Your DIY guide to eco-friendly household cleaners
Making your own home cleaning products is simpler than you think – and it has a host of side benefits.
When tackling a messy household surface, the inclination may be to reach for a store-bought cleaning spray.
But it’s easy to make your own natural cleaning products – and you probably have many of the ingredients already in your cupboards.
Benefits of making your own cleaning products
DIY household cleaning products are on the rise because of the many side benefits, says The Organised Housewife blogger Katrina Springer.
The main one? It’s cost effective.
“Families simply can’t justify spending a small fortune on cleaning products each month,” Katrina says.
“Making your own home cleaning products are a budget-friendly alternative.”
The general lifestyle trend around using natural, simplified products is another factor behind the DIY cleaning product movement.
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Even commercial manufacturers are jumping on board the move towards using more natural ingredients in their cleaning products, rather than a host of chemicals.
Another plus of homemade cleaning products is that you know exactly what’s going into the concoction.
“Because they’re free from harsh chemicals, they’re also much safer to use around children and pets,” Katrina argues.
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For the eco-conscious, there are also environmental benefits in homemade cleaning products.
Cutting out disposable spray bottles means less wastage, and more natural ingredients mean fewer chemicals going down the drain and into the waterways.
But the real clincher? DIY cleaning products get the job done.
In fact, a recent comparative test undertaken by CHOICE found homemade alternatives were often as effective as a store-bought equivalent.
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How to get started with DIY cleaners
Once you’ve decided to take the homemade cleaning products plunge, the first step is to gather the key ingredients – many of which will already be in your kitchen cupboards.
Baking soda, vinegar, a mild detergent and citrus peel form the base ingredients for homemade cleaning supplies.
Katrina also recommends investing in a few quality essential oils, such as tea tree oil, eucalyptus oil and lavender. Not only will they provide a fresh fragrance, but some essential oils have antiseptic properties to help kill germs.
“These cost a little more than the other ingredients, however they won’t need to be replaced often and a little goes a long way,” she says.
For each individual cleaning product, you’ll also want to invest in a quality, reusable container like spray bottles or jars.
It’s also worth picking up some fresh micro-fibre cleaning cloths to get your household surfaces looking their sparkling best.
Once you’ve gathered your supplies, it’s time to whip up your own batch of DIY cleaning products.
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DIY Home Cleaning Product Recipes
Katrina’s shares her top picks from her DIY Homemade Cleaning Recipes eBook:
This easy-to-make cleaning spray is perfect for the kitchen and general wipe downs around the home.
- 2L jug
- spray bottle
- 4 cups hot water
- 1/2 cup detergent
- 1/2 cup vinegar
- 4 tsp borax
- 8 drops of essential oil
- Place hot water, detergent, vinegar, borax and essential oil into jug, mix to combine.
- Fill jug with water, stir.
- Pour into spray bottle.
This natural cleaner disinfects and cuts through grease while leaving a clean natural smell.
- 1/2 cup white vinegar
- 1 cup water
- 3-5 drops of lemon essential oil
- Pour the ingredients into a spray bottle, shake, and use as normal.
This homemade carpet cleaner is budget-friendly compared to ones you’d find in-store.
- Paper towel
- 1 part water to 1 part vinegar, in a spray bottle
- Bicarb soda
- Sugar shaker
- Put bicarb soda in sugar shaker.
- Sprinkle carpet with bicarb soda and then spray with vinegar solution.
- Leave for 30 minutes.
- Vacuum up the powder from the carpet.
Re-usable antibacterial wipes
In addition to saving money on paper towels, these homemade wipes can clean everything from floor spills, to stove tops, light switches and walls.
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 cup vinegar
- 6 drops lavender oil
- 2 drops of your favourite essential oil, like tea tree or eucalyptus
- 1 teaspoon detergent
- Micro-fibre cloths
- Large airtight jar
- Place cloths into large jar.
- In a jug combine water, vinegar, essential oil and detergent, mix to combine.
- Pour liquid over cloths.
- Seal jar.
Written by Sharon Goldstein Hunt