Homemade, non-toxic cleaning products for eco-friendly home

non toxic cleaning products

With increase in respiratory allergies and environmental awareness along increased the demand for non-toxic, eco-friendly home products especially cleaning products.

Making a switch to non-toxic, eco-friendly cleaning products is not only more sustainable but it’s also a lot cheaper.

Homemade detergents cost a fraction of a price of their chemical-filled counterpart.

Eliminating unnecessary toxins from your household will enable you and your family to live a much healthier life.

 

ESSENTIAL NON-TOXIC, ECO-FRIENDLY CLEANING SUPPLIES

 

This is the list of common environment-friendly products used for cleaning in green homes.

Here is listed everything you might possibly need when first starting out.

But as you will see most of the cleaning can be done with just baking soda and vinegar.

  • BAKING SODA

Baking soda will become your not-so-secret weapon on a natural cleaning journey. It cleans out grease and proteins(like blood, bodily fluids, dairy products, eggs, and baby food). Being slightly abrasive it is a great scouring agent that will not scratch the surface. Also baking soda neutralizes odours and softens water.

  • DISTILLED WHITE VINEGAR

Vinegar is a powerful natural substance that does a great job of dissolving scale, cleaning soap residue and grease, and prevents the formation of mold. Being mildly acidic it will remove some stains like coffee, tea or rust.

  • ALCOHOL

Alcohol is used for disinfecting. You can choose rubbing alcohol or high proof vodka to do the job.

  • LEMON JUICE

Lemon juice is a strong natural acid, and it is used in many non-toxic, eco-friendly cleaning products.

  • CASTILE SOAP

Unscented mild soap made from vegetable oils. Castile soap is a multi-purpose, biodegradable cleaning agent. It can be used to clean your body, house and even pets.

  • CITRIC ACID

Citric acid is another great ingredient in natural cleaning products. It is antibacterial, cleans proteins, grease, scale, rust and grime. It is versatile and safe since it is also used in cooking as a natural preservative.

  • ESSENTIAL OILS

Essential oils are not necessary and you can absolutely make every recipe without them. Their sole purpose is to give scent to cleaning products. Most commonly used essential oils are citrus oils, eucalyptus, tea tree, lavender, lemongrass.

When the spring comes I always like to use flowery scents to deodorize cleaning products.

 

Check out Functional Aromatherapy Room Spray Recipes for more inspiration.

 

  • WASHING SODA

Washing soda is a stronger alternative to baking soda. It can be easily made at home from baking soda.

It removes stains, grease and softens water. And being stronger than baking soda use it with caution in aerated rooms because it can cause irritation to mucous membranes. Never use on aluminum.

  • HYDROGEN PEROXIDE

Hydrogen peroxide is disinfectant with mild bleaching properties, good for removing any number of stains. It is a non-toxic, eco-friendly alternative to popular chlorine based bleach.

  • VEGETABLE OIL

If you have real wooden furniture and hardwood floors then oil is what you will need for polishing and keeping the wood in good shape. Walnut oil is the one I would personally recommend.

  • CORNSTARCH

Cornstarch is an essential ingredient in the window cleaner. Because it’s a very, very gentle abrasive, and a good absorbent. It will help clean out all the fine dirt from the windows leaving them sparkling clean.

  • DISH SOAP

This one is non-essential so I will just drop it down here. Because it’s a good non-toxic, eco-friendly dish soap that can be used as intended for dishes and as the ingredient in some of the recipes.

 

FEW WORDS ABOUT BORAX.

Because a lot of homemade natural cleaning product recipes contain borax I would just like to put a few facts out there. Borax is fungicide and insecticide, which might sound good but it’s actually toxic for the environment.

And although borax is a natural substance it is very harmful for human health. 

If your aim is to make non-toxic, eco-friendly cleaning products then you should definitely avoid borax.

 

Equip yourself with plenty of eco-friendly, long-lasting cleaning supplies to get started.

  • GLASS SPRAY BOTTLES

Dark tinted glass spray bottles would be the best choice. But in case you don’t want to use the glass, just make sure you always use clean bottles and never reuse plastic bottles that once held toxic chemicals.

Don’t forget to label your bottles with a name and a list of ingredients it contains to make sure you always use the right cleaning product.

loofah sponge

  • SPONGES

Common polyester/plastic sponges are treated with many chemicals (most of which are carcinogen) during production. Luckily there are too many alternatives to choose from.

Cellulose sponges can be used for cleaning all around the house and they are very absorbent, much more than plastic ones.

Silicone dish sponge is great for dishes, it foams, it scrubs off food leftovers, everything your regular dish sponge does.

Loofah sponges are my personal favorite. I use them everywhere and when they get used up I just throw them in a composting bin. 

Melamine sponges are used to clean with just warm water, without the need for a cleaning agent. Although their environmental impact is to be discussed and they are not biodegradable, they are safe to use. I would recommend using them sparingly for cleaning small areas on the walls (for stains from ink, pencils, crayons, markers…) or other surfaces that might get ruined with the use of liquid cleaners 

cleaning cloth

  • CLEANING CLOTHS

Cleaning cloths are a reusable alternative to paper towels. Use them for wiping, cleaning, drying. Also they are excellent for cleaning windows. They are machine washable, super absorbent and biodegradable.

  • MICROFIBER CLOTHS

Microfiber cloths are absolutely a must-have cleaning product. They can be used on every surface and will last you for years. Buy several colors and use a different color for every room.

  • SCOURING PADS

These scouring pads are amazing. They can be used on most surfaces, and dishes. Have a good scrubbing power without scratching. And when you’re finished with them just throw them in a compost bin.

dryer balls

  • DRYER BALLS

Dryer balls will cut down drying time up to 25%, and also reduce wrinkles and lint.  They separate fabrics and relax fibers which makes clothes softer and towels more absorbent.

You can choose between wool dryer balls and rubber dryer balls.

 

RELATED: 10 House Cleaning Hacks for Quick & Efficient Cleaning

 

NON-TOXIC, ECO-FRIENDLY CLEANING RECIPES

non toxic cleaning product recipes

ALL-PURPOSE CLEANERS

  • AP cleaner-vinegar based (for 16oz bottle)

Ingredients:

1½ cup distilled water

½ cup distilled white vinegar

3 tablespoon baking soda

6 drops essential oil of choice

(3 drops eucalyptus essential oil

3 drops tea tree oil

OR

6 drops lavender essential oil

OR

4 drops lemongrass essential oil

2 drops peppermint essential oil)

Instructions:

In a clean spray bottle add baking soda, essential oils and vinegar, when it stops bubbling add water. Close the bottle and mix well. Leave it to stand for 72 hours. Shake well before use.

  • AP cleaner-alcohol based (for 16oz bottle)

Ingredients:

1¾ cup distilled water

¼ cup alcohol

8 drops essential oil of choice

Instructions:

In a clean spray bottle add alcohol and essential oil and mix well. Then add water, close the bottle and mix thoroughly to combine.

  • Cleaning wipes

Ingredients:

1½ cup distilled water

¼ cup alcohol

1 tsp castile soap

20 drops essential oil of choice

30-40 pieces of cloth squares (cut up old cotton sheet or something similar)

Clean wipe container

Instructions:

Fold cloth squares and place them into a wipe container.

If you are unsure how to do that have a look at this video.

In a bowl combine alcohol with essential oils, mix well before stirring in castile soap and water. Pour this liquid over folded cloths in the container and close. Leave it for a few hours so the cloths soak up all the liquid. Wash used clothes and reuse again and again.

  • Soft scrubbing paste

Ingredients:

1½ cup baking soda

½ cup castile soap

5 drops essential oil of choice (optional)

Instructions:

In a bowl mix all ingredients until combined. Store in an airtight container. 

 

FLOOR CLEANERS

  • Universal floor cleaner

Ingredients:

1 gallon warm water

1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar

2 tablespoons dish soap

15 drops essential oil of choice (optional)

Instructions:

In a large bucket mix all the ingredients and use.

  • Hardwood floor cleaner

Ingredients:

1 gallon warm water

2 tablespoons castile soap

10 drops pine essential oil

Instructions:

In a bucket mix all the ingredients and use.

 

CARPET 

  • Carpet refreshing powder

Ingredients:

2 cups baking soda

20 drops essential oil of choice

Instructions:

Thoroughly mix oil with baking soda and sprinkle on the carpet. Leave it to do its magic for a few hours then vacuum.

  • Carpet stain remover

Ingredients:

½ cup distilled white vinegar

½ cup distilled water

Instructions:

In a spray bottle mix vinegar and water. Spray on the stain and leave it for few minutes. With a gentle brush carefully scrub off the stain.

 

WINDOW, MIRROR AND GLASS CLEANER

Ingredients:

1¾ cup distilled water

¼ cup alcohol

6 drops essential oil of choice (optional)

½ tablespoon cornstarch

Instructions:

In a spray bottle add all ingredients, close and shake well to combine. Before each use, shake the bottle then spray. With dry cleaning cloth rub the window/mirror until it’s clear. And remember never to clean windows on a hot sunny day or you will have a lot of white streaks all over the windows.

 

KITCHEN

  • Kitchen cleaner

Ingredients:

1¾ cup distilled water

1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar

5 drops lemongrass essential oil 

Instructions:

In a spray bottle add vinegar and essential oil, mix and then add water. Shake well and leave it for 72 hours before use. For harder stains (like stuck-on food, grease, strong stains) sprinkle baking soda than spray on and leave for a few minutes. Rub with a scouring pad or a sponge.

  • Fridge and kitchen appliances cleaner

Ingredients:

2 cups distilled water

2 tablespoons baking soda

Lemon peel (optional)

Instructions:

Add all ingredients to a spray bottle, close and mix thoroughly. Leave for 24 hours. Shake before use. Clean with microfiber cloth.

  • Wooden board cleaner

Ingredients:

Salt

Lemon

Vegetable oil (optional)

Instructions:

Generously sprinkle salt all over the board. Halve the lemon and with a cut side rub the board in circular motion. Rinse with warm water.

To keep your wooden board in good shape, rub in vegetable oil with a dry cleaning cloth.

  • Dishwasher tabs

Ingredients:

1 cup baking soda

1 cup washing soda

½ cup salt

¼ cup citric acid

Distilled water

Silicone ice cube tray

Instructions:

In a bowl mix all dry ingredients then start slowly mixing in water until you get a mixture that resembles wet sand.

Fill the tray with the mixture and leave it to dry for 24-48 hours.

  • Oven cleaner

Ingredients:

1 cup baking soda

½ cup salt

2 tablespoons dish soap

2 drops essential oil (optional)

Distilled white vinegar

Instructions:

Mix together all ingredients (except vinegar) to form a thick paste. Moisten oven surfaces and apply the paste. Leave it for 1 hour then spray with vinegar and wipe off with microfiber cloth. If needed scrub with a scouring pad.

  • Drain cleaner

Ingredients:

1 cup baking soda

1 cup distilled white vinegar

Instructions:

Pour in the drain soda followed by the vinegar. Leave it foam for 15 minutes then rinse off with hot water.

For heavily clogged pipes repeat this process several times.

 

BATHROOM

  • Bathroom cleaner

Ingredients:

½ cup baking soda

¼ cup hydrogen peroxide

1 tablespoon castile soap

1¼ cup distilled water

Instructions:

Add all ingredients to a spray bottle and mix well.

  • Toilet bowl cleaner

Ingredients:

Citric acid

Instructions:

Flush the toilet, sprinkle citric acid all over the toilet bowl, scrub with t.b. brush and leave overnight. In the morning flush.

  • Toilet tabs

Ingredients:

1½ cup baking soda

½ cup citric acid

1 tablespoon hydrogen peroxide

1 teaspoon distilled water

30 drops essential oil

Silicone ice cube tray

Instructions:

In a bowl mix all ingredients until mixture resembles wet sand, if needed add more water. 

Fill the ice cube tray with the mixture and leave it dry for 24-48 hours. Store in a jar. Drop one cube into the toilet bowl, when bubbling stops scrub the bowl with a t.b. brush and flush.

 

LAUNDRY ROOM

  • Laundry detergent

Ingredients:

2 cups washing soda

2 bars castile soap, grated

Instructions:

Mix two ingredients together and store in an airtight container.

Use 1-2 tablespoon per load.

  • Stain remover

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon hydrogen peroxide

½ tablespoon castile soap

Instructions:

In a bowl mix two ingredients together. Apply the mixture on a stain, then wash in a washing machine as usual.

 

FEW LAST TIPS

If you are unsure about any of the cleaning products damaging the material, test it first on a small hidden area.

Always use gloves to protect your skin. Although all these cleaning products are non-toxic and eco-friendly, some do contain acid or alcohol that might dry out your skin.

Keep the room in which you are cleaning well aerated.

 

Because of our jam-packed schedules we are all dependent on convenience in our daily life, cleaning included. But no matter what, health should always be a priority number one.

If in your household live small children or pets then switching to non-toxic, eco-friendly cleaning products is the most sensible decision you can make.

Yes initial investment of time and money might be a bit high, but that is only when you are first starting out. Once you make a switch you will not need to buy any new product for months, and some of them will last for years.

I personally feel much better in my home since it became toxin-free. And I hope so will you.

Let me know in comments how it went for you, and if you have your own eco-friendly, non-toxic cleaning product recipes please share them also.

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