We just got back from a three week cross-country road trip. It’s good to be home after driving over 50 hours in the last three weeks! But the house felt a bit stuffy and was full of dust bunnies when we first arrived, so I thought it would be a good time to do a floor to ceiling cleaning. I do this every few months, about 3-4 times per year.
I like to make my own DIY products (like my homemade deodorant and other beauty products), including cleaning products for all around the house. Even brands that are supposed to be non-toxic and free from mystery ingredients may be green-washing and still contain toxic ingredients. There is growing scientific evidence that shows that indoor air is way more polluted than outdoor air in even the biggest, most industrialized cities. Commercial cleaning products (along with chemicals found in furniture, building materials, beauty products, central heating and cooling) are the problem.
What did moms do back in the day and what should we do now? Clean with natural ingredients that are safe for our families. Here are my favorite homemade cleaning recipes:
I keep a big 5 gallon bucket filled with combined borax and washing soda (1 55 oz. box of washing soda to 1 65 oz. box borax) and use this in the laundry. Since it’s already mixed together I take a heaping teaspoon from here and use it in my all-purpose cleaner. These are the same ingredients I use in my homemade laundry detergent, along with castile soap, and they work really well to deodorize and remove dirt, grease, and grime.
- 1 heaping tsp combined borax & washing soda
- 1 tsp castile soap
- Essential oils (boost cleaning and disinfecting power and smell wonderful) – I like lavender, peppermint, orange, lemon, and tea tree and use 10-20 drops.
- 2 c warm water
Here is an interesting article about why distilled water may be best for cleaning. What I do is boil my filtered water, wait for it to cool a bit and then pour into a glass spray bottle along with the rest of the ingredient. Shake well and you’re ready to go.
I use this homemade cleaning recipe in the kitchen, bathroom, and on wall and floor stains (do not use on wood!). It also works great on the kids’ play table when there’s stuck-on food, etc.
Toilet Bowl Cleaner
I love a good, clean bathroom and can’t stand dirty toilets. The best way I’ve found to clean, deodorize, and remove stains from the toilet bowl is to pour about 1 cup of baking soda around the rim of the bowl, let it sit for 30 minutes or overnight and then pour in a cup of white vinegar. The baking soda and vinegar will react and bubble. I then also scrub with a toilet brush and flush.
I use hydrogen peroxide spray (or the all-purpose cleaner) to sanitize the rest of the toilet.
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 cup white vinegar
I use a 2:1 ratio of water to vinegar solution in a glass spray bottle. First I dust the windows and frames, then spray the glass and use a microfiber cloth to wipe clean. I sometimes use another dry microfiber cloth to pickup any leftover lint and dry the surface well.
I use the same recipe I use for my glass cleaner along with 10-20 drops of my favorite essential oils for cleaning: lavender, peppermint, lemon, orange, and tea tree. I also love infusing lemon and orange peels in vinegar for a natural citrus scent.
This is, by far, my favorite way to do laundry. Besides Charlie’s Soap (which some people question its ingredients), this is the only recipe I’ve found to really, thoroughly deodorize and clean cloth diapers and remove stains.
What I do is buy four boxes each of borax and washing soda (eight boxes total) and combine them in a five gallon bucket. I keep a tablespoon scoop in the bucket and use 2-4 tablespoons per load, along with 1/2-1 tablespoon of castile soap.
Do you make your own homemade cleaning products? Why or why not? I’d love to hear from you in the comments.