Homemade Household Cleaner DIY Ingredients

This post was most recently updated on March 30th, 2020

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I’m sharing my list of homemade household cleaner ingredients that make great DIY home cleaning products for when you’re short on funds, can’t get hold of commercial products or just want a more natural approach.

natural home cleaning
Bicarbonate soda is just one of the homemade all purpose cleaners in my list


This article has been updated to account for the 2020 events and include the cleaners that have been confirmed to work against the new virus causing the 2020 pandemic.

Best household cleaners against new virus

Only certain cleaning agents have been confirmed to work against the new virus and included in those known to work are these four household products…

#1. Alcohol 60-70%

Alcohol of isopropyl strength is a cleaning agent recommended for use against the new 2020 virus. If you can’t purchase alcohol based sanitizers or wipes you can try making your own.

Alcohol such as rubbing alcohol aka isopropyl is recommended.

Methylated spirits (denatured alcohol) will fall into this category but it’s not recommended for hands as it’s very drying.

#2. Bleach

Household chlorine bleach or hypochlorous acid is another ingredient recommended for use against the new 2020 virus.

It’s advised that you wear gloves when using this product. You need to dilute this according to the instructions…

Source: COVID-19 Aust Gov Dept of Health

#3. Hydrogen peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide can be used in place of household chlorine bleach. It is one of the cleaning agents recommended to fight against the new virus.

It is H2O2 and simply breaks down into water and oxygen compared to chlorine bleach which forms more toxic by-products, such as dioxins and furans.

#4. Soap and liquid soap/detergent

Good old fashioned soap and liquid detergent are also recommended for use against the new 2020 virus. Soap works to deactivate the virus as it breaks down lipids (aka fats and grease) and the virus’ outer layer is made up of lipids.

Best DIY home cleaning products

I rarely buy commercial cleaning products. Instead, I use lemons, bicarb soda, salt, vinegar, eucalyptus oil, hydrogen peroxide, and clove oil.

I found the ideas of Shannon Lush and Jennifer Fleming were cost-saving and also safer and healthier solutions.

#1. Vinegar as an all-purpose natural cleaner

Use in a spray bottle for surfaces. I use it on my tiled floors. It’s recommended for cleaning toilet seats and bowls because it is considered less harsh than commercial sprays that can cause white surfaces to oxidize and yellow.

#2. Lemon as a natural disinfectant

Lemons are great for cleaning stainless steel sinks and making them sparkle. I also use lemon to clean and remove stains from my kitchen laminated bench rather than bleach.

Lemon oil is an insect deterrent and it’s great for keeping cobwebs away also.

#3. Baking Soda as a Make Clean and Deodorizer

Baking soda or bicarbonate is an all-rounder. It’s great for absorbing odours in the refrigerator or bathroom.

Mix it into a paste with water for a homemade cleaning solution in the kitchen and bathroom. It’s also great for absorbing odours in the refrigerator or bathroom.

I also use it for absorbing spills on the carpet. I use an old towel first to soak up most of the moisture. Then I sprinkle a good coating of baking soda (bicarb) over the spill and let it dry. It soaks up the stains. When dry just vacuum.

For limescale, I make up a paste of bicarb soda with 3% hydrogen peroxide and apply to taps (faucets) and this will remove stubborn water stains.

#4. Eucalyptus oil is another all natural disinfectant

Eucalyptus oil is ideal for removing ink marks or sticky residue from labels. I use it for cleaning around door handles and light switches also. It is a natural antimicrobial.

#5. Coconut Oil

Great for cleaning showers including the glass and tiles.

#6. Beeswax

Beeswax makes a natural timber polish and sealer. The recipe I use is 1 part beeswax to 4 parts virgin olive oil.

I use beeswax to make reusable food covers to replace single-use and toxic plastic wrap. I wrote an article on how I make these as well as other ways of making beeswax wraps.

#7. Clove oil is a natural mould inhibitor

A spray of a few drops of clove oil in water is all you need to use as a deterrent to mould.  Clove oil spray is also useful for killing mould, but you’ll need to wait for the mould to fall away with this all-natural cleaner. I quite like its spicy earth smell as well. You can get more tips like this one from Shannon Lush, who has a ton of cleaning tips including homemade cleaner recipes.


#8. Salt

Salt is another natural germ inhibitor. Use this for cleaning wooden cutting boards in the kitchen.

#9. Sunshine is a natural sanitizer

Ultraviolet rays from the sun kill bacteria and other germs. This is the reason why the air-drying of clothes outside in the sunshine has added benefits along with airing rugs and other home soft furnishings outdoors in the sunlight.

Homemade cleaners room by room

These are simple to follow. 

Using ingredients from your pantry helps when you’re short on funds or can’t get those commercial products.

Bathroom

This recipe makes cleaning easy and shower screens sparkle: Mix equal parts white vinegar and gentle dishwashing detergent.

Use a handy cleaning cloth. Pantyhose is a cleaning cloth recommended by Shannon Lush of Speed Cleaning, and I find it is one of the best.

For limescale, I make up a paste of bicarb soda with 3% hydrogen peroxide and apply to taps (faucets) and this will remove stubborn water stains.

Floors

You can use a mixture of half water and half vinegar in a microfiber spray mop, similar to this one at Amazon – See details

It’s a convenient and simple way of doing your floors. If you want to use a normal microfiber mop, just add the vinegar mixture to a spray bottle and spray the floor in sections before you mop.

Laundry

To keep towels soft, just add vinegar to the final rinse. So not only is it an all natural cleaner, but vinegar is also a softener.

Not only is it a green option, but also a much cheaper version than using commercial fabric softeners. It is also a safer option for you and the environment.

It is also a safer option for you and the environment.

Windows

Use a dash of denatured alcohol (methylated spirits) diluted in half a bucket of warm water. You may use it direct but it will evaporate if the weather is hot. Apply to glass windows with (you guessed it) old pantyhose or similar cleaning material. Wipe away the residue with an old towel for streak-free results. I find this works exceptionally, especially after all the window cleaners I’ve tried, that just doesn’t work. About 90% of methylated spirits is ethanol.

A word of caution about methylated spirits: It contains additives to deter people from drinking it. These are mostly 10% methanol, which is highly toxic, but there are also others, like isopropyl alcohol, acetone, methyl ethyl ketone or other substances. So this is not entirely non toxic, however, it is a great economical cleaning product and considered a green homemade cleaning solution.

Everyday home cleaners contain chemical additives that potentially affect our health and the environment.

No doubt, you wouldn’t consciously expose yourself to harmful chemicals. But, that’s what you do when you use everyday cleaning products. The good news is that there are other options.

Naturally better home care

Natural is better for you and the environment most times. The results of decades of research tell us we should seriously think about what we use and spray around in our homes. We should rethink and use what nature provides us in the way of sanitizing and removing grime.

You can call these ‘chemical free’ cleaning products in terms of nasty cocktail types. But, don’t forget not all chemicals are bad. There are chemicals that make us happy.

Important cleaning tip: Take the usual necessary precautions, like wearing gloves and washing hands afterwards. They are meant for cleaning surfaces and though these ingredients are natural and considered safe cleaning products, they may still harm your skin, e.g. through dryness or allergic reaction.

These are some of the best cleaning products because they are simple ingredients. Not only do they save your health, but they save you dollars as well. What non toxic or all natural cleaning products do you have in your cleaning products list?

The not so good chemicals

Evidence from decades of research that avoiding products with ‘nasty’ chemicals will not only benefit us but will also save us dollars.

eco living, eco lifestyle, eco friendly products, nasty chemicals, sustainable living, everyday products

As well as what we spread in our surrounds – if we want to keep this planet great – we need to seriously rethink what we ingest and apply.

There are a number of chemicals that are added to everyday products including in cleaning products. The David Suzuki Foundation names the twelve to watch as triclosan, parabens, formaldehyde-releasing preservatives, parfum, BHA and BHT, dibutyl phthalate, coal tar dyes, PEG compounds, petrolatum, sodium laureth sulfate, siloxanes, and DEA-related ingredients. 

David Suzuki Foundation cites a swathe of supporting studies and regulations (see their reference list ).

Final thoughts

Here’s my list of ingredients for DIY cleaners.

  1. Vinegar
  2. Lemon
  3. Bicarbonate soda (baking soda)
  4. Eucalyptus oil
  5. Coconut oil
  6. Beeswax
  7. Hydrogen peroxide
  8. Clove oil
  9. Salt
  10. Sunshine

A note upfront — Lemon, salt, vinegar and others can be drying to the skin. So when cleaning, take the usual necessary precautions, like wearing gloves and washing hands afterwards.

More on naturally clean products

Sources

Speed Cleaning | Cleaning & Disinfecting Principles For COVID-19 | US EPA Disinfectant List Against Sars-Cov-2

Mary-Anne

Mary-Anne writes about natural lifestyle approaches to dealing with the demands of modern living. Her background is multi-fold. She has a Ph.D. in Ecology and Earth Sciences and over a decade of experience in managing resources of nature. She also has spent over a decade working in social welfare where she witnessed the struggles of everyday people. On a personal level, she's had a fair share of her own life struggles that she sometimes writes about. This places her in a blended position of understanding the value of the wild (nature), human nature and our need for wholesomeness. She believes these are interconnected.

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