Commercial, chemical-based cleaning products are not only pricey but can also cause long-term health concerns for your family and the environment. There are many natural and inexpensive alternatives to cleaning your home. Below is a list of environmentally safe products, which can be used alone or mixed together.
Note: Before using any of the following products or formulas, test in a small or hidden area if possible. Always use caution when using new products in the home. Results may vary and cannot be guaranteed to be 100% safe and effective.
- Diluted White Vinegar: Mildly acidic white vinegar dissolves dirt, soap scum, and hard water deposits from smooth surfaces, yet it’s gentle enough to use in solution to clean hardwood flooring. White vinegar is a natural deodorizer, absorbing odors instead of covering them up. With no coloring agents, white vinegar won’t stain grout on tiled surfaces. Because it cuts detergent residue, white vinegar also makes a great fabric softener substitute for families with sensitive skin. In the kitchen, use a vinegar-and-water spray to clean countertops, lightly soiled range surfaces, and backsplash areas. In the bathroom, spray countertops, floors, and exterior surfaces of the toilet.
- Undiluted White Vinegar: Used straight from the jug, undiluted white vinegar makes quick work of tougher cleaning problems involving hard water deposits or soap scum. Use it to clean the inside of the toilet bowl. Before you begin, dump a bucket of water into the toilet to force water out of the bowl and allow access to the sides. Pour undiluted white vinegar around the bowl and scrub with a toilet brush to remove stains and odor. Use a pumice stone to remove any remaining hard water rings. Clean showerheads that have been clogged with mineral deposits with undiluted white vinegar. Place 1/4 to 1/2 cup vinegar in a plastic food storage bag, and secure the bag over the showerhead with a rubber band. Let stand for 2 hours to overnight, then rinse, and buff the fixture.
Baking soda’s mild abrasive action and natural deodorizing properties make it a powerful replacement for harsh commercial scouring powders. Sprinkle baking soda onto a damp sponge to tackle grimy bathtub rings, scour vanity units or remove food deposits from the kitchen sink.
Keep the bathroom drains running freely and smelling sweet by pouring 1/2 to 3/4 cup baking soda into the drain, and dribbling just enough hot water to wash the solution down. Let stand for 2 hours overnight, and then flush thoroughly with hot water (do not use on blocked drains).
Rubbing (isopropyl) alcohol rivals commercial window and glass cleaning solutions. Use it on windows, mirrors, chrome fixtures, and for a shiny finish on hard-surface ceramic tiles.
An alkaline solution and clear ammonia create a stronger window and all-purpose cleaning recipe than acidic vinegar.
Green Cleaning Recipes
Homemade cleaning products offer many advantages to cost-conscious households. Using on-hand ingredients can be far less expensive than buying commercial cleaners, won’t generate discarded product packaging, and the household avoids exposure to harsh chemicals or toxic ingredients. Try these cleaning recipes as a starting point, increasing or decreasing their strength as your household’s cleaning needs require.
- All-Purpose Cleaner: Mix ½ cup of White Vinegar, and ¼ cup of Baking Soda, into ½ gallon (2 liters) of water. You can store this mixture and use it to remove water-deposit stains on shower stall panels, chrome fixtures, and bathroom mirrors.
- Glass Cleaner: Mix in a spray bottle:
- 1 cup rubbing (isopropyl) alcohol
- 1 cup water
- 1 tablespoon white vinegar (for a stronger cleaner, use 1 tablespoon clear, non-sudsing ammonia instead)
- Bathroom Mold Cleaner: Mix one part hydrogen peroxide (3%) with two parts water in a spray bottle and spray onto moldy areas. Wait at least one hour before rinsing or using the shower. Note: hydrogen peroxide may have a bleaching effect on some items. Make sure you do not spray on cloth shower curtains to avoid staining.
- Carpet Stain Removal: Mix equal parts white vinegar and water in a spray bottle and spray directly on the stain. Let the solution sit for several minutes before cleaning with a brush/sponge and soapy water. For fresh grease spots, sprinkle cornstarch on the spot and wait 15-30 minutes before vacuuming.
- Deodorizing Solutions
- Soak smelly plastic food and beverage containers in warm water and baking soda.
- Grind up lemon and orange peels in the in-sink garbage disposal
- Sprinkle baking soda all over the carpet several hours before vacuuming
Homemade Floor Cleaner Recipes
When it comes to getting your floors clean, many of the commercial cleaners you can buy at the store won’t cut it. Not only are they ineffective, but they are full of dangerous chemicals that can make your family sick, not to mention being harmful to the environment.
The great news is that you probably already have all the ingredients you need to make a homemade floor cleaner sitting in your pantry, one that will clean just as well, if not better than a store-bought cleaner.
Using a commercial cleaner when cleaning your floors dramatically contributes to indoor air pollution, which can be an enormous problem for those who suffer from asthma or allergies. They also leave toxic residue behind, which can cause other dangerous health conditions, making your family ill. Making homemade floor cleaners is not only safer, but they are relatively inexpensive to produce.
How to Make Homemade Floor Cleaner
There are many reasons why making a homemade floor cleaner is a good idea. Not only is it better for the environment, but it is safer for your family. Using some basic ingredients that you can find in your kitchen, you can make a cleaner to tackle even the toughest messes without leaving harsh chemicals behind.
1. All Purpose Cleaner Recipe
- Two cups of warm water
- ½ cup white vinegar
- ¼ cup rubbing alcohol
- Three drops of liquid dish soap (make sure it doesn’t contain any antibacterial ingredients, moisturizers, or oxygen bleach)
- 5 – 10 drops of essential oil (e.g. peppermint oil) of your choice
This fantastic cleaner will work on every hard flooring surface in your home. It will work on your hardwood floor, laminate, vinyl flooring, linoleum, and tile. You can even use it on marble and granite. It’s a powerful cleaner for cutting through grime and leaves a gorgeous shine.
Combine the ingredients in a large bowl. Add them to a plastic or glass spray bottle and shake well. Spray the cleaner on the floor and wipe with a mop. You can also combine the ingredients in a bucket, but you’ll have to dump out any leftovers once you’ve finished cleaning the floor.
Note: Don’t swap castile soap for the liquid dish soap as it is an oil-based soap.
Using castile soap will end up leaving your floor full of smears and streaks.
2.) Homemade Wood Floor Cleaner Recipe
- One gallon of hot water
- ¾ cup olive oil
- ½ cup lemon juice
The wood floors in your home can get pretty dirty. You can use warm water and a mop to clean your floors daily. If your wood floor is filthy, you can use this recipe to get it clean. This formula does double duty as it polishes your floor, leaving them with a beautiful natural sheen.
Mix the ingredients in a bucket. Using a mop that you’ve thoroughly wrung out, apply the solution to your floors. Allow it to air dry. The hot water and the lemon juice clean the floors, while the olive oil works to polish them. You don’t need to rinse the solution when you’ve finished, once it’s dry your floors will look great.
3.) Best Disinfecting Floor Cleaner Recipe
- 1-gallon hot water
- ¼ cup Borax
For your floors that need regular disinfecting and deep cleaning, like your bathrooms, this is a great homemade floor cleaner that does a fantastic job of disinfecting. The recipe uses borax, which can you can purchase at your local grocery store, in the laundry aisle, or online.
In a mop bucket, mix the water and Borax. Stir thoroughly to dissolve the Borax. Dip a mop in the bucket and wipe down your floors. Borax is great for cleaning up even the grossest of messes.
4.) Homemade Laminate Floor Cleaner Recipe
- 2 cups hot water
- 2 cups vinegar
- 5-10 drops of essential oil of your choice
Laminate flooring is relatively easy to take care of, but occasionally you may need to clean a mess that requires a bit more cleaning power. If you use the wrong kind of cleaning product, you can end up damaging the finish on your floor. This homemade laminate floor cleaner will clean your laminate floors without damaging them.
Mix the ingredients in a mop bucket or spray bottle. Using a clean mop, soak it in the solution and mop your laminate floors. There is no need to rinse the mixture off. Let it dry.
You can also clean your floors by spraying them with a spray bottle filled with the cleaner, then wiping it off with a mop. You’ll have to rinse your mop in the sink a couple of times when it gets dirty, but this way you won’t have to throw away any unused solution.
5.) DIY Vinegar Floor Cleaner Recipe
- ½ cup warm water
- ½ cup liquid dish soap
- 1 2/3 cup baking soda
- Two tablespoons of distilled white vinegar
The white vinegar you have in your home is extremely versatile and does everything from making pickles tart to shining mirrors. It is also great for cleaning a variety of kinds of flooring. It is strong enough to remove dirt and grime without damaging the finish. Make it even more efficient by adding a little liquid dish soap and baking soda.
Add the ingredients together, stirring until all the clumps are dissolved. Pour the mixture into a spray bottle. Working in small sections, spray the solution onto the floor and mop it off. Be sure to rinse the floor thoroughly with clean water to avoid leaving streaks.
6.) Homemade Natural Tile Floor Cleaner Recipe
- One gallon of hot water
- ¾ cup white vinegar
- 1 cup baking soda
- 1 cup ammonia
If you have tile floors in your home, you can use some common household ingredients to clean away layers of grime, dirt, and dust. The cleaner will help to loosen the dirt while gently cleaning the tiles. The best part is they won’t leave a soapy residue. You can eliminate the need for stronger commercial cleaners by using this cleaner weekly.
Fill a bucket with the ingredients, stirring well to dissolve the baking soda. Pour the mixture into a spray bottle. Working one section at a time, spray the cleaner directly onto your tiles. Mop the floor using a bucket of one cup of vinegar and ten cups of hot water. Allow time to dry.
Cleaning your floors with a natural homemade floor cleaner is an excellent way to go green at home. Using natural ingredients that you can find in your pantry and essential oils can give your entire house a clean, fresh scent while getting rid of dirt, bacteria, and germs.
We’ve provided you with several natural cleaning products that you can make at home. We hope you find them useful and share them with your family and friends.
- “Non-Toxic Home Cleaning” Eartheasy
- “9 Homemade Cleaning Products” HGTV
- “6 Homemade Floor Cleaner Recipes – How to Clean Your Floors” Tips Bulletin