Last update: 2 weeks ago
If you are not sure about the content of detergents that are shown on the labels, or you generally prefer to make green cleaning products at home yourself, we have compiled an extensive list of the most used materials for the purpose. Let’s see what natural ways to clean house are there, using the help of some of the widely spread household items:
How to use essential oils for cleaning
Essential oils are natural degreasers and have antibacterial properties. Most of the oils protect against bacteria, mould and viruses, which makes them an excellent addition towards your domestic cleaning product army.
Tea tree oil
You can use it in the kitchen or the bathroom by adding it to the dishwasher or the laundry detergent.
Especially effective during the winter. You can add it to the laundry detergent, since it has the ability to kill dust mites that might lurk in your blanket.
Lavender oil has a gentle flavour, and has been used in clothes’ hangers for centuries because it chases off moths. Pour either in the drier or the drawers – it will spread its sweet aroma all around. Adding it to water to wash fruits will induce a pleasant flavour, too.
Sweet orange oil
Yet another one of the non chemical products that possesses a unique scent. You can use it for cleaning and scenting.
Same as the sweet orange oil, it is a natural cleaning product, a perfect fit for rustic furniture. Mix it with a tiny bit of olive oil and wipe with a clean towel. This will give the furniture a strong shine.
Cleans perfectly and smells wonderful. You can add it to the water you use for floor green cleaning, or use it anywhere in the bathroom or the kitchen.
Recipes for homemade cleaning products
- Ironing Water – add 15 drops of essential oil in 80 ml of distilled water.
- Clothes drawer freshener – add one drop of lavender oil on a piece of cotton and leave it inside the drawer. The lavender aroma will relax you, and chase off moths and other insects.
- Garbage bin freshener – 2-4 drops of lemon essential oil on the bottom under the garbage bag will guard against too harsh a smell.
- Laundry cleaner – 2-3 drops of patchouli oil in the washing detergent frees the laundry from pests and the smell chases off unwanted moths, too. And, as we mentioned earlier, eucalyptus oil drops in the detergent or straight into the washing machine can kill dust mites.
- Baby diaper disinfectant – you can cleanse diapers for multiple use by adding 5 drops of tea tree oil to the laundry detergent.
Be careful with the oil quantity you add into the washing machine. Too much of it can damage the plastic parts and rubber seals.
Dishwasher domestic detergent
- ½ plant-based soap (olive or castilian soap)
- ½ sodium carbonate
- ½ baking soda
- ¼ lemon acid
- 2 drops patchouli oil
Blend the ingredients until you get a fine dust. Use the same way as the commercial detergent.
Vacuum cleaner freshener
- 5 drops of essential lemon oil;
- Vacuum cleaner bag;
Soak the piece of cotton with essential oil and place it in the vacuum cleaner bag. While the effect lasts, your carpets will be automatically deodorised.
Advanced tips for using vinegar in cleaning
Vinegar is one of the easiest to get and most often used domestic savouries – an irreplaceable ingredient for eco-friendly cleaning materials. However, the liquid also happens to be an acid, therefore there are some items that vinegar shouldn’t get on to or won’t be able to clean.
- Oily utensils – vinegar won’t help as a dishwasher replacement. The alkalic detergents are much more practical to remove oil stains.
- Paraffin wax – vinegar will damage the cover and will darken its shiny outlook. However, if you plan to remove any paraffin cover, vinegar is arguably your best choice.
- Marble – vinegar has a corrosive effect on the marble’s porous structure. Any acid-based cleaner is out of the question here.
- Laundry – apple vinegar, in particular, leaves stains on textiles. However, you can use distilled white wine vinegar, which will whiten the clothes.
- Aluminium and cast-iron utensils – these metals create unwanted chemical reactions with vinegar. However, you can clean stainless steel and enamelled cast-iron utensils with vinegar.
- Bleach – do not mix vinegar with bleach – you will create a hazardous aerosol
- Do not spray plants with vinegar – you can fight off various insects with vinegar spray, but never directly use it on green leaves – the acid can destroy them. Unwanted weeds, on the other hand, can get their dose of just wrath from you.
- Egg stains – if you try to clean egg stains with vinegar, you will instead create a gluey gooey substance that is even harder to clean.
- Baking soda – the chemical reaction between vinegar and baking soda produces a short-time all-powerful cleaner, but in a couple of minutes its effects are gone – therefore you have to act fast.
How to use baking soda for cleaning
A round-up of green cleaning products won’t look and feel the same without baking soda. Let’s see the next basic uses for baking soda in cleaning domestic grime.
- Use as an abrasive cleaner for different surfaces – equal parts of baking soda, salt and dishwasher can deal with stubborn stains in the bathroom, on fiberglass or in worn-out places with constant running water – the mixture will remove the limescale.
- Use as a dishwasher – you need a container (or the wash-basin itself) filled with water. Throw in a couple of spoonfuls of baking soda and leave the dirty utensils inside in order for the gunk to dissolve. Rinse well afterwards.
- Polish old silverware – you need a paste of three parts baking soda and one part of water. Rub the objects with a piece of cloth or a sponge dipped in the paste. Rinse and dry with a cotton cloth.
- Clean tea and coffee stains – in order to remove the settled stains pour hot water with half a teaspoon of baking soda.
- Use when camping – baking soda is a necessary attribute to your luggage for camping, due to its multiple uses. You can do the dishes with it, clean the bottom of the pan or the grill heaters, use it as toothpaste or against sweating.
How to use isopropyl alcohol for cleaning
Isopropyl alcohol, which is often called “rubbing alcohol” (60-70% water solution) is widely used in home making. Don’t forget it’s poisonous and shouldn’t be swallowed or inhaled. Keep away from children and read the labels carefully.
- Remove permanent marker trails – most of the contemporary countertops are made of material which doesn’t keep the stains (marble or laminate). In order to clean a permanent marker doodle, use a dampened towel with a bit of alcohol on it. Wait until the marker trail becomes liquid and wipe out.
- Keep your windows shiny during winter – if they easily get frosted, wash them out with a solution of 1 litre of water and half a glass of rubbing alcohol. Polish them with a towel after washing.
- Remove ink stains – if you inked your clothes, draperies or furniture – here comes the isopropyl alcohol to the rescue – try to soak the stain for several minutes in a small clean amount of the substance before you wash the textile. Read the label of the item beforehand so that you make sure it can be treated that way.
- Get rid of common fruit flies – the next time you see the annoying fruit flies in the kitchen, sprinkle them carefully with fine spray full of isopropyl alcohol – they will drop on the floor so you can wipe and throw them out. Don’t sprinkle on food, animals or people. Isopropyl alcohol is not as effective as common insecticides, but it’s less harmful.
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These are some of the many kinds of green cleaning products you can make at home. Have you used any of those and what are your own recommendations? We would love to hear more on the topic in the comments below.