DIY natural cleaning products

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I proudly stood over my kitchen floor. It was clean — the strong armed man on the bottle label assured me it was.

Then something happened that changed my life: my newly-mobile daughter crawled past me, put her hand on the still-damp floor and put it straight into her mouth. She ate chemicals, chemicals I had just put within her reach. I had child locks on the cabinets that stored toxic cleaners but this was putting those very same toxins right at her level and in her body.

I had recently bought a DIY natural cleaning book but it had just sat on my shelf. Now I had the motivation I needed to get the dangerous chemicals out of my home and replace them with natural cleaners I could make myself with a few simple ingredients all while saving money.

It’s been over three years since that day and I have not looked back. I’m still adding products to my repertoire (I found some new ones while researching this post) and learning, learning, learning. I like to keep it pretty simple and prefer to use just a couple of multi-purpose rather than single-purpose cleaners. I don’t have time or space for one cleaner for the bathroom and one for the kitchen. Keeper of the Home has a great comprehensive list so if you’re looking for something specific I suggest you look there.

When I started out I made a multi-purpose cleaner with vinegar and Dr. Bronner’s Pure Castile Soap. While most DIY cleaners use these ingredients, they DO NOT go together. According to this post on the Dr. Bronner’s blog when combined they make soap scum (not what we’re going for here, people). So I searched (and searched and searched) for a recipe that doesn’t call for both of them and I found this one at GNOWFGLINS and really like it. It’s great on most surfaces and isn’t streaky. I’ve even used it on the floor with great results. I also am really interested in this multi-purpose citrus cleaner, though I have yet to try it. Let me know if you do!

While water and a good quality microfiber cloth clean most windows and mirrors, this glass cleaner is great for flecks of toothpaste and smudges from little hands. And for those really hard jobs? This soft scrubber works wonders.

And if the convince of disinfecting wipes has a strong hold on you, give these disinfecting cloth wipes a try. You could probably adapt them to work with a roll of paper towels instead of cloth if you don’t want to do the extra laundry.

And if you’re really hardcore (full disclosure: I’m not) here’s a printable cleaning schedule that breaks down every area of the house into daily, weekly, monthly and yearly chores.

I wrote a post about detoxing your laundry and shared my favorite DIY detergents there.

You can also follow my Pinterest board, I’m Going to Clean with This, that I update and keep specific ideas, like how to clean the dishwasher and how to correctly fold a fitted sheet (how did I not know that?!?!)

With a few simple ingredients you can clean your  entire home for pennies and take comfort in knowing your home is not only clean, but safe.

On Friday I’m sharing about why I keep my house (relatively) clean. I hope to see you there!

Do you use natural or make your own cleaning products? Please share in the comments!

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7 thoughts on “DIY natural cleaning products

  1. I make my own cleaning products, all thanks to you! Once I’m back in Canada, I think I’ll have to find a copy of that natural cleaning book that I borrowed from you; it was super helpful.

    For the most part, I just use vinegar and baking soda (or a combination thereof) for everything. Cleaning counters, unclogging drains, scrubbing the bathtub, and even washing hardwood floors.

    I don’t mind the smell of vinegar (probably because I grew up in a home where my mother was often pickling things), but I recently bought a few essential oils to make things smell even better. Lemon and tea tree oil are two of my favourite scents, so I bought those essential oils to start.

    • Tea tree oil is great! I’ve added it to some cleaners for it’s disinfecting qualities. I’d love to get more into using essential oils in all areas of my home.

      That book really was a great starting point!

      And I love that vinegar reminds you of your mom pickeling.

  2. I pretty much just use a half and half of vinegar and water with some peppermint and tea tree for everything……I have no idea if those ratios are good or not though! I use it on countertops, to pre treat laundry stains and for floors. Aaron just got me a bunch of essential oils for my birthday, plus a book on their use, so I’m excited to get more into that world!

  3. Thanks for this post, I’m wanting to try and making a few cleaners once I use up what I have. A friend of mine make the citrus one and it sounds super easy to make but I never eat oranges that much!

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