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23 Reader Suggested Natural Cleaning Recipes That Actually Work

Over the years I have tried a wide variety of homemade natural cleaning recipes. Some were great,  but others did not seem to be up to the task. However, I knew that all the natural ingredients that I would ever need could be sourced from my kitchen.

I really wanted to be sustainable, organic, and healthy, and I didn’t want to go back to the toxic cleaners found on the grocery shelves. Not only are they bad for my family and the planet they are also wrapped in plastic so I would be contributing to plastic waste!

It was then that I realized something special.

The people who were reading and giving feedback on natural cleaning posts were leaving valuable feedback on what worked for them. So the next thing I did was to start using those natural cleaning recipes to see what worked for me.

The results have been fantastic and I would like to share them with you. 

So here it is, my list of 23 reader suggested natural cleaning recipes that actually work! 

Table of Contents:

  • 23 Natural cleaning recipes
  • Basic rules for making natural cleaning recipes
  • Common ingredients and tools required

23, NATURAL CLEANING RECIPES

Kitchen

kitchen-.jpg

I have included some variants on the most popular cleaners for those who wish to experiment. 

ALL PURPOSE HOUSEHOLD CLEANER (no vinegar)

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp liquid castile soap
  • 1 1/2 cups distilled water
  • 10 drops of Tea tree oil
  • Glass spray bottle

METHOD

Combine the baking soda and 1 cup of the water in the spray bottle then shake or stir until the baking soda dissolves. Next, add the castile soap and the tea tree oil and replace the lid and then gently shake the mixture. Once the bubbles have dissipated you may wish to add the remaining water or use the mixture as it is depending upon personal preference. If the mixture separates over time then simply shake it gently before use.

ALL PURPOSE HOUSEHOLD CLEANER (vinegar version 1) / (Disinfectant (No1)

INGREDIENTS

  • 50/50 solution of vinegar and distilled water
  • Essential oil for the aroma
  • Glass spray bottle

METHOD

Combine the ingredients in a glass spray bottle, shake, and you are ready to go. As an alternative to essential oils, you could make up the liquid in a glass jar with some citrus fruit rind and leave for two weeks. Strain the liquid into a glass spray jar prior to use.

 ALL PURPOSE HOUSEHOLD CLEANER (vinegar version 2)

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup of vinegar 
  • 1/2 cup of distilled water
  • 1/2 cup of rubbing alcohol/surgical spirits or vodka 
  • 5 drops of Castile liquid soap (the soap may become unsaponified)
  • Essential oil for the aroma 20 to 30 drops of your favorite
  • Glass spray bottle

METHOD

Combine the ingredients in a glass spray bottle, shake gently, and you are ready to go.

Whenever you use alcohol please  make sure that the room is well ventilated and that you are not near any naked flames.

I don’t have great results with this recipe but my friends do.

 APPLE CIDER ALL PURPOSE HOUSEHOLD CLEANER 

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup of apple cider vinegar 
  • 2 cups of hot distilled water
  • 5 to 10 drops of grapefruit seed extract
  • 10 15 drops total of tea tree and/or lavender essential oil
  • Glass spray bottle

METHOD

Combine the ingredients in a glass spray bottle, shake gently, and you are ready to go.

This recipe can be used as a daily shower spray to cut down on soap scum build- up just spray, leave and wipe off after 20 mins.

natural cleaning

 KITCHEN CLEANER AND DEODORIZER

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 tbs baking soda
  • 2 cups distilled water

METHOD

Combine the ingredients in a glass spray bottle, shake gently, and you are ready to go.

Alternatively, pour neat onto a cloth and wipe down surfaces. 

LAUNDRY CLEANER

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup borax
  • 1 cup washing soda
  • 1/2 cup baking soda
  • 2 bars of castile soap grated
  • 15 drops tea tree oil

METHOD

  • Grate the castile soap and then blend into a fine powder in a food processor, be careful not to inhale the dust.
  • Place the soap in a pot and cover with water until melted.
  • Pour the soap into a large clean 5-gallon bucket and put on gloves and a dust mask.
  • Add the rest of the ingredients,(taking care as borax and washing soda are irritants) and stir.
  • Add hot water 4/5ths full and fully mix the ingredients.
  • Let the mixture cool add essential oils and let sit overnight.
  • Pour the gel into glass containers and use 1/2 to 1 cup per load.

DISHWASHING LIQUID

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/4  cup soap flakes
  • 2 cups hot water
  • 1/4 cup glycerine
  • 5 to 10 drops lemon essential oil

METHOD

  • Combine soap flakes and water and stir until dissolved.
  • Allow cooling until lukewarm.
  • Stir in the oil and glycerine and leave to cool.
  • As it cools into a gel, stir and pour into a suitable container.

DISHWASHING LIQUID (No 2)

INGREDIENTS

  • 2/3  cup sal suds
  • 1 and 1/3 cup distilled water
  • 1 tbs washing soda
  • 40 drops lemon, grapefruit, or tea tree essential oil
  • 1 tbs kosher salt dissolved in 3 to 4 tbs hot water

METHOD

  • Heat the salt and water until dissolved and put to one side.
  • Heat the distilled water the washing soda until dissolved.
  • Stir in the sal suds, oil, and 1 tbs of the saltwater mixture.
  • Pour the mixture into a suitable container and stir.
  • If a thicker mixture is required add more of the saltwater.
  • It may thicken further as it cools so be mindful of this

CHROME CLEANER/CHOPPING BOARD CLEANER 

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 Lemon
  • Saucer of salt

METHOD

  • Cut the lemon in half and dip into the salt.
  • Rub the salted lemon over the chrome or chopping board surface.
  • Rinse with warm water.

COFFEE MAKER CLEANER 

INGREDIENTS

  • Vinegar

METHOD

  • Run full strength vinegar through a coffee cycle.
  • Rinse by running clear water through a cycle three times.

Bathroom

bathroom-.jpg

SOFT SCRUB

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 tbs castile soap
  • 3/4 cup baking soda
  • About 2 to 3 tbs of water to make a smooth paste
  • 10 drops grapefruit oil or citrus essential oils of choice 

METHOD

  • Combine baking soda, castile soap, and oils.
  • Add water to the mixture and stir until a smooth paste is formed.
  • Put into a suitable container and use sparingly.

SOFT SCRUB (No2)

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup castile soap
  • 1 cup baking soda or washing soda

METHOD

  • Combine baking soda, washing soda, and castile soap.
  • Dab a wet cloth into the mixture and apply then rinse.

HEAVY-DUTY SCRUB

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/2 cup borax
  • 1/2 lemon

METHOD

  • Dip the lemon into the borax and scrub the surface.
  • Rinse with warm water.

DISINFECTANT (No2)

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/2 cup borax or vinegar
  • 1-gallon hot water

METHOD

  • Combine the ingredients and clean.

 DISINFECTANT (No3)

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/4 cup  vinegar
  • 5 drops tea tree essential oil
  • 5 drops lavender essential oil
  • 2 cups of  water

METHOD

  • Combine the ingredients and place them into a glass spray bottle.

DISINFECTANT (No4)

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/4 cup  vinegar
  • 5 drops tea tree essential oil
  • 5 drops lavender essential oil
  • 2 cups of  water

METHOD

  • Combine the ingredients and place them into a glass spray bottle.

DISINFECTANT (No5) 

INGREDIENTS

  • 20 drops lavender essential oil
  • 1 cup of  water

METHOD

  • Combine the ingredients and place them into a glass spray bottle.
  • Lavender contains 50 percent of an ingredient called linalool which kills bacteria and viruses

Main House

apartment-lounge-natural-cleaning

LAVENDER OIL FURNITURE WAX 

INGREDIENTS

  • 20 drops lavender essential oil
  • 200 ml of olive oil
  • 100 ml of melted beeswax 

METHOD

  • This recipe calls for 1 part beeswax to 2 parts olive oil so it may be easier to weigh the ingredients rather than try to melt the exact amount.
  • Place the  beeswax and olive oil into a pan and heat gently.
  • Once the ingredients have combined take it off the heat and allow it to cool for two minutes.
  • Add the lavender oil and stir then transfer to a wide-mouthed glass jar and leave to solidify.  

 LAVENDER OIL WOODEN FURNITURE POLISH 

INGREDIENTS

  • 15 drops lavender essential oil
  • 1 tbs rubbing alcohol or vodka
  • 1 tbs apple cider vinegar
  • 30 ml lavender base oil or olive oil

METHOD

  • Combine all the ingredients and mix well.
  • Place into a glass spray bottle and rub the spray into the wood on contact.  

LEMON OIL FURNITURE DUSTING CLOTH 

INGREDIENTS

  • 10 drops lemon essential oil
  • 2 tbs lemon juice
  • A few drops of olive oil 

METHOD

  • Dip a cloth into the mixture use lightly around the house. 

BRASS CLEANER 

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 lemon
  • Table salt 

METHOD

  • Squeeze 1/2 of the lemon juice into a cloth.
  • Add a good amount of salt to the cloth.
  • Rub-down the brass item vigorously.
  • Rinse with warm water and dry. 

SILVER CLEANER 

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 tbs baking soda
  • 1tbs warm water 

METHOD

  • Combine the baking soda and water to form a paste.
  • Layer the paste as required onto a soft cloth.
  • Rub-down the silver item vigorously.
  • Rinse with warm water and dry. 

WINDOW/MIRROR CLEANER 

INGREDIENTS

  •  1/2 cup vinegar
  • 1/2 cup  distilled or tap water

METHOD

  • Combine the two ingredients in a glass spray bottle.
  • Wipe dry with a clean cloth or crumpled newspaper.
  • If the solution dries quickly it will leave streak marks.

BASIC RULES FOR MAKING NATURAL CLEANING RECIPES

  • Always label your homemade cleaners and include an ingredient list in case of an accident.
  • Include on your label the date on which it was made, as some ingredients may suffer with age.
  • Never mix a commercial modern product with your homemade product, the results could be dangerous and unpredictable.
  • Always store them out of the reach of children and pets.
  • Don’t use ammonia. (Never combine ammonia-based cleaners with chlorine bleach or products containing bleach as the fumes they create are dangerous to health).
  • Never use the containers of commercial products to store your own homemade cleaners.
  • Never digest your cleaner no matter how good it looks or smells.
  • Natural cleaners are organic in nature but are a weak acid, alkaline, or abrasive so please wear gloves to reduce the risk of skin irritation.
  • Vinegar is an acid and can cause harm to some surfaces. Please read my article entitled, 15 things you should never clean with vinegar and why.
  • Store them in a dark bottle and away from sunlight as UV light will degrade the quality of almost all natural cleaning recipes.
  • Always add essential oil to ingredients not ingredients to the essential oil.
  • Purchase and use essential oils only from reputable companies whose oils are third party tested. (A list can be found on my post: essential oils and the danger to cats, dogs, and birds).
  • Keep all essential oils in dark bottles and away from UV light. Please note that if the essential oil did not come in a  dark bottle then it is not a genuine essential oil.

COMMON INGREDIENTS AND TOOLS REQUIRED

CLEANING INGREDIENTS    (COMMON)

  • Baking soda
  • Washing soda
  • Beeswax
  • Borax
  • White vinegar
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Castile and vegetable oil-based soaps
  • Citrus solvent
  • Cornstarch
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Alcohol (vodka and/or rubbing alcohol)
  • Cream of Tartar
  • Lemon juice/ Lime juice
  • Essential oils
  • Olive oil
  • Kosher or sea salt
  • Tea tree oil
  • Toothpaste
  • TSP (trisodium phosphate) 
  • Mineral oil

CLEANING TOOLS    (COMMON)

  • Unbleached cloths/rags (not microfibre)
  • Natural sponge (not manufactured if poss)
  • Sustainable natural scrub brushes
  • Glass spray bottles
  • Glass storage containers 
  • Labels
  • Gloves 
  • Measuring cups/spoons
  • Glass mixing bowls 
  • Metal bucket (for mixing ingredients)
  • Dustpan and broom
  • Cleaning wand
  • Funnels
  • Vacuum
  • Mop and bucket or hard floor cleaner/steamer
  • Cleaning caddy or box

Although the list seem to be quite long  the truth is that you don’t need all of the items when you begin. My kitchen cupboards became fuller over time and I started my journey with just 6 main ingredients and so can you.

Those ingredients are, white vinegar, baking soda, lemon, Castile soap, olive oil, and essential oils. With these 5 items in your arsenal you can tackle almost any job with ease.  

You will be amazed at what you can achieve with a half of lemon and some elbow grease!

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sustainability dad

Mark Aspland is a proud father of two boys, would be amateur actor and green living enthusiast. He has been sharing hints, tips and sustainable living content on his website Sustainability Dad since august 2019. 

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He now has an army of followers who are like hearted individuals passionate about the environment and how to affect positive change through peaceful action.