How To Make All Natural Cleaning Products

For most parents a big concern is having harmful and toxic cleaning products around the house. With babies naturally so inquisitive and always putting things into their mouth (sucking their thumb, etc.) it is vitally important that surfaces are clean to prevent the spread of germs. Just as important are the products used to clean with. I have a few recipes to make all natural cleaning products that are effective and far less harmful than the big brands you buy in the store.

Green cleaning

Many commercial cleaning solutions can be harmful, especially to infants, when coming into contact with them directly or breathing them in. Some of these chemicals can burn or irritate the skin and may be harmful to young developing respiratory systems. This is why it is extremely important to keep all household chemicals out of reach when baby proofing your home. One way to keep your kids safe from breathing in harmful fumes is to keep them away while cleaning, however this isn’t always ideal and you’re still breathing them and coming in contact.

A better alternative is to use natural cleaners that are safe to breathe around and use around your family. You can find a variety of cleaning products in stores claiming to be green*, though many of them are not completely all-natural. So how do you know if the cleaners you’re using are safe? Simple; you can make your own! You know what is going into the solution and it is more cost effective than buying store-bought cleaners.

*Just because a product says it’s green doesn’t necessarily mean all-natural – it just means it’s better for the environment. I’ll show you how to make all natural cleaning products that are safe for your home and the environment for true green cleaning.

Safer All-Purpose Cleaner
Here is an easy 3-ingredient ‘recipe’ for making an all-purpose cleaner that is much safer to use around kids and pets. You can use it in the kitchen, bathroom, or anywhere to clean and disinfect. What you’ll need is:

  • Vinegar
  • Baking Soda
  • Essential oil (such as tea tree oil)
  • Spray bottle
  • Funnel

First place 1 tsp of baking soda into the spray bottle (use the funnel to avoid spills) then add 2 Tbsp of vinegar. Give the bottle and gentle shake or stir it if you have something that will fit through the neck of the spray bottle. Allow it to sit for a few minutes then fill the rest of your spray bottle with warm water. Shake or stir again and allow to sit. Finally add in a few drops of your choice essential oil. If you’re like me and love the smell of fresh citrus you can also add in a little juice from a lemon, grapefruit or orange to cut grease and provide a nice fresh scent.

Simple Scouring Cleaner
Another multi-purpose cleaner I’ll use is just a plain baking soda and vinegar mixture. These two ingredients form a sudsy foam solution that makes a great cleaning agent. Mix ¼ cup of baking soda with 1 cup vinegar. You could also use *Borax in place of or in addition to baking soda which also disinfects as well as clean and deodorizes. Use this solution for cleaningborax

  • Toilets
  • Showers
  • Sinks
  • Pots and pans

*Borax is non-carcinogenic and doesn’t absorb into the skin. As a cleaner it is perfectly safe to use around kids, however it can be harmful if ingested so be sure to keep out of reach of children.

Oven Cleaner
If you have ever purchased an oven cleaner from the store you will notice that they typically run a little high and they’re very toxic. Here’s a simple solution for cleaning greasy ovens without the harmful fumes.

We have an older oven so it doesn’t have a self-cleaning mode. If you don’t have a self-clean oven turn it on to 125. While it’s warming prepare a solution of baking soda and vinegar in a spray bottle (just as you would in the above mentioned recipe for the all-purpose cleaner.) Once the oven is good and warm, spray the grimy caked-on areas just enough to dampen then pour salt over it. Turn off the oven and allow to cool, then using a spatula scrape off the excess. Wipe down with a towel or sponge using warm soapy water (such as castile soap.) If you have really hard stuck-on food that won’t come up easily try using steel wool.

Drain Cleaner
drain cleanerDrains can often become stopped up from food particles, hair, etc. The solutions you buy in the store usually contain very strong chemicals. The safer and less harmful way to unclog a drain is putting ½ cup of baking soda down the drain followed by ½ cup vinegar. Then heat up some water (not to boiling if you have plastic pipes) to chase it down.

Glass Cleaner
You don’t have to turn to window cleaners for sparklingly clean and streak-free windows, glass and mirrors. Good old white vinegar does the trick just fine. It is best if diluted. Pour ¼ cup vinegar into a small spray bottle and fill the rest with water. Old newspapers also make a good buffer/cloth combined with the vinegar solution without leaving lent behind.

You can also use vinegar for cleaning coffee pots! I mix one part vinegar diluted with one part water and run through my coffee maker. After it’s done I run a full pot of plain water to rinse it out.

Cleaning Wood Surfaces
For wood and furniture, aerosol based polishes are often used. However, a completely natural option is to use 1  part of vegetable oil to one part vinegar. Use a cloth to apply a thin coat and rub in well. For varnished wood furniture you could also mix a few drops of lemon essential oil with 1/2 cup of warm water in a spray bottle. Spray to dampen a cloth and apply for polishing and minimizing dust. You can use this for doors, window frames and floor boards as well.

A great way to save money and keep your family safe is to make all natural cleaning products. While these are much safer to use around kids, they could still cause potential harm if ingested or gets into the eyes.  If a solution gets into the eyes flush immediately with cool water. Store your ingredients safely where kids cannot reach, especially prepared solutions. Safe cleaning and breathe happy!

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