Non Toxic Homemade Cleaning Recipes
Are you looking for safe and cheap homemade cleaning recipes? Cleaning your home with natural, non-toxic cleaners helps keeps your ecological footprint low, saves you money, and creates a safer home for children and pets. Consider how much money you can save by utilizing eco-friendly substances already on hand (which you can also purchase in bulk!), rather than purchasing a specialized cleaning product for each part of your home.
#1 – White distilled vinegar
- Use undiluted or diluted vinegar to disinfect and deodorize kitchen and bathroom surfaces, floors, sinks and tubs.
- Use on carpet stains to effectively blot out color or burn marks.
- Add a cup of vinegar to the final rinse cycle to act as a fabric softener and to remove soap residues.
- Clean windows with diluted vinegar (then dry and buff with crumpled newspaper).
- Soak dishcloths and dishtowels in equal parts vinegar and water overnight to remove stains and prolong fiber life.
- Avoid using undiluted vinegar on marble, as the acid can corrode it!
#2 – Baking soda
- Sprinkle over carpets to deodorize, leave for an hour and then vacuum.
- Sprinkle inside garbage cans before putting in a bag—swill with water after removing a full bag.
- Add a tablespoon to cut flower water to prolong life—change water every few days.
- Substitute half of your laundry powder soap with baking soda—this will use fewer chemicals, make your detergent powder last longer, as well as make the detergent more effective.
- Place a saucer of baking soda in the refrigerator to absorb odors, change regularly—pour the old baking soda down the kitchen drain and follow with a kettle of boiling water to clean and deodorize drains.
- Combine with water and soak in teacups and teapots to remove tea stains.
#3 – Lemons
- Swirl lemon juice around to deodorize glass water bottles and jars.
- Use juice to disinfect and clean wooden cutting boards (wooden boards are more ecologically sound than plastic ones).
- Make lemon-scented dusting cloths by wrapping peeled lemon rind up in a clean, dry rag and then placing in a closed glass jar until use.
#4 – Eggshells
- Crush and combine with baking soda and water to make a fantastic abrasive cleaner for hard-to-reach places such as glass decanters and long bottles.
- Eggshells are also a great fertilizer for plants because of their mineral content; they are easy to crush up and sprinkle in pots of household plants or in gardens.
#5 – Mild, natural bar soaps
- Use a bar of Castille or ivory soap as a stain stick to treat stains before putting into the laundry.
- Use as a gentle and eco-friendly hand soap in the kitchen & bathroom.
- Any natural bar soap works wonders for skin—try Burt’s Bees brand, or handmade soaps from a market.
#6 – Epsom salts
- Use mixed with a little water as an abrasive scrub in the home.
- Also does wonders in the garden as a commercial fertilizer substitute—Epsom salts are high in magnesium and give natural nutrients to flowers and edibles without adding petroleum to the soil.
- They are also proven to promote a greater yield in both flowers and edible fruits and vegetables than commercial fertilizers.
#7 – Beeswax
- Purchase natural beeswax polish to use as a polish/wax for wooden furniture and tabletops. Furniture polish sprays create a shiny, impenetrable glaze over wood, whereas beeswax feeds the grain of the wood with a deeper, richer luster.
- Another alternative is a drop of olive oil.
Bonus household cleaning tips:
- Soft cotton cloths
- Keep old white cotton shirts, dresses and towels to clean with.
- Cotton is a reusable and natural fiber, and is a far superior alternative to paper towels.
- As mentioned, a great way to reuse old newspaper is to buff glass windows with it after spraying with vinegar water.
- Newspaper absorbs oils or remaining residues and leaves windows free of streaks, with a nice sparkle.
- Essential oils
- Adding a small drop of essential oil to homemade cleaners or after deodorizing surfaces offers a pleasant lingering scent.
- Nice and comparatively cheap scents are lavender, citrus or clove.
Additional resources and references:
- A Guide to Green Housekeepingby Christina Strutt
- Non-Toxic Housecleaningby Amy Kolb Noyes
- Green Housekeepingby Ellen Sandbeck
- Vinegar: Over 400 Various, Versatile, and Very Good Uses You’ve Probably Never Thought Ofby Vicki Lansky
- Baking Soda: Over 500 Fabulous, Fun, and Frugal Uses You’ve Probably Never Thought Of by Vicki Lansky