Well the answer is YES, you can make your own cleaners with common household ingredients.
Winter will be upon us before we know it. While we can still get the windows open and let in lots of fresh air, it may be a good time to give your home a freshening up. Happily, we no longer have to search high and low for eco-friendly cleaning products; a wide range has become available everywhere including most grocery stores. Do make sure you buy products with an Environmental Choice or Eco Logo Label, which means they are both non-toxic and biodegradable. Biodegradable is not enough. Some Canadian-made brands with this certification include Attitudeand Bio-Vert as well as better-known names such as La Parisenne with one laundry detergent and a chlorine-free bleach and Hertel with a multi-purpose cleaner.
Here is a list of ingredients and supplies and a few recipes to get you started:
- Distilled white vinegar (acetic acid): Cuts grease, removes stains and is an excellent water softener.
- Baking soda (sodium bicarbonate): Cleans, deodorizes, removes stains and softens fabrics.
- Borax (sodium borate): A natural mineral that kills mold and bacteria. An alternative to bleach, it deodorizes, removes stains and boosts the cleaning power of soap.
- Castile or vegetable oil based soaps: Cleans everything.
- Cornstarch: Starches clothes, absorbs oil and grease.
- Herbs and essential oils: For disinfecting and fragrance.
- Lemon Juice: Cuts through grease and removes perspiration and other stains from clothing. A bleach alternative.
- Salt (sodium chloride): An abrasive.
- Toothpaste: A mild abrasive.
- Olive or vegetable oil
- Microfiber or soft cloths (use old t-shirts)
- Spray bottles and jars, preferably recycled
These 4 basic cleaners will cover most of your cleaning needs!
Glass and window cleaner:
- 1 tsp liquid castile soap
- 3 tbsp vinegar
- 2 cups water
- Shake lightly in spray bottle.
All Purpose Cleaner:
- 1 tsp borax
- 2 tbsp vinegar
- ¼ tsp liquid castile soap
- 2 cups very hot water
- Shake well until dissolved in spray bottle.
Natural Wood Furniture Polish:
- ¼ cup vinegar
- ¼ cup olive or vegetable oil
- 2 tsp lemon juice
Soft Scrub Cleaner:
- Make a paste with equal parts
- baking soda and salt.
Article Written by: Margaret Baird