We love a clean home almost as much as we hate cleaning it, but we digress. Keeping a clean home is important and what you choose to keep it clean with is just as significant. When it comes to household cleaning, we admit that we used to be guilty of thinking that the smellier the cleaning product was, the better it worked. The overpowering chemical smell ticked a box off in our minds that if the product smelled like it could kill us, then it could probably do a good enough job on the tiny germs living on the bathroom floor, right? However, overtime, we’ve come to realize that many ‘basic’ household cleaners are anything but basic when it comes to their composition. Many cleaners are made up of dozens of chemicals and solutions, most of which, are overkill to fulfil the simple purpose of killing off small germs.
Think about it: you wouldn’t squirt that chemical-filled household cleaner with a dozen “do not ingest” warnings into your mouth, so why would you spray it on your kitchen countertop that will touch the same food that you will ingest later?
Making the switch to all-natural cleaners is more often safer and far less smelly. So too, all-natural cleaners are also are better for our planet! However, buying these all-natural, eco-friendly products in the store can be incredibly expensive. That is why we want to share how to make your own! Simple and effective all-natural cleaners only require a few ingredients and chances are that you already own most of them. Here is how to make three all-natural cleaners that are safe, inexpensive, and more sustainable:
Vinegar All-Purpose Cleaner
Vinegar is a great cleaner for everyday use. When it comes to wiping down general surfaces, vinegar does a good job of keeping things fresh. And don’t worry about the vinegar smell! When you mix vinegar with essential oils, the scent from the oils quickly quashes the sour vinegar scent! Here is how to make an all-natural, all-purpose cleaner using vinegar:
- 1 cup distilled water
- 1 cup white distilled vinegar
- 1/2 lemon juiced (optional)
- 15 drops lavender, peppermint, orange, or lemon essential oil
- Glass bottle with squirt nozzle
- Combine all ingredients into a glass bottle (plastic can erode due to the harsh vinegar over time, and isn’t as green of a choice!)
- Shake the contents to mix and then use
- If you added lemon juice, store bottle in the fridge for up to two weeks. If you didn’t add lemon juice, store in a cabinet until the vinegar’s expiration date.
While vinegar is a highly effective cleaning agent, keep in mind that it won’t kill heavy duty germs. We highly recommend that you use vinegar-based cleaning products as a substitute for your day-to-day surface cleaners and not in place of some of the more serious stuff, like bleach, if you have a larger germy mess to tackle.
Well loved pans usually have a thick coating of grease on them that collects overtime, no matter how hard we try to prevent it. Stop the endless scrubbing that does next to nothing to remove the pudge and don’t reach for a chemical-loaded cleaner to melt it away, either. Instead try this very simple tactic using just ONE ingredient: salt!
- ⅛ cup thick rock or kosher salt
- ⅛ cup fine or table salt
- Mix the two salt types together and put the mixture into a dry pan
- Using a scrubbing sponge or bristle brush, scrub the dry salt in circular motions (without adding water) on the pan until the grease begins to cut.
Salt acts almost like sandpaper does, so when you rub the salt onto a greasy surface, the crystals act like an abrasive to slough away grease from the pan’s surface.
Sink Drain Cleaner
Unclog a stuffed-up drain without the heavy-duty cleaners that melts, yes melts, away the blockage with chemicals and try this safer alternative instead! Here’s how to unclog a drain using natural products:
- 2 cups boiling water
- 1 cup baking soda
- ½ cup vinegar
- Small pan lid
- Add ½ cup of baking powder down the drain
- Add the water to the drain while it’s still hot
- Add the last half of the baking powder down the drain and follow it immediately with the ½ cup of vinegar. Quickly place a small pan lid over the drain to avoid any of the remaining boiling water in the drain from spurting out.
The combination of the hot water, vinegar and baking soda will cause a natural chemical reaction that will make everything bubble up (think back to 3rd grade science fair volcanoes!). This bubbly reaction will cause a lot of movement and will quickly shove whatever is clogging the drain out of the way.
And there you have it: simple, cost-effective cleaners that are all-natural and work! Cleaning your house doesn’t need to involve plastic bottles that all reek of chemicals, nor does it need to be expensive. These easy, DIY cleaners are a good replacement to many of the products you use now and we hope that you enjoy making the eco-friendly switch over! Happy cleaning!