Create a Diy Natural Cleaning Kit. Natural Cleaners Work Just as Well as Chemical Cleaners, but They Are Better for Your Health and Easier on Your Pocketbook.
There are many benefits to living after the industrial revolution, for example, better living conditions for most people. One of these modern conveniences we are used to is mass produced chemical cleaners. It’s so easy just to hop in your car, drive to your local market, buy the cleaner you need – premade and prepackaged – for just a few bucks. While the modern world does focus on fast and cheap, is that really what’s best?
In this article, we’ll explore some simple natural cleaning recipes that you can whip up on your own with only a few ingredients – and ingredients you probably already have on hand.
In most recipes, when you talk about natural cleaning and adding vinegar, you will be using distilled white vinegar. You can typically find a big 1-gallon jug of it at your local store for around $3 or $4.
Some historical facts and uses of vinegar are:
- It is an acetic acid and a by-product of alcohol
- It comes from the Latin word vinum meaning sour wine
- Useful in cooking and canning
- Used for medicinal purpose: cleaning rashes, bites, other minor wounds, and the plague
- Helped Hannibal cross the Alps
- Dissolved a pearl which Cleopatra drank as part of a bet with Anthony
- Leonardo da Vinci created the original secret message
- Victorian contraceptives (although unreliable)
White Vinegar is used for sanitizing, removing hard water stains, inorganic soils, and mineral deposits. In the sanitizing aspect, it is strong enough to combat E. Coli. It can deteriorate anything clogging your toilet or sink drains. In the removal of mineral deposits, it can power through even the dirtiest construction truck and have it shiny again.
Why you should use it: Unlike other cleaning chemicals, it’s biodegradable, it’s non-toxic and stable – making it safe to handle – and leaves no harmful residue.
Lemons are considered to be nature’s natural bleach and disinfectant, and with a pleasant fresh scent, this is why lots of chemical cleaners give off the smell of lemons or another citrus.
Interesting historical and fun facts about lemons:
- Originated in Italy along the Amalfi coast around 200 a.d.
- Often used for their medicinal properties
- Spread by the Arab nation in the Mediterranean region
- Christopher Columbus introduced the lemon to America on his second voyage
- California has produced more lemons than all of Europe
- Lemons are the ranked the highest amongst all the citrus fruit in regards to vitamin C (35% daily requirement in one lemon!)
- Once was banished for being the fruit of the devil
- Also used as a contraceptive
Why it works: Lemons are not only a bleach and disinfectant; they also have antibacterial and antiseptic qualities.
It’s useful for more than just baking! Baking soda is great to have on hand for your cleaning projects as well because it is useful for extinguishing fires, neutralizing acids, and deodorizing stinky areas.
Some historical facts and uses of baking soda are:
- Used in carbonated drinksWhy it works:
- Useful in deodorizing fridges, garbage pans, or shoes
- Helps ease indigestion and heartburn
- Cleans and whitens teeth
- Removes chemical buildup from your hair and makes it shiny
- Also known as sodium bicarbonate, sodium hydrogen carbonate, bicarbonate of soda, saleratus, and bread soda
Why it works: Because of its ability to destabilize acids, it great to have in the garage or storage shed in case a battery leaks or if you have a pool, it will help regulate the pH and alkaline of its water.
Salt is considered to be a soft metal because it is found only in natural things like the earth crust and not found in metal. It has been used in many of the early civilizations in the making of fine pottery, glass, food, and embalming and preserving.
Interesting facts about salt:
- Caused wars, uprising, and revolutions
- Only a small fraction of salt produced is made for food flavoring
- Used as money and an economic boost or detriment in civilizations
- Utilized in religions, ceremonies, and rituals
- Historically used for preserving foods for long periods of time
Why it works: Because of its granular structure, salt is used as an abrasive to scrub hard to remove stains out or put a shine on your brass, copper, or pewter belongings. It is also an antibacterial so it’s good with cuts and scrapes or soothing bee stings.
Its name is derived from the region in Italy the olive oil it used to be made with grew and was produced. It is a mild soap usually made from olive oil, although more modern times will use either olive oil or another vegetable oil. This soap contains no animal fats and is usually found at a health food marketplace. You can buy it in bar form or liquid form. If bought in liquid form, it will need to be diluted.
Castile soap contains no animal fats and is usually found at a health food marketplace. You can buy it in bar form and grate it for recipes or purchase it in liquid form. If bought in liquid form, you can dilute it so it lasts even longer. Try Dr. Bronner’s castile soap for the heavenly scent of lemon, lavender, mint, and almond.
Washing soda is also known as soda ash or sal ash. It’s mostly used to clean grease, oil, dirt or other petroleum products and is a terrific addition to your laundry or to unclog drains.
Borax has been around for a long time, and your grandma or great-grandma probably used it to wash the clothes. It is an antiseptic, antifungal, and antibacterial white powder.
- It is called sodium borate
- Borax is an alkaline mineral and has been used for cleaning and deodorizing for a long time
- Great for using in laundry, it makes the water soft and whitens and brightens your clothes
Why you should use it: It is non-toxic, non-abrasive and safe for the environment. Many stores carry it in your laundry detergent aisle.
Essential oils are the essence of the plants smell and they can be beneficial for many reasons, and cleaning is one of them. They provide anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and insect repellant properties. Some essential oils are good to add to a cleaning mixture for an extra boost in disinfecting or antibacterial properties. Some essential oils that are great to add are tea tree, lavender, lemon, orange, or peppermint.
Essential oils are good to add to a cleaning mixture for an extra boost in disinfecting or antibacterial properties and as a way to freshen your home. Some essential oils that are great to add are tea tree, lavender, lemon, orange, or peppermint.
Tea Tree oil: The natives in Australia, the Aborigines, use tea tree oil to treat wounds and infections. It is a natural antiviral, antibacterial, and antifungal medication. It comes from the Melaleuca tree, this oil is only to be used externally and sparingly (like most essential oils, a little goes a long way). It is also a natural solvent so it can be used to clean up grease or used in your laundry soap.
So I guess it’s up to you to decide if you want to try out these natural cleaning components. They are all relatively cheap, biodegradable, non-toxic, and more importantly better for your health and that of your family members. And if you think it will take a long time to whip up a recipe, it won’t. It’s almost as simple as a dump-and-forget crockpot recipe.
Reference Books That Provide Awesome Information on Green or Natural Cleaning:
Green Cleaning by Margaret Briggs and Vivian Head
“When it comes to cleaning, less is more, and cleaning without toxic chemicals is known as “green” cleaning. Green cleaning is just a new name for an old way of cleaning and often uses items that have been handed down from your grandmother, or even your great-grandmother, and used over the years to get rid of that nasty stain or odor. Green cleaning is just a different way of thinking about what you put on the surfaces in your home, what you breathe, and what you touch.’
Why I like it: This green cleaning tome lends an informative look into the long history of specific green or natural cleaners like vinegar, baking soda, lemon juice, and salt. It also gives a clear-cut understanding of why this natural abrasives and disinfectants work.
Clean & Green by Annie Berthold-Bond
- Create a “fantastic” cleaner and a “soft scrubber”
- Clean produce effectively
- Eliminate mold without toxic disinfectants
- Discover the cleaning power of lemon, rhubarb, and other plants
- Use little-known cleaning agents like pumice and zeolite
Why I like it: If you are interested in learning more about the different types of natural cleaners you can make, this book is for you. This slim volume is packed with tons of recipes from all-purpose household cleaners to cars and knowing how to properly clean up chemicals.
Clean House, Clean Planet by Karen Logan
How many times have you said you’re killing yourself trying to keep your house clean? You might have been joking, but you’re closer to the truth than you think if you’re using expensive commercial cleaners. Karen Logan, an environmentalist with years of experience developing and selling her own line of eco-friendly cleaning products, reveals the secret of using simple, ordinary ingredients like baking soda, vinegar, soap, lemon juice, and salt to make safe, inexpensive cleaners.
- Olive oil is not only good as a salad dressing but also as a furniture polish
- Plain club soda works great as a window cleaner
- You can make your copper-bottomed pots sparkle with just lemon juice and salt
- And ordinary liquid soap and water will clean up those ants marching through your kitchen?
Why I like it: If you are looking for more the details on what is so wrong with mass-produced chemicals, this book is for you. The author illustrates what you can substitute for a natural cleaner instead, and she offers up some of her own natural cleaning recipes.
Home Wisdom by Jon Vara
Americans have always prided themselves on their curiosity, thrift, and ingenuity. Today, with our busy schedules and frantic work weeks, these qualities are more important than ever in our efforts to live fulfilling lives. Now you can learn to organize your home, clean and repair household items, care for your pet more effectively, get rid of household customs and innovations. More than just a collection of household hints Home Wisdom is a book about how to live simple and sensibly, and get satisfaction from doing it. Master handy secrets like how to:
- Establish a filing system for your paper clutter
- Use old thread spools to keep squirrels away from the bird feeder
- Polish silver with banana skins
- This is a humorous, practical guide to living smarter, healthier, and happier!
Why I like it: This book isn’t just about natural cleaning. There is a chapter on decluttering, riding your house of pests, making your house a home and natural cleaning. The subtitle of this book is “A commonsense guide to solving everyday problems” and that is very fitting! It’s easy to read and full of great ideas.
Use These 10 Simple Ingredients and Create a Natural Cleaning Kit for Cleaning or Moving Day
Things can get pretty stressful when you are trying to pack your house and keep our sanity with the family. Make this natural cleaning kit ahead of time to help prepare for the move and take off a bit of pressure.
There are many things I like about natural cleaners. They work just as well as the chemical cleaners you can purchase, but they are much better for your health. Using natural ingredients is good for the environment and they are very cost effective. All the ingredients are probably in your pantry or laundry room right now. I love being frugal! So, get yourself prepared for moving-day or cleaning day and make a DIY natural cleaning kit.
Get prepared for moving-day or cleaning day and make a DIY natural cleaning kit.
Natural Cleaning Kit Ingredients
- Distilled white vinegar
- Hydrogen peroxide
- Lemon juice
- Baking soda
- Dawn liquid dish soap
- Washing soda
- Castile soap
- optional – essential oils of choice; think tea tree, peppermint, orange or lemon
Other Cleaning Supplies for the Kit
- Spray bottles
- Sponges with scrubbers
- Microfiber cloth
- Magic eraser
- Caddie and/or bucket
DIY Natural Cleaning Kit Recipes
Heat 1/2 cup vinegar in the microwave, until slightly warm but not so hot that you will melt your spray bottle. Add 1/2 cup of blue Dawn liquid dish soap to the spray bottle and shake. Spray on and leave for at least two hours. Rinse with water and wipe or squeegee off.
Add 2 cups water, 1/4 cup vinegar and 1/2 teaspoon liquid dish soap into a spray bottle. Spritz onto windows and wipe with newspaper or microfiber cloth.
Toilet Bowl Cleaner
Pour 1 cup of vinegar into the bowl and let it sit for an hour. Scrub to remove the ring, flush.
Sink and Tile Scrubber
Place 1/4 cup washing soda, 1/4 cup baking soda, 8 drops of essential oil and enough castile soap to make a paste. Scoop a teaspoon of the mixture into the sink and scrub with a sponge. Rinse with vinegar and then hot water.
Foam Carpet Shampoo
Mix 3 cups of water, 3/4 cup liquid castile soap and 10 drops of peppermint oil in a blender. Rub the foam into the soiled area with a wet sponge and let it dry. Vacuum it up.
Wall and Woodwork
In a large bowl or bucket mix a solution of two parts vinegar, one part baking soda and three parts warm water. Stir until the soda is incorporated. Use a soft cloth to wipe the dirt from walls and woodwork and rinse with clean water.
You may want to print these pictures to use as labels on your containers.