The image of home hygiene for many people looks like a never-ending cycle of buying cleaning products from the supermarket, rubbing and scrubbing until they finally give up and soon – it starts all over again. As a result, your appliances and surfaces around the home get into the shiny state for a while, but on the other hand, the caustic chemicals slowly destroy their integrity. You may not notice this while your interior is new, but it will show in the long term.
To avoid these future damages and the dangers chemical cleaners pose for your health, here is a collection of clever tricks to create eco-friendly and non-toxic cleaning products:
For the Kitchen
Lazy Oven Cleaner
If the unpleasant fumes coming after cleaning your oven with common chemical products disturb you, then the following simple recipe is just your ticket. It will enable you to make your very own natural oven cleaner using stuff that is already present in your kitchen cabinets. And the best part is, that applying it is easy and won’t require any scrubbing.
- 1 cup bicarbonate of soda
- 1 cup white vinegar
- Spray bottle
Pour the white vinegar into the spray bottle. Apply the bicarbonate of soda to your oven interior and spray it generously with the vinegar. When the vinegar and soda touch, they will start fizzing and foaming. Wait for at least an hour, and for even better results, leave it to work overnight. Then, just wipe it all off and rinse the surface with water. That’s it – easy, efficient and green!
Green All-Purpose Cleaner
Having a very good and mild all-purpose cleaner is of top importance. After all, there are many types of surfaces in our kitchens, and we need something, which would be able to clean and disinfect them all without damaging the specific material the surface is made from. This great recipe for an all-purpose cleaner is perfect for almost every surface. It’s a citrus cleaner, so you’ll also get a very nice smell from the whole thing. So, all you need is some salt, orange peels, white vinegar and water.
First, cut the orange peels and fill a glass container with them. Then add some salt to them and let it sit for about 30 minutes. This will extract the oils out of the orange and make the solution stronger. Then fill the container with equal parts of water and vinegar. Put a lid on the container and let this solution sit for two or three weeks. After that, you can pour it into a spray bottle and use it.
Homemade Drain Cleaner
If your sink drain is clogged or you just believe it doesn’t work as it did before, here is a simple solution. Prepare a mix of a quarter cup of bicarbonate of soda and half a cup of vinegar and throw it down the drain. After it’s been there for no less than 30 minutes, you can pour plenty of hot water all over the sink. This will unclog the drain and take care of any unpleasant smells.
DIY Dishwasher Cleaner
Dishwashers do a great job of cleaning our dishes, but the products they use often contain chemicals and are not very efficient. Here is a green and easy recipe, which will help you disinfect your dishes and kill any smells in the dishwasher.
All you need is one-cup borax, one-cup washing soda, half a cup of salt and around 15 drops of essential oil of choice. Mix all these ingredients in an airtight container and use 1-2 tablespoons per load. Store away from sunlight. For even better results, you can add half a cup of white vinegar to the rinse cycle; it will make the dishes shine and disinfect the dishwasher at the same time.
For the Bathroom and Laundry
Soft Cleaning Scrub
Nobody likes scrubbing. It takes lots of effort and powers we don’t possess. However, with this soft scrub made from natural ingredients, the scrubbing is a lot easier and more effective. All you need is to mix some baking soda with some laundry soap and grapefruit seed extract until you create a paste. Then apply it to the surface you need to scrub and remove all the dirt from it with ease. The paste also has a very nice citrus smell, thanks to the grapefruit seed extract. If you cannot find this ingredient anywhere, you can substitute it with a few drops of a citrus essential oil.
Hard Water Stain Remover
This solution is perfect for cleaning all kinds of stains caused by hard water from the toilet bowl and the sink without the need to scrub heavily.
- 1 cup white vinegar
- A quarter cup Epsom salt
- 1 tablespoon liquid dish soap
- Citrus essential oil
Mix all the above-mentioned ingredients into a bottle, close it and shake it well to dissolve the salt. Pour the solution into the toilet bowl, let it work for half an hour and scrub with a soft brush a little, to make sure all the particles loosen. Then flush everything away.
Green Tile Cleaner
The easiest recipe for making your own cleaning product includes vinegar, baking soda and water. You just put these three ingredients inside a spray bottle and spray. The vinegar will act as a degreasing agent, while the baking soda will help you scrub all the stubborn stains and remove all the strong odours from the surface. If you want to achieve better results, you should leave the solution on the tiles for a couple of minutes, so it can dissolve all the build-up dirt and make it easier for you to wipe it later.
DIY Laundry Detergent
Most laundry detergents contain harsh chemicals, which can act as allergens for some people, and especially babies. Even the natural versions often contain borax, which, even though considered harmless, is not the perfect alternative for babies. Here is a borax-free recipe:
- 2-3 bars grated Castile soap
- 1 cup washing soda
- Half a cup baking soda
- A quarter cup of salt
- 10-20 drops of citrus essential oil
First mix the dry ingredients, then add 10-20 drops of essential oil and stir everything. Place the mixture in an airtight container. You can also place a desiccant in the container; this will keep the moisture away. Use 1-2 tablespoons per a load of laundry.
For the Living Areas
Natural Wood Polish
Wooden furniture can be tricky to clean because you need something strong enough to capture the dust without leaving scratches and gentle enough to polish the wood without causing damage. The balanced vinegar-olive oil solution can help you with that:
- 1 cup distilled water
- Half a cup white vinegar
- 5 tablespoons olive oil
- A few drops essential oil of choice
- Spray bottle
- Soft cloth
Mix all the ingredients mentioned in a spray bottle and shake well. Never spray the solution directly onto the wood, because this can damage it. Instead, spray onto the soft cloth and then wipe the furniture clean.
Easy Silver Cleaner
Silver, even though it’s very pretty, can be very frustrating, because it easily develops tarnish, stains and gets scratches all the time. The most important silver cleaning rule is to do it as often as possible. Items you wear daily should be polished at least once a week, and your silverware should be stored properly and polished at least twice a year. Here’s a neat green cleaning trick for silver:
- Boiling water
- Some aluminium foil
- 1 cup of baking soda
- Small amounts of salt
- A clean cloth
Line the inside of the bucket with the foil and place it in the bathroom. Place the silver you want to clean inside. Pour the boiling water into the bucket and add the baking soda and salt. Leave it for about an hour and the tarnish will dissolve on its own. After that, dry and polish the silver with a clean soft cloth.
Green Window Cleaner
Finding the perfect window cleaning solution for your windows is a very difficult task because many products leave residue and visible streaks. This is a natural and yet very strong window cleaning solution, which will remove even the most stubborn stains from the glass. In order to create it, you’ll need to mix 2 cups of rubbing alcohol with around ¾ gallon of water, stir them together, and after that add half a cup of ammonia, 1 tablespoon of liquid dish detergent, and fill the rest of the bucket with water. Once all the ingredients are mixed together, you can apply it on the window, wait for a minute, wipe off all the bigger stains or sand spots, and after that repeat the process with a squeegee.
Carpet Stain Remover
Vacuum clean thoroughly and treat stains and spills with a mixture of water and vinegar (keeps colours from running), or water and mild dishwashing liquid. If you are trying a DIY carpet cleaning recipe, test it on an area that’s not visible. See how the carpet ‘reacts’ and only after that apply on the visible surface. Vacuum clean often as accumulated dust, crumbs and particles can rub against the carpet fibres and ruin them for good. When a spill occurs, make sure you tend to it immediately.