Well, we are at the beginning of March and I know many of you have already started to pull out your spring decorating items and have began to think “Spring Cleaning”. We are still experiencing winter in our “neck of the woods” and sometimes, it feels like spring does not take effect until May or June. But by then, the summer months have began!
Anyway, if you are thinking about doing some spring cleaning around your home such as deep cleaning areas that seem neglected, why not create some DIY spring cleaning products with stuff you may already have at home? It does not have to be complicated. And by making your own, you will be saving money and knowing exactly what ingredients you are adding. Further, one DIY cleaner could clean many areas of the home, where as, most commercial cleaners are made for specific areas such as toilet bowl cleaners. Surely, you probably would not want to clean your kitchen cupboards or tables with this cleaner. You do not know the effect it may have on your pretty counters.
If you prefer to use commercial cleaning products, that is OK. Everyone has a preference and should be free to use what they think is best for their homes. But personally, I have never regretted my decision to switch to all-natural cleaning products a few years ago. In fact, I grew up using a lot of the natural, but had kind of gotten away from it since travelling away and owning my own home. I sure distaste the smells of those commercial cleaning products and have long wanted to get away from them. I remember cleaning the girls bathrooms in our dorm when I attended college. I had a brilliant idea to mix mildew stain remover and bleach to have a perfectly clean bathroom. Huge mistake! The smells got to my lungs and almost “knocked” me out! I stepped outside for about a half hour to recuperate and to take in some fresh air. The college Dean’s wife cautioned against this as it could be dangerous, as she had experienced in the past.
Here are the benefits we gain from using all natural cleaning products:
- It is so much better for our health
- It is much better for the little kids in our household (the kids like to follow me around when I clean, especially the bathrooms).
- I can avoid harsh chemicals and abrasions on certain household items.
- Some are straight from the pantry.
- I enjoy cleaning more because I do not have to smell those “nasty” smells!
- Cleaning has become even more regular as a result.
I have two main areas where I keep cleaning products in our home – the laundry room for general cleaning and under the kitchen sink for the areas in the kitchen. In addition, I have a few other bottles of natural cleaning sprays in the bathrooms and other areas for quick access to cleaning.
Here are 12 INGREDIENTS that’s typically found around the home to make DIY cleaning simple. Most of them are all-natural. The possibilities are endless as to what you can do with them!
1. White Vinegar: My hubby is not a huge fan of the smell and I must admit, that the smell is not very appealing to the senses. So to mask the smell I often mix it with some type of essential oil. Vinegar can be used in many different ways. But here are just a few.
- To wash out meats: Rinse meat and chicken in white vinegar before cooking.
- For all-purpose cleaning and sanitizing of counter tops and other surface areas of the home: Pour 1 cup white vinegar in an empty spray bottle. Add 8 to 10 drops of essential oils (lavender, purification, lemon, or thieves) are my favorite for cleaning and deodorizing. Fill the bottle to the top with water. Spray on areas and wipe clean.
- To clean toilet bowls: Sprinkle a 1/2 cup of baking soda all around the inside of the toilet bowl. Pour in some vinegar and let it fizz. Then use a toilet brush to swish the toilet. Flush and rinse clean. Use the cleaning/deodorizing/disinfecting method above to clean the other areas of the toilet. NB: The vinegar and baking soda method may also be used to unclog mildly clogged sinks.
2. Baking Soda: This is one of my favorites! Just read behind a baking soda box and you will find many uses for the product. Apart from its use to cook and to whiten teeth, here are some other uses.
- To wash pots and pans: Add desired amount of baking soda to areas such as stove tops. Add some soapy water to the area then clean with a sponge or other type of cleaning rags. Alternatively, a paste can be made with the items and then used for cleaning.
- To clean sinks and stove tops: Use the same method above.
- To clean tubs and toilet bowls: Add about 1/4 cup (or more) baking powder to the toilet bowl. Add 1/2 cup (or more) vinegar or more, if desired. When the mixture is done fizzing, swish around the toilet bowl.
- To clean spills on carpet/rug: Sprinkle baking soda over the area. Pour on some vinegar and let it fizz and sit for a minute or two. Then gently rub the area with a warm wet rag. I usually add a little dawn dish soap to the rag for even better cleaning.
- To deodorize rugs/carpet and even stuffed animals: Sprinkle baking soda all over floors, then vacuum. Essential oils may be added to the baking soda before sprinkling. Use your favorite scents and shake well before using.
- To deodorize stuffed animals, sprinkle baking soda all over the animal. Allow it to sit about 10 minutes. Shake off!
- To deodorize the fridge: My hubby thought me this one. Place an opened box or two of baking soda in the refrigerator to keep it smelling fresh.
- NB: I do not use a set measurement when it comes to cleaning with baking soda. I use according to my judgement: how small or large the area is that needs to be cleaned or how dirty the area may be.
3. Borax: This one helps with stubborn cleaning such as stove tops and pots and pans. It also helps with cleaning toilet bowls. Follow the same steps as you would with baking soda. It can also be added to laundry for cleaner clothes. The back of the box tells how much to add per load of laundry. Or use it to make homemade laudry soap.
4. Super Washing Soda: Use in a similar way as you would with borax. Also, it can be used to unclog sinks. Add about a 1/2 cup washing soda to the sink, making sure it gets in the hole. Rinse with hot water.
5. Rubbing Alcohol: This is a very good product to clean dirty couches, if you could bypass the strong alcohol smell. All it takes is some rubbing alcohol and a scrubbing brush. See my post on how to use it to clean couches here.
6. Hydrogen Peroxide: You may already know that this product could be used as an all-natural mouth rinse or to clean insect bites and opened wounds. But I first saw the idea of using it to clean pots and and pans on the Rachael Ray TV show back in January. You know, when all that burnt food is stuck to the pot that seem impossible to come out!
- For pots and pans: Rinse pots or pans with hot water. Sprinkle a generous amount of peroxide to the burnt areas. Then use a steel wool or other scrubbing product to scrub it off. Truly, it works like magic!
- For stove top: Use this same method above.
7. Shaving cream: This is another brilliant idea I saw on the Rachael Ray TV show.
- For floor mats, rugs, and carpets: To quickly remove dirt from rugs or carpets, rinse the area with hot water. Then spray on a generous amount of shaving cream. Rub the area gently with a wet cloth. Then wipe clean. It really works wonderfully (at least for me)!
8. Baby Oil: Who knew baby oil could be used for cleaning purposes? I didn’t. Not until a few years ago (believe it was a Pinterest find).
- To spolish stainless steel sinks and chrome faucets: Add a teaspoon of baby oil to a cleaning rag. Use the rag to polisj sinks and faucets. Or apply a few drops of oil to the area, then polish with a rag.
- To remove grease build-up: Apply directly to the area then rub off with a damp cloth.
9. Lemon: This is another one of my favorites – so many uses. Here are a few.
- To wash meats: Cut one lemon and squeeze the juices over meats and chicken before cooking. Rinse with water.
- To sanitize kitchen gadgets and cutting boards: Cut a lemon and rub it all over the area before washing.
- To cut grease: Cut a lemon and rub all over the areas, making sure the juice is squeezed out while rubbing. This works great on dishes and other kitchen appliances that need de-greasing.
- To remove rust: Cut a lemon and rub unto the area. Then rub off with a sponge. This tip is best use for items that are not rusted to the point where there is no turning back. Use as soon as the rust spots are spotted such as on kitchen utensils.
10. Dr. Bronner’s All Natural Castile Soap: I have only began using this one last year after being recommended by a friend.
- To clean all areas of the home: Use it like you would use any type of soap to clean your home. It is all natural. It is made with hemp. It cleans very well!
- In homemade cleaning products – Check out my post here on some ideas of how to mix it with homemade cleaning products.
- It can also be used in place of body wash and used to make DIY body washes.
11. Essential Oils: Here are 4 of my favorite types for cleaning – purification, lemon, thieves, and lavender. If you need some ideas of how to use essential oils for cleaning, see my post here. There are various types and brands so go with what your pocket could afford. Just be sure they are pure oils.
12. Dawn Dish Soap: It may not be all-natural like Dr. Bronner’s but it works great and is not made from harsh chemicals.
- To clean dishes
- To clean surface areas
- To clean toilets
- To clean windows
- To clean floors
Follow my link here for suggestions on how to use dawn for cleaning. Feel free to adjust the cleaning solutions to suit your cleaning needs.
There you have it – all 12 of the DIY cleaning products I use to clean our home. Like I mentioned before, the possibilities are just endless with these products. I barely even “scratched the surface” with how these products could be used. It’s all about experimenting and figuring out which ones you like best. Throw in a couple rags (microfiber or regular old rags), sponges, toothbrushes, dusters, whatever, and you will be good to go!!!
So tell me, have you branched out to using DIY cleaning products or do you still prefer commercial? What is your favorite product and why? I would love to know your thoughts in the comments!
She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness (Proverbs 31:27, KJV).