Complete Guide to Homemade Cleaners
Reducing plastic consumption and waste in your life is not always easy but doesn’t always have to be hard, by making small changes to your everyday habits and life you’ll soon see these changes mounting up and your plastic consumption and waste production dropping drastically.
One change you can make is switching from your plastic clad cleaners to more natural, homemade alternatives. Whilst this might not seem like much on the surface, cleaning products are not only plastic clad but they’re also often manufactured with a host of unnecessarily toxic components that can be detrimental to health.
So if you’re looking to simplify your home cleaners, reduce your plastic-waste and limit your exposure to toxic chemicals read on. This guide will take you through all you need to know.
There’s a few everyday essential items that are must haves in your zero-waste cleaning arsenal these are:
- Baking soda
- White vinegar
- Soap nuts
- Castille soap
- Washing soda
- Hydrogen peroxide
- Essential oils (optional)
With these items you’ll have all your cleaning bases covered, and to think these are a mere fraction of the ingredients contained in many common household cleaners!
The list above contains acids, bases, surfactants and bleaching agents - in simple terms this is everything you need to clean your surfaces, clothes and more.
It’s all well and good ingredients but putting them to use means having the right recipes, so lets check them out see our favourite x5recipes below:
Recipe #1 homemade all purpose cleaner
This do it all recipe can be used for cleaning floors, windowsills, counters and more. It uses very few natural ingredients, is cheaper than shop bought alternatives and certainly lower waste and as a bonus takes around 30 seconds to be made. It also makes an effective antibacterial.
- 1 Cup Water
- 1 Cup White Vinegar
- ½ Juice of a Lemon
- 15 Drops of your favourite essential oil
Pour all the ingredients into the spray bottle to be used (using a funnel if required), tightly screw the lid and give the bottle a good shake! Viola, it’s that simple.
Your all purpose spray is now ready to be used - simply spray the cleaner on the area to be cleaned and give it a wipe with a damp cloth, dont be put off by a vinegary whiff this soon dissipates. Don’t use this cleaner or marble or granite.
Recipe #2 toilet cleaner
If you thought the last recipe was simple this ones even more of a sinch. It really only requires one ingredient but you have a choice:
- White vinegar
- Baking soda
Use the baking soda for any troublesome stains and the white vinegar on the surfaces of the toilet that need a wipe. Sprinkle the baking soda on stained areas, leave for a short while then give a good scrub with a stiff (and plastic-free) bristled brush.
For the white vinegar apply liberally to any surfaces that need a clean, wipe then wipe away with a damp cloth.
Recipe #3 Laundry detergent
There’s many ways to make a laundry detergent with the ingredients listed above but keeping to the theme of simplicity our laundry detergent once again contains one ingredient:
- Soap nuts
If you haven’t heard of soap nuts they’re a natural berry (not nut) that grows on trees, related to lychees. Their ability to clean comes from the fact they contain saponins which are the chemicals that give soaps their cleaning ability.
To use them simply add 6 soap nuts to a small hessian bag that can be tied close and add to your clothes wash.
Recipe #4 Homemade washing up liquid
This recipe is a bit more complicated but it’s still great, once you’ve made this bottle up it lasts months and we promise you won’t want to go back to store bought washing up liquid.
- 350 mL hot water
- 6 tbsp Castille soap
- 1 tbsp white vinegar
- 10 drops of your favourite essential oil, citrus work best!
- Pour the hot water into a mixing bowl and grate in the castille soap
- Add the white vinegar and essential oil whilst the mixture is still warm and mix well
- Decant into a squeezy or hand pump bottle
Simply add a few pumps to your washing up bowl when you’re doing your washing up and your dishes will be cleaner than ever!
Recipe #5 Glass cleaner
This glass cleaner recipe will have your windows and mirrors gleaming, the ingredients are listed below:
- 2 Cups water
- ½ Cup white vinegar
- A few drops of your favourite essential oil
- Combine in a spray bottle and shake well before use
To use simply spray on your windows and wipe away, apply to a damp cloth to clean your mirrors.
These 5 recipes should have most of your cleaning bases covered but there’s plenty more recipes you can make up with the ingredients above, so get googling, researching and combining your own concoctions at home and you’ll have all the cleaners you could ever need!
Antibacterial and antiviral cleaners
Antibacterial and antiviral cleaners can also be made at home, viruses and bacteria don’t survive well in harsh conditions be that acidic, basic, extremes of temperature or alcoholic conditions.
Checkfirst to see what exact components in what quantities are required to eradicate specific strains of bacteria and viruses.
Homemade disinfecting bleach spray
This homemade disinfecting bleach spray is effective at eliminating coronavirus at home, it does use shop bought bleach but it gets the job done! The ingredients you need are:
- ⅓ Cup Bleach
- 1 Gallon Water
Mix well in a spray bottle of your choice.
This 1:48 ratio of ingredients can be scaled to produce the amount of spray required and should be made up freshly every few days as bleach degrades rather quickly.
To use spray on hard surfaces in a well ventilated area, make sure the spray can sit for 10 minutes before it’s wiped away. Do not use on soft furnishings or fabrics.
A note on cloths brushes and more
Cloths and brushes are typically made with tonnes of plastic in the fibres and bristles. These plastics are shed and fragmented when they’re used which can result in microplastics going down the drain and entering water works.
Make the switch to natural cloths and natural bristled brushes, many natural alternatives exist:
- Coconut scourers
- Hemp cloths
- Cotton cloths made from scrap clothing
- Plant based brushes
There we have our complete guide to natural cleaning at home, with this guide you’ll be able to make your own homemade cleaners to clean your house top to bottom, get rid of bacteria and viruses.
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