Homemade Cleaning Products

Create your own homemade cleaning products

By Crystal Stevens

Natural Cleansers Are Abundant!

Vinegar is affordable and eco-friendly. It is acidic and helps remove bacteria, mildew, mold and grease and neutralize odors.

Baking soda is very affordable and also eco-friendly. It helps to clean and scour tough surfaces, neutralize odors and can be used as laundry detergent.

Lemon has antibacterial, antiseptic and antimicrobial properties. Lemon essential oil, fresh lemon and lemon juice concentrate are all effective in cleaning.

Cornstarch can be used to clean windows and shampoo carpets and rugs.

Castile soap, an olive-oil-based soap, can be used to make your own liquid dish soap, body wash and laundry detergent. Made from plant oils plus lye, it is eco-friendly and biodegradable.

Essential Oils and Their Properties

Cinnamon essential oil: antiseptic and antibacterial Eucalyptus essential oil: antiseptic and pesticide Geranium essential oil: antibacterial

Lavender essential oil: antibacterial, antifungal

Lemon essential oil: antibacterial, antiseptic and antimicrobial

Lemongrass essential oil: antiseptic and insecticidal

Oregano essential oil: antibacterial Peppermint essential oil: antiseptic Rosemary essential oil: antiseptic Sage essential oil: antiseptic

Tea tree essential oil: antiseptic and antibacterial

Thyme essential oil: antiseptic and antibiotic

Antibacterial Hand Wipes

1 roll of eco-friendly paper towels or a stack of fabric scraps

3 cups water

1 tall circular wipes container or other plastic cylinder with lid

3 tablespoons natural shampoo or liquid castile soap

2 tablespoons hydrogen peroxide

10 drops lavender essential oil

10 drops tea tree essential oil

Cut the roll of paper towels in half with large scissors or sharp knife. Whisk the wet ingredients together in a large bowl. Pour about half of the mixture into the container. Slowly and carefully place the half roll of paper towels into the container. Pour the remaining mixture gently over the paper towels. Remove the cardboard center by firmly pressing the paper towels down and pulling the cardboard tube out. The hand wipes will stay good for about two months.

Natural Antibacterial Multi-surface Wipes

1 roll of strong, durable eco-friendly paper towels cut in half, or a stack of fabric scraps

2½ cups hot water (boiled, then cooled)

½ cup Simple Green cleaner, or ½ cup vinegar

30 drops tea tree essential oil

20 drops lavender essential oil

2 airtight cylinder or rectangle containers (diaper wipe containers and large coffee canisters work well)

Mix water, Simple Green (or vinegar) and essential oils in a large bowl. Cut the roll of paper towels in half with large scissors or sharp knife. Place each ½ roll (cut side down) in separate airtight cylinder or rectangle containers that will completely cover the roll. (Diaper wipe containers and large coffee canisters work well) Pour the mixture over the paper towels. Remove the cardboard center by firmly pressing the paper towels down and pulling the cardboard tube out. Pull the first paper towel from the center. The wipes should spiral out easily.

Natural All-purpose Cleaning Sprays

The following four recipes can be made directly in a spray bottle. Be sure to label them.

Works well on glass. Mix 2 parts water with 1 part distilled vinegar. Add 10–20 drops lavender essential oil.

Works well on hard-to clean-surfaces. Mix 2 cups water with 2 teaspoons castile soap, 10–20 drops lavender essential oil, and 10–20 drops tea tree essential oil.

General all-purpose spray. Mix 1 cup water with 10–20 drops lavender essential oil and 10–15 drops peppermint essential oil

General all-purpose spray, works well on glass. Mix 2 cups purified water with 3 tablespoons lemon juice, 1 tablespoon vinegar, and 10–20 drops tea tree essential oil. Be sure to label. Use 1 or 2 sprays per cleaning.

Natural Dish Soap

½ cup castile soap

1 cup water

½ cup vinegar

1 teaspoon lemon juice

¼ cup soap base for suds (optional)

20 drops essential oil (lemon and lavender essential oils are antibacterial and antifungal, and smell nice when combined)

Whisk together all ingredients in a measuring cup and funnel into an empty dish soap bottle. Shake well before each use. Be sure to label. Use 1 or 2 squirts per load of hand-washed dishes.

Natural Glass Cleaner

2 cups purified water

4 tablespoons lemon juice

½ cup distilled vinegar

6 drops tea tree essential oil

Funnel all ingredients into a reused spray bottle. Be sure to label. Use 3–5 squirts per cleaning.

A trick my father taught me: instead of paper towels, use recycled black ink newspaper to clean glass. Simply ball it up, spray glass, wipe surface and viola. Streak-free shine!

Natural Liquid Laundry Detergent

2 bars of soap, finely grated with a cheese grater (Fels-Naptha works well as do several smaller soap ends..

2 cups super washing soda

2 cups borax

2 cups baking soda

4 gallons hot water

20–50 drops essential oil (I use lavender, tea tree, lemon and peppermint essential oils)

Melt grated soap in hot water in 5-gallon bucket and stir well. Add remaining ingredients and stir vigorously. You can leave the mixture in the bucket or transfer it to recycled liquid laundry detergent containers. Shake well before each use. Be sure to label. Use 1 cup per load. For extra scent, add 10 drops of your favorite essential oil to each load.

Natural Liquid Laundry Detergent with Castile Soap

3 gallons water

4 cups liquid castile soap

1 cup distilled vinegar

½ cup vegetable glycerin

20 drops lavender essential oil

20 drops tea tree or lemon essential oil

Mix all ingredients together in a 5-gallon bucket. Transfer to recycled liquid laundry detergent containers if you wish. Be sure to label. Shake well before each use. Use ½ cup per medium load, or 1 cup per large load.

Reusable Dryer Sheets

12 squares of scrap fabric (cut to the size of a standard dryer sheet). The more colorful the better so you can recognize them as dryer sheets

10–15 drops of your favorite essential oil

Simply place 10–15 drops of essential oil on 1 square and toss in dryer.

Lavender Dryer Sachets

1 small muslin drawstring bag

Dried lavender

2–3 drops lavender essential oil

Fill the muslin bag with the dried lavender and add the essential oil. Pull the drawstring tightly and knot it a few times. Simply keep the sachet in the dryer. The scent will last for about 20 loads.

Natural Hand Sanitizer

½ cup aloe vera gel

½ cup grain alcohol such as everclear

10 drops tea tree or lemon essential oil

10 drops lavender essential oil

Whisk all ingredients together well in a bowl. Using a funnel, pour the ingredients into an empty plastic bottle. Be sure to label. Use 1 squeeze per use.

Natural Antibacterial Hand Soap

2 cups water

4 tablespoons liquid castile soap

2 teaspoons vegetable glycerin

10–20 drops lavender essential oil

10 drops tea tree or lemon essential oil

Whisk together all ingredients in a measuring cup. Funnel into a reused hand soap pump bottle. Be sure to label. Use 1 or 2 pumps per wash.

Kitchen and Bathroom Cleansers

Scrubbing Powder

2 cups baking soda

10–20 drops of lemon essential oil

Combine ingredients in a large bowl. Add to a reused bottle with a shaker lid. Use to scrub surfaces such as sinks and bathtubs. Be sure to label. Use 1 or 2 shakes per cleaning.

Natural Scouring Gel

1 cup natural dish soap or liquid castile soap

½ cup water

½ cup baking soda

15–20 drops lemon or tea tree essential oil

Whisk ingredients together in a bowl. Funnel into a squeeze container with lid. Be sure to label. Use 1 or 2 squeezes per cleaning.

Pin It on Pinterest