air Freshener:
What you’ll need: water, essential oils, spray bottle
Method: mix the water and essential oils into a spray bottle, shake and spray!
9. Mould and Mildew:
What you’ll need: white vinegar, essential oil or tea tree oil, a spray bottle
Method: fill a spray bottle with white wine vinegar. Spray and let it sit for 30 minutes then rinse/scrub off with a cloth and warm water
10. Microwave Cleaner:
What you’ll need: white vinegar, lemon juice
Method: mix together a small cup of vinegar and some lemon juice. Place the cup into the microwave, switch it on and leave for two minutes. Leave the door closed for another minute before wiping the solution away with a damp cloth
11. Washing up Liquid/Dish Soap:
What you’ll need: water, castile soap,
Method: mix 1 part water to 4 parts castile soap and store in a glass container. Swill it into the sink and wash away!
12. Floor Cleaner:
What you’ll need: ¼ cup of vinegar, castile soap, essential oil, hot water
Method: Add the vinegar, soap and oil to a bucket of hot water and mop away!
13. Carpet Deodorizer:
What you’ll need: bicarbonate of soda, 10 drops of essential oil
Method: Fill a glass jar with bicarbonate of soda and 10 drops of essential oil. Shake together and store. To use, shake over the carpet, leave for 30 minutes and vacuum.
14. Oven Cleaner:
What you’ll need: ¼ cup of bicarbonate of soda, 1 tsp of salt, and some water, sponge (or maybe a wire scrubber, depending on how tough the stains are!)
Method: Add water to the bicarbonate of soda until a paste is created. Then, cover the oven in the mixture and leave it overnight. Scrub away the next day.
15. Drain Cleaner:
What you’ll need: bicarbonate of soda, white vinegar
Method: pour a generous amount of bicarbonate of soda into the drain. Follow this with some white vinegar. After 10-15 minutes, pour boiling water down the drain to wash the muck away.
16. Stain Remover:
What you’ll need: ¼ cup of white wine vinegar, ¼ cup of bicarbonate of soda, a little castile soap, and 2 cups of water, spray bottle
Combine all of these into a spray bottle, shake and then spray! Wipe down the residue with a cloth once the stain has been removed. For extra tough stains, leave the solution on the surface for a little longer before wiping away.
17. Furniture Polish:
What you’ll need: lemon oil, ½ cup of warm water, spray bottle
Method: add a few drops of the oil into warm water, mix well and spray onto the cotton directly or onto the cloth. Wipe the furniture with the cloth and to dry, wipe again with a soft dry cloth.
18. Dishwasher Soap:
What you’ll need: ½ cup of liquid castile soap, ½ cup of water, 1 teaspoon of lemon juice, 3 drops of essential oil, ¼ cup of white vinegar
Method: stir the water and the soap together. Then, add the rest of the ingredients and stir until blended. Transfer into a glass bottle for storage. Use 2 tablespoons per load.
What you’ll need: water, baking soda, sponge, toothbrush
Method: mix together 1 part water with 3 parts of baking soda into a paste. Apply to grout and let sit. Scrub the tile with a toothbrush, and remove the residue with a sponge.
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Get creative, and hope to see you next week
Written by Leah Bennett