Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Spring Clean the Homemade Way – 5 Recipes for DIY Cleaning Supplies

lemon homemade cleaner
Use lemon essential oil and other natural ingredients to make nontoxic, homemade household cleaners.
Image: Shutterstock
It’s time for a little spring cleaning—the nontoxic way. Have you ever noticed how cleaning with many store-bought products can leave the entire house smelling chemically? I accepted this for a long time as “just the way it is,” but as I’ve gotten a little older, I’ve also gotten a little wiser.

That nasty chemical smell smells bad because, well, it’s bad for you! As well as chemical compounds made wit bleach, ammonia, and other solvents might get the house clean, they can also be toxic for us to breathe in.

Luckily, there are some super easy and super natural (see what I did there?) homemade cleaning supplies that can get rid of the dirt, grime, and germs just as well as those toxic mixes. I borrowed the following 5 recipes from this Yahoo! Shine article, which also has recipes for three additional cleaning mixes, so be sure to check it out!

Surface Spray

Instead of Lysol, mix up this disinfecting solution for all your home’s hard surfaces. It even smells good!
7 oz. distilled white vinegar
7 oz. water
7 drops tea tree essential oil
7 drops lavender essential oil
7 drops lemon essential oil

Soft Scrub

Clean grimy surfaces with this simple scrub and they’ll be shining in a jiffy! Keep it in a glass mason jar.
½ cup baking soda
½ cup castile soap
15 drops antimicrobial essential oil (rosemary or sage both work well)
* If you don’t use it all, add about a teaspoon of vegetable glycerin to hold in the moisture. Don’t forget to seal it up tight!

Antibacterial Soap Spray

Ditch the bleach. Instead, use this mix to get the bathroom back in order. Castile soap may leave a little residue, so follow up with some surface spray (above).
14 oz. water or rosemary hydrosol
3 Tablespoons castile soap
15 drops tea tree essential oil
15 drops oregano essential oil

Wood-Floor Mop Formula

Wood floors can be tricky, and harsh chemicals can often damage the wood and finish. Spray down the floor with this gentle mix, mop, and buff dry to keep floors clean and healthy.
½ cup distilled white vinegar
1 teaspoon vegetable glycerin
20 drops lemon essential oil
Water (enough to fill a 20 oz spray bottle with the previous ingredients)

Linoleum and Tile Floor Mop Formula

Have tile or linoleum floors? Mix these ingredients up with 2 gallons of hot water and you’re all set.
¼ cup castile soap
½ cup distilled white vinegar
20 drops tea tree essential oil
20 drops sweet orange essential oil

I dare you to check the back of your cleaning supplies for the ingredients list—are any of them as short as these (barring just plain old “bleach”)? Likely the answer is no. It’s certainly possible to get “green” cleaning supplies that are far less toxic and more natural, but those are often expensive. Stock up on a few basic ingredients at home instead, and you can make your own cleaner for far less money in the long run.