How to make natural cleaners
Are you considering switching to natural cleaners? It’s arguably the most sustainable way to clean your home, though getting it right can be tricky. To give you a helping hand, we’ve shared how to make natural cleaners and the best ways to use them.
Benefits of making natural cleaners
While commercial cleaning products have been designed to make domestic life easier, they’re often loaded with chemicals and toxic ingredients. If that’s something that makes you uncomfortable, it’s worth taking a look at the offerings from green cleaning brands.
However, you also need to be aware of ‘greenwashing.’ This is a marketing ploy many brands use to make consumers think they’re being more environmentally friendly than they really are. For example, they’ll release a range of ‘eco-friendly’ products, as a way of disguising wrongdoings elsewhere in their business.
If you want to avoid all the uncertainty, the best thing you can do is make your own natural cleaners. There are many benefits to this including:
- Saving on the cost of cleaning products
- Transparency – you know exactly what ingredients are in your natural cleaners
- It’s better for the environment
- Natural cleaners are non-toxic – therefore, better for your home and health
- They’re not tested on animals
- No synthetic scents
You may be interested to hear that natural cleaners are just as effective as store-bought chemical cleaners. In fact, many of them can disinfect, as well as clean, which is very beneficial, especially in the current (COVID) climate.
How to make natural cleaners using bicarbonate of soda
Bicarbonate of soda (or baking soda as they call it in the States) is a fantastic natural cleaner that can be used on a wide range of surfaces. With antibacterial and antimicrobial properties, it not only cleans surfaces but kills germs too.
The best way to clean with bicarbonate of soda is to mix it with water and create a paste. It’s particularly effective for bathroom cleaning and will get rid of any mildew. You can also use it in the kitchen to get rid of all sorts of stains and revive tarnished silver.
Deodorising with bicarbonate of soda
Bicarb is great for getting rid of unpleasant scents. Sprinkle it over your mattress, fabric sofas and carpets, leave it for a while and then vacuum it up. You’ll quickly notice how much better everything smells, as bicarbonate of soda neutralises all odours. Additionally, you can place a cup of bicarbonate of soda in your fridge to keep it fresh and sprinkle it into the bottom of your bin to get rid of any lingering smells.
What not to use bicarbonate of soda on
While bicarbonate of soda is a wonderful natural cleaner, there are some surfaces it shouldn’t ever be used on including:
- Mirrors and glass
- Ceramic stovetops
- Wood furniture
- Wooden floors
The reason being that bicarbonate of soda is abrasive and scratchy in nature. Using it on any of these materials or surfacers could cause permanent damage.
White vinegar natural cleaners
Like bicarbonate of soda, white vinegar will also clean and disinfect your home, thanks to its antibacterial and antimicrobial properties. Mixed with water (equal parts), it makes a great window and glass cleaner. You can also use it for:
Floor cleaning (providing it’s not a stone or waxed floor) – Add 1/2 cup of white vinegar to a bucket with half a gallon of warm water and use it to mop your floor.
Microwave cleaning – Mix a 1/4 cup of white vinegar with a cup of water in a microwaveable bowl. Set the microwave to run until steam appears on the window. Use a clean cloth to wipe out the inside of the microwave.
Dish and glass cleaning – Add 1 1/2 cups of white vinegar to the bottom of your dishwasher. Fill it with dishes and glasses and put it on a regular cycle, with your usual detergent. The dishes and glasses will end up super clean with added shine.
Deodorising kitchen drain – Pour a cup of white vinegar down your kitchen sink every week to get rid of unpleasant smells.
Carpet stains – White vinegar is great for getting rid of coffee, red wine and tea stains on carpets. Deal with spillages as quick as you can, using a clean cloth to blot excess liquid. Next, flush with white vinegar and rinse with water. Continue to blot and repeat until the stain has vanished. Read more carpet cleaning tips here.
Soap scum – Mix equal parts white vinegar and water in a spray bottle. Spray your shower door, shower tray and bathtub and use a soft-bristled brush to gently scrub away soap scum.
Not keen on the smell of white vinegar? Try adding lemon peel to your spray bottle to give it a pleasant citrusy-scent.
What not to use white vinegar on
White vinegar is highly acidic, which makes it extremely effective in cutting through grease and grime but also very damaging on some surfaces, including:
- Granite and marble worktops (use a mild washing up liquid instead)
- Natural stone floors (use a special stone cleaner)
How to make natural cleaners using lemon juice
Lemon juice is a fantastic natural cleaner due to its low PH, high acidity and antibacterial properties. What’s more, it has a lovely citrus scent that will leave your home smelling clean and fresh!
Laminate worktops, flooring and glass – Pour a little lemon juice into a spray bottle and dilute it with water.
Cut through grease – Mix lemon juice with washing up liquid to boost its degreasing ability. You can also rub lemon juice onto grease-marked clothes and leave overnight to lift the stain.
Chopping boards – Sprinkle salt and squeeze half a lemon over a chopping board, rubbing in the juice as you go. Leave it to sit for 10 minutes, before rinsing with water and wiping dry with a clean cloth.
Sanitising and deodorising – Diluted lemon juice solutions are also great for sanitising and deodorising everything from toilet bowls to lunch boxes!
While lemon juice can be used to clean most surfaces and materials, it’s always best to do a small patch test on a hidden area first. Avoid using lemon juice on natural stone (worktops and flooring) and anything that is brass-plated as it will damage them.
Other natural cleaners
Olive oil – Olive oil is a good natural cleaner to have at your disposal for loosening stains and nourishing surfaces. Try using it on stainless steel to remove grime and restore shine. It can also be used to revive tired-looking leather and condition wooden worktops.
Castile soap – An all-natural cleaner, Castile is free from animal fats and great for cutting through grime. Mix it with water to create an effective multipurpose cleaning spray. It can also be used to wash clothes, pets and even your own body!
How to make natural cleaners safely
When it comes to making natural cleaners, you need to take great care when mixing ingredients. Hence why we’ve only shared natural cleaning supplies, mixed with water.
Mixing certain products together can be extremely dangerous and detrimental to your health. For example, you should never mix bleach with any other products. The toxic fumes created can kill you.
Please take great care when making your own natural cleaners and ensure that you store them correctly and out of the reach of children.