I must confess, for more than a year, my friend Elizabeth has been asking me to do a post on homemade household cleaners. As a result of her prodding, I am proud to present part 1 of a series on non-toxic cleaners for your home. We’ll start off with a cleaning spray for my favorite room of the house –the kitchen!
So, first questions first. Why make your own cleaning products? Why go through the bother? To save money and protect the environment, of course! You can pay upwards of $4 for a bottle of cleaning spray or, you can easily make it yourself for less. Below are the top ten reasons for a DIY cleaning spray:
- Save money
- Keep bottles out of the landfill -use just ONE bottle over and over again
- Conserve fossil fuel –why pay for a product that is mostly water to be shipped from miles away?
- Eliminate strong synthetic fragrances –that merely mask the dirt, doing little to get rid of it
- Make your home a non-toxic zone
- Refrain from adding harmful toxins to our waterways
- Stop supporting companies and manufacturers that produce harmful substances
- Eliminate consumption of unnecessary products from multi-national corporations
- Customize cleaning sprays with your favorite essential oils
- Make your own sprays in the comfort of your own home
I have mixed my own cleaning products for more than a decade. First, I enjoy doing so! Second, I want my house to actually be clean, not smell of strong synthetic fragrances. Third, I enjoy the scent of simple cleaners made from natural products. That’s why I created the kitchen counter spray that follows.
Elana's Kitchen Cleaner
- 1 (16 ounce) spray bottle
- 8 ounces peroxide (3%)
- 8 ounces water
- 5 drops tea tree oil
- 5 drops lemon oil
- Pour all ingredients into 16 ounce spray bottle
- Shake well
- Spray on counter surfaces and wipe with a clean rag
Below you can see the price difference between making your own cleaning product and purchasing it:
|DIY Spray (initial cost includes price of bottle)||$3.57 for 16 ounces|
|DIY Spray (refill cost)||$1.70 for 16 ounces ($.09 per ounce)|
|Fantastic All-Purpose Cleaner||$4.86 for 32 ounces ($.15 per ounce)|
|Seventh Generation||$4.19 for 32 ounces ($.13 per ounce)|
Other tips: If you have an old spray bottle lying around the house use that instead of purchasing a new one; to further save money (and trees) use rags instead of paper towels to keep your kitchen spic and span.
Easy solutions are at our fingertips. We can save money and protect the planet’s precious resources in the process, creating win-win situations that show us why the words economy and ecology share a prefix!
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Now go ahead, let us know your favorite eco-cleaning tip in the comments section below!
Update: Thanks to a comment from Lucas, I have modified the cleaning spray recipe above.
E. Nadler says
I’ve been making my own air freshener for the bathroom for years. I add a few drops of aromatherapy oil to a small spray bottle filled with water. That’s it! Use any oil you like.
That sounds great :-)
Cshr, thanks so much!
Does this formula work as a COVID-19 disinfectant, do you know?
Kelly, according to the World Economic Forum website, hydrogen peroxide must be a minimum .5% of the cleaning solution and left on surface for one minute before wiping.
Interested in knowing what product(s) you use to scrub the bathtub.
Michele, I use Branch Basics to clean the tub and Bon Ami if there’s any tough soap scum left :-)
Thank you for cleaner. I like you have a chemical free home.I use thives oil and white vinigar and a spray bottle. I also use this to mop my floors. With celiac I don’t want any chemicals.
You’re welcome Beverly!
Be careful if you have cats who could come in contact with the cleaned surfaces. Tea tree oil is poisonous to cats! Other than that, great advice! :)
I read about the dangers of cooking with aluminum. I want to find a bread pan that is 7 x 3 inches in size to make your rosemary bread. You recommend Cheftools to purchase a loaf bread approx that size. However, my concern is it is made of aluminum. Do you have any thoughts on this or do you know where I can find a glass or full metal loaf pan? Thank you.
I am with you on staying away from aluminum cookware. Here is a link to some bread pans I found at Sam’s.
There are 4 loaf pans, Loaf pan size: 10.6″ x 5″ x 3″,
4 quart, Material: porcelain for
Includes 2 sets of 2 loaf pans for 4 loaf pans altogether
Oven safe up to 350° F
Dishwasher and microwave safe
Shipped in 2 boxes
CURRENT PRICE: $29.98
TK, those are great looking loaf pans!
The house cleaner idea, how well does it work for killing germs. Ecoli etc.
Victoria Davis says
Thank you for raising awareness about nontoxic cleaning. It is so important for people to understand that they can make a difference in their own homes while saving money. I’ve been using my own cleaners for many years and really appreciate the lack of chemical smells in my home. White vinegar, baking soda, and vegetable-based soap pretty much clean everything.
Brianna Nash says
So, I know this is a forum about kitchen cleansers and all but I couldn’t help but put in a recipe of my own for those trying to go non-toxic and all.
Any of y’all ever try not using regular shampoo and conditioner? I had tried it once before and failed miserably to adapt to the new baking soda regime to wash my hair but have since found an amazing combination that has left me sans shampoo and conditioner for almost two months now.
Take 2 TBSP Baking Soda and 2 cups of water and mix together. Pour over head slowly and make sure to work it into your scalp.
Then take 2 TBSP Apple Cider Vinegar and about 1-2 cups of water and pour over your ends only.
Tiffany from Nature Moms Blog wrote a blog about it (http://www.naturemoms.com/no-shampoo-alternative.html) and I’ve just adapted my own above recipe. Give it a shot.. You may end up loving it.
I have started doing that that as well. I find that I pour the ACV over my whole head, (my hair is very short) and let it set for a while. Then rinse. On the upside my drain never clogs anymore.