Natural cleaning recipes are ideal for those of us who wish to clean our homes in a truly “green” way, without the added expense of purchasing a litany of Earth-friendly cleaning products (let’s face it—stores generally charge a premium for anything organic). The following recipes showcase homemade cleaning products which may be used to handle all of your general cleaning needs; for all your other cleaning needs check out Choice Cleaning for the best solutions.
The All-Purpose Cleaner
Out of all of the natural cleaning recipes featured in this guide, this one is likely the cheapest and most applicable for cleaning a diverse array of surfaces. It can entirely replace the need for “antibacterial” cleaners and soaps (many of which have been linked to thyroid damage, water pollution, and cases of MRSA).
To make this solution, simply mix 9 parts water with 1 part white vinegar, in a spray bottle. If you need to handle a particularly difficult job, such as disinfecting a counter top which has been exposed to raw meat, use straight vinegar rather than this diluted solution. If your counter top can handle it without getting damaged or discoloured, you may also consider using a bit of hydrogen peroxide afterwards.
The Tile Cleaner
Conventional tile cleaners are veritable cocktails of contaminants, and contain chemicals which have been linked to cancer, reproductive damage, and hormonal imbalances (notably formaldehyde, toluene, and benzene). As tile cleaners are often used in bathrooms—where the chemicals in them find their way into steam, which is inhaled regularly—this is especially hazardous to human health, as well as being damaging to the planet.
Fortunately, there are many effective natural cleaning recipes to replace conventional tile cleaners, such as this one:
½ cup baking soda
Natural liquid soap (for example, Dr. Bronner’s peppermint)
Optionally, you can add 5 to 10 drops of a natural essential oil of your choice, for scent.
You should add the baking soda to a mixing bowl, then slowly pour in the liquid soap and mix thoroughly (it should look like frosting when complete), then blend in the optional essential oils. Apply the paste to a sponge or other scrubbing instrument and get to work on your tiles; rinse thoroughly when done.
Natural cleaning recipes don’t just cut down on surface contaminants—they can also help to reduce indoor air pollution, such as this recipe for oven cleaner:
2 cups hot water
1 tablespoon natural dish liquid (such as Ecover dishwashing liquid)
1 teaspoon borax
These ingredients should be combined in a spray bottle, sprayed onto the stains(s) that require cleaning, then let sit for about 20 minutes before being wiped off with a damp cloth.
This natural window cleaner is pleasantly easy on the lungs, unlike the store bought variety:
¼ cup vinegar
½ teaspoon natural liquid soap
2 cups water
Once you have mixed the ingredients into a spray bottle, make sure to shake them thoroughly for an even blend. Spray the solution, wipe it off, and squeegee as necessary to remove any excess. This should result in a gleaming, streak-free clean.
Lemon Oil Duster
Conventional dust cleaners are a source of as many irritants as the dust they are designed to clean, along with chemicals which have been linked to hormone imbalances. To avoid these issues, dust instead with this safe, natural solution:
10 drops pure lemon oil
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
A few drops of olive oil
Simply blend the ingredients and apply them to an old cloth.
All-Natural Air Freshener
Conventional air fresheners are both overpowering (causing many sensitive individuals headaches) and full of chemical compounds. Instead of opting for them, try this recipe for a softer, fresher indoor scent:
Several orange peels
2 cinnamon sticks
A pot of water
Boil the orange peels, cloves, and cinnamon sticks in the water, and leave it simmering on the stove for an hour or so. This has the added advantage of moistening dry indoor air.
Multi-Surface Cleaner With Bite
If you have a mess that necessitates a bit more “grit” than what is found in the basic vinegar/water solution, try this stronger, toothier solution:
2 teaspoons borax
1 teaspoon washing soda (be aware that is different from baking soda!)
4 Tablespoons vinegar
½ teaspoon natural liquid soap
¼ teaspoon tea tree oil
8 drops rosemary oil
8 drops tangerine oil
8 drops lavender oil
Dissolve the borax and washing soda into 2 cups of very hot water, strain the mixture through a very fine sieve, and add it to a spray bottle, making sure that there are no lumps of undissolved powder in the bottle. Then, add the rest of the ingredients and shake thoroughly. Add a bit more hot water if needed, then shake one final time.