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This Old House - Do-it-Yourself

The Basics of Natural Home Cleaning + Recipes

Written by Posted On Thursday, 14 July 2016 08:07

natural home cleaning basics

Not so long ago, I switched to green cleaning. I have been using store-bought products all my life, but at one point decided to change that and live the healthy lifestyle. The other goals were to simplify my cleaning routine and save money (which indeed happened).

We all know how many are the downsides of chemical products and how harmful they are to nature and sometimes to our families as well. But our focus today are the positives of green cleaning and the basics with which you can start your journey an eco-friendly household.

Let’s dive into the topic and explore the pros:

  • They are cheaper - you make them from ingredients already present in your home. The basics which we all store in our kitchens include baking soda and vinegar, for example. They are already budget-friendly, but for a bargain better get them in bulk. A jar of baking soda paste is a lot cheaper than your regular oven cleaner and they last the same amount of time.
  • All mixtures are multifunctional - these DIY cleaning products are pretty universal and a single type of cleaner can work for a wide range of cleaning tasks. Polish your bathtub and clean the oven with the same scrub - you save even more money and storage space.

Key Household Ingredients And Their Functions

There are lots of cleaner recipes out there and at the end of this article, I will give you a few to start with. But you still want to know what each ingredient does in order to create your own recipes that will suit your particular needs.

  • Baking Soda - its basic uses are mainly as a non-abrasive scrub and odour absorbent but you can use it to unclog drains too (in a combo with vinegar). You’ll find it most useful when cleaning the kitchen and bathroom.
  • Vinegar - because it’s a light acid, vinegar can be of use in a wide range of cleaning and odour removing tasks. It’s best if you’re using white vinegar because it’s colorless, which will be great for spot treating (carpet and upholstery stains, anyone?). Vinegar works just as great for kitchen cleaning and mildew removing.
  • Lemon Juice - it’s quite similar in purpose to vinegar, with the difference that lemon juice smells better. It actually has whitening qualities and thus is quite helpful when you need to remove a  stain. It’s the perfect ingredient for a bathroom cleanser and with it, you can polish the faucets to perfection.  
  • Cornstarch - people often use it for window cleaning, but I don’t find it convenient as it leaves cornstarch deposits. Though it works as an amazing absorbent, so you can use it as a pretreatment for stains and deodorizer. It’s also a great polisher.
  • Rubbing Alcohol - it’s a great disinfectant and the last resort to a lot of persistent stains. It dries quickly and works great of dissolving oil and dirt. Rubbing alcohol is something extra that each household should have just in case. Use it with caution, though, it’s flammable and should be used in a well-ventilated room.
  • Hydrogen Peroxide - 3-10% hydrogen peroxide is a good multi-purpose cleaner with whitening abilities. Although being a great bleach alternative, you still need to use it with the same caution - test it on a safe area first, because it can cause fabric discoloration. It also works as a natural disinfectant, but to preserve its qualities make sure to keep it away from the sun and at best - in its original dark bottle.

natural cleaning products - diy cleaning products


Natural Cleaning Recipes


You can experiment and create lots of DIY cleaning recipes later on, but for now, let’s just start with the basics:


Daily Multi-Purpose Cleaner - this mixture is perfect for day-to-day cleaning and surface disinfecting. You can use it on all surfaces except glass. Make sure to regularly add more hydrogen peroxide into the concoction as it tends to turn into water over time. To achieve this cleaner combine the following ingredients:

  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • ⅛ cup hydrogen peroxide
  • 1 cup sparkling water
  • 7 drops of tea tree oil 


Spot Removing Wipes - perfect for treating stains on the rug and soft furniture. Cut an old towel into smaller squares and soak them in the mixture. Squeeze and store in a plastic bag. You can create the concoction by combining:

  • ¼ cup sparkling water
  • ¼ cup white vinegar
  • 7 drops of essential oil of your choice (to make it smell heavenly)


Homemade Degreaser - use this mixture to clean the kitchen and appliances in a family-safe way. Make sure to shake the bottle well before every usage. Combine:

  • 2 tbsp. lemon juice
  • ½ tsp. Castile soap
  • 1 tbsp. Baking soda
  • 2 cups of water


All-Purpose Disinfectant - you can use it for every surface - just spray, let it sit for 10 minutes and wipe it off with a microfibre cloth. For amazing aroma, add 10 drops of essential oil of your choice (I don’t recommend using a mixture containing oils for glass surfaces). The ingredients are:

  • ½  cup white vinegar
  • ½  cup vodka
  • 1 ½ cups water


About the author: Abbie is a freelance writer currently working for Pleased To Clean You - a company specialized in moving out services. London is her hometown and the city where the company operates. Abbie writes mostly on cleaning-related topics and she loves giving people advice on how to tackle day-to-day chores quickly and efficiently. She also writes on topics such as tenancy and the obligations which comes with it, ways to renovate rental properties and the best ways to ensure that renters won't lose their deposits.

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