DIY CLEANING HACKS: HOW TO MAKE YOUR OWN SUPPLIES

DIY CLEANING HACKS: HOW TO MAKE YOUR OWN SUPPLIES

Tired of spending a fortune on commercial cleaning products filled with harsh chemicals and wrapped in unnecessary packaging? I know the problem very well and I can understand the frustration of maintaining a clean home while minimising the environmental impact. That’s why I’ve turned to DIY cleaning supplies using simple, natural ingredients.

I don’t like cleaning. And who does, right? But in my case, it is more than just finding it boring. For many years now, I have been suffering from allergies, and often those were triggered during cleaning and washing, which strongly motivated me to find natural alternatives and I started to experiment, making my own cleaning supplies.

Not only is this more economical, but I’ve found that it’s also a healthier and more sustainable option for me, especially because I avoid harsh chemicals. In this article, I want to share some of my favourite DIY cleaning recipes you can easily make at home. Whether you’re a hardcore homesteader or just want to create a more eco-friendly cleaning routine like me, I’m sure these tips and tricks will inspire you to take a more natural approach to cleaning. So, let’s get started!

Why DIY cleaning supplies are the right choice?

There are many reasons to try creating your own cleaning products, but probably health and budget make the top of the list. But let’s have a more in-depth look into these 2 topics

Industrial cleaning products are bad for our health

As I kept suffering from nasty allergy reactions every time I cleaned, I started doing some research on the topic. It is surprising how much information there is out there on the internet, but how little the producers themselves share.

Household products usually contain any or all of the following component categories:

  • Cleaner
  • Disinfectant
  • Preservatives
  • Solvents
  • Fragrances
  • Optical brighteners
  • Bleaching agents

If you dig even deeper, you may find complicated names like Tensides, Phthalates, PERC, and Sodium Hydroxide…You can learn more about them here but for now, enough to say that they are not good for our health, and are also quite damaging to our environment.

Unfortunately, we have got so used to all of these products that we don’t realise how dangerous they can be. For example, fragrances are often toxic and they do not add any value to the cleaning process, apart from masking bad smells from other ingredients. Also using disinfectants regularly can trigger immune system issues and several of their regular ingredients are known to cause cancer and respiratory problems.

Hands wearing blue, plastic, cleaning gloves.
Photo by Clay Banks on Unsplash

Beware of “greenwashing”

If you care about the environment and want to make eco-friendly choices you have surely noticed that many products on the market nowadays claim to be “green,” “natural,” or “biodegradable.” But don’t be fooled by these buzzwords – just because a product claims to be environmentally friendly doesn’t mean it’s safe for the planet or yourself.

A 2010 report by the environmental consulting firm TerraChoice Group found that over 95% of so-called green consumer products had committed at least one “greenwashing sin.” Greenwashing refers to the practice of making misleading or exaggerated environmental claims to appeal to eco-conscious consumers. For example, a product may tout that it is “CFC-free,” even though CFCs have been banned by law for decades.

When it comes to making eco-friendly choices, it’s important to do your research and not just rely on marketing claims. By staying informed and looking for specific details, you can make sure that the products you choose are truly safe for the planet.

Cleaning your home does not need to cost the world

As I wandered the aisles of the supermarket, I couldn’t help but notice the ever-increasing prices and the amount of plastic in the exaggerated packaging of commercial cleaning products. A glance at the ingredients list on the back of these products confirmed my suspicions; harsh chemicals were present that could damage the environment and harm my family’s health.

 “Cleaning is not just about wiping down surfaces. It is about creating a healthy and happy environment for you and your loved ones.”  - unknown 

It was then that I discovered the beauty of DIY cleaning solutions made from natural ingredients like vinegar and baking soda. These homemade remedies are not only safe and gentle for your home and your loved ones, but also incredibly effective. Creating your cleaning supplies can also be a cost-effective alternative to constantly buying expensive store-bought cleaners.

With just a few simple components that you already have at home and some easy-to-follow recipes, you can make a variety of cleaning solutions tailored to your unique needs. From stain removers to all-purpose or glass cleaners, the possibilities are endless. Homemade cleaning products provide dependable and efficient results, leaving your home looking, smelling, and feeling clean.

Additionally, by incorporating natural essential oils such as lemon, orange, and lavender, (which are btw full of amazing properties, including disinfection) you can infuse your DIY cleaning products with a delightful fragrance and personal touch that store-bought cleaners simply can’t match. In summary, with a little creativity and experimentation, anyone can create DIY cleaning products that are as good or even better than their store-bought counterparts.

Are DIY cleaning products really effective?

Many people are often sceptical of the effectiveness of DIY cleaning supplies. They assume that commercial products are more powerful and reliable. But as mentioned earlier, it’s important to do your research and not just rely on marketing claims, to make sure that the products you choose are truly safe for you and the planet.

However, with the right recipes and techniques, homemade cleaning supplies can be just as effective, if not more so, than their store-bought counterparts. For example, vinegar and baking soda, which are common in many DIY cleaning solutions, are highly effective in removing tough stains.

"A collection of repurposed and labeled DIY cleaning supplies bottles made from recycled materials, featuring a variety of cleaning solutions such as vinegar, baking soda, and essential oils, displayed on a wooden surface.
A Photo by Daiga Ellaby on Unsplash

Additionally, many essential oils have natural antibacterial properties that can help kill germs and prevent the spread of illness without the negative effects of industrial disinfectants. This makes them an excellent choice for disinfecting surfaces naturally.

Especially in light of COVID-19, there was an increased emphasis on the importance of disinfection in our homes. While commercial disinfectants can be effective, they often contain harsh & toxic chemicals, which used for long periods can cause more damage than good.

Thankfully, DIY cleaning supplies offer a natural and affordable alternative for keeping your home clean and free of germs, while also reducing your exposure to potentially harmful gifts.

My favourite DIY Cleaning Recipes – Easy, Effective, Eco-Friendly

After a little study on DIY cleaning supplies, you will soon discover that you are ready to go as long as you have baking soda and lemon on hand. I’m going to share with you some recipes for incredibly efficient homemade cleaning products. Made from combinations of a few components that have been used for generations in households across many different countries.

First, I’ll start with my go-to recipe, which is fun to prepare and provides an eco-friendly substitute for the chemical sanitisers we used during pandemic days.

 

A bottle of lemon essential oil in front of 2 slices of lemon

DIY Disinfectant spray

Simply mix all the ingredients in a spray bottle and use it to disinfect various surfaces around the house.

 

Easy and lazy DIY All-purpose cleaner

Now, trust me it does not get any easier than this general cleaner and it works!

  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • 1 cup water
  • 10-15 drops of essential oil (optional) – Tea tree and lemon essential oils are all-time favourites for their disinfecting properties and freshness, but you can also add any other for aroma, like this Organic Lavender Oil.

Mix all the ingredients in a spray bottle to clean various surfaces around the house. If you have very greasy surfaces to clean, you can also add 1/2 cup of dishwashing liquid to the mix.

 

For the most adventurous…Citrus peels DIY cleaning solution

Most of our lemon and orange peels sadly end up in the trash, which is a waste, because they are loaded with precious essential oils, which are great for fighting dirt. In this recipe, which smells amazing and is great for cutting through grease, we are going to be extracting the essential oils directly from the peels. It is also super-easy but it needs a bit more time to prepare.

  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • 1 cup water
  • Citrus peels from oranges, lemons, limes, or grapefruits. Preferably organic but it is not a must.

Instructions:

  • Collect your citrus peels, cut them into small pieces and place them in a clean, empty jar or container.
  • Pour enough white vinegar over the citrus peels to completely cover them.
  • Seal the jar or container with a lid and let it sit for at least two weeks in a cool, dark place, shaking the container occasionally.
  • After two weeks, strain the liquid into a spray bottle, discarding the citrus peels.
  • Dilute the citrus vinegar solution with an equal amount of water in a spray bottle.
  • You can check our quick video explaining the process.

Like with the easy all-purpose mix, you can use this solution to clean surfaces in your home, such as countertops, sinks, and floors. Simply spray the solution onto the surface and wipe it clean with a damp cloth.

 

DIY Glass cleaner

This is another super-easy and effective recipe with items you usually have around the house.

  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup white or apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup rubbing alcohol
  • 1-2 drops of essential oil (optional)

Mix all the ingredients in a spray bottle to clean windows, mirrors, and other glass surfaces.

 

DIY Carpet cleaner (and shoe deodorant!)

I felt blessed when I started using this simple mix. Say goodbye to nasty smells around the house!

  • 1 cup baking soda
  • 10-15 drops of essential oil (optional)

Sprinkle the baking soda mix on the carpet and let it sit for 15-20 minutes. Then vacuum it up. The essential oil can add a nice fragrance to the carpet.

This mix is also very effective as a dryer and deodorant for stinky shoes. Trust me on this, we are rock climbers, and our climbing shoes can get incredibly nasty 😆. In this case, I add the mix into small fabric bags (or empty tea bags) and leave them in the shoes to absorb the humidity and the smell. What a discovery!

 DIY Toilet Bombs

I enjoy trying out new DIY recipes at home, so I made some DIY toilet bombs and filmed a quick video of the process. The ingredients were simple to find, and the toilet smelled and looked great thanks to essential oils like lavender.

 

 Don’t take my word for it. Just try yourself.

As you can see, nature is offering us lots of alternatives to create effective cleaning products. And the best is, that those alternatives are very cheap and most likely already in your pantry. So, why not try something yourself? You can create quite a bunch of combinations with these, like a jigsaw puzzle.

If you are interested, it can be fun to research what different natural oils can do for us. My favourites are tea tree oil, which is known for its antibacterial and antifungal properties, lavender oil, for its relaxing scent, and citruses like lemon or orange because they make my house smell clean and fresh.

 

Upcycled DIY cleaning tools

For me, waste reduction and self-sufficiency have become a bit of a personal goal in our home lately, so I have been upcycling some old stuff into DIY cleaning supplies. For example, the most obvious, I have cut old t-shirts up and turned them into cleaning cloths.

Also, crazy me!! I have this obsession with reusing glass jars and bottles. We recycle them too of course, but I know that producing glass is very energy intensive so reusing it is much better and I prefer it to plastic. So, I thought, why not use them to store my homemade cleaning products?

There are so many other home items and materials that can be upcycled for DIY cleaning, such as wine corks as natural scrubbers, old toothbrushes to clean the hard-to-get cracks and corners, and even newspapers as streak-free glass cloth. Raid your pantry and get creative!

 

Respect your home, respect yourself!

Our home is the most sacred and special place for all of us. That’s why it’s so important to make thoughtful and sustainable choices for it. By making our cleaning supplies at home, it’s up to us to reduce waste, save money and create a healthier environment.

By using common household materials and reuse containers, we can create customised cleaning solutions easily and quickly. So why not give one of the recipes above a try and see how it works for you? You might discover a new favourite cleaning companion! And of course, share your cleaning tricks with me, I’m very curious to see what you can come up with.

  

 

Lola Fernandez wearing a green jacket on a golden wheat background

Lola is the founder of Green Cloud Nine. Nature lover and environmental activist since she was a teenager, Lola has always been a great fan of homesteading and she is continuously experimenting and finding her own way to be more self-sufficient and sustainable.

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Article also published in our founder's blog: My Shade of Green