Few things are more important than maintaining a clean home. Living in a clean, orderly environment does wonders for one’s mental state, but it also saves money down the road—a home left alone for too long might result in having to hire professionals to perform drastic measures such as power cleaning stubbornly stained windows or other cleaning services that cost a pretty penny.
While most agree that it’s necessary to clean their home regularly, many people, when sprucing up their home, prefer to use store-bought cleaning products. Apart from costing money, these products are made with harsh chemicals that irritate not only the skin, but the eyes and throat as well. They can even cause headaches and other health problems.
They’re also wholly unnecessary. Using simple ingredients, you can make your own effective cleaner and disinfectant without going out to the store, and without these potentially hazardous chemicals. Here are six simple homemade recipes for safe, environmentally friendly cleaning agents.
A Simple Homemade Glass Cleaner (h2)
This easy DIY glass cleaner utilizes ingredients you can easily find around the home. And it promises a streak-free shine!
Take the following ingredients and mix them in a spray bottle:
1 Tbsp. cornstarch
1/4 cup white vinegar
1/4 cup rubbing alcohol
2 cups water
8 drops of an essential oil of your choice for fragrance. (This could include lemon, lavender, orange, or any scent you’d like.)
You should have most of these ingredients handy, though you might need to pick up essential oils, which you can find easily online. They’re also available at many supermarkets and health stores such as Target and GNC.
The best news about this recipe? It costs only roughly 33 cents to make a batch. Your windows, and wallet, will thank you.
A 2-Ingredient Kitchen Cleaner and Deodorizer (h2)
An even more simple, and equally inexpensive, homemade cleaner needs only two simple ingredients. For a simple way to clean kitchen countertops, appliances, and the inside of your refrigerator, simply combine the following items:
4 tablespoons baking soda
1 quart warm water
You can use these ingredients in a variety of ways. A simple solution of baking soda and water can be used to deodorize surfaces and clean counters, but you can also remove spots from stainless steel by applying a paste of baking soda and water on the steel and gently scrubbing the affected area with a damp rag.
An Easy and Safe Brass Cleaner (h2)
If you have any brass items in your home, you know that they can tend to tarnish easily. But there’s no need to go to the store and pick up a chemical brass cleaner. You can polish your brass with just three simple ingredients:
1 teaspoon salt
½ cup vinegar
Flour (until mixture becomes a paste)
Once your vinegar, salt and flour has acquired a paste-like consistency, rub the cleaner into your brass and leave it for ten minutes. Once you rinse it off with warm water, you should find a tarnish-free finish!
A Safe and Affordable Marble and Granite Cleaner (h2)
When cleaning stone surfaces, it’s best to avoid chemical-laden cleaners. But even natural acidic liquids such as vinegar or lemon juice can cause permanent damage to these surfaces.
Thankfully, you don’t need much to create a mixture that’ll perfectly buff and clean marble and granite countertops. Simply combine:
2 cups warm water
2 drops liquid dishwashing soap
That’s it! A little bit of dishwashing soap in warm water will clean your countertops without damaging them. The key here is to not let the wet surface air-dry, once the solution has been applied, buff it off with a dry towel or soft cloth.
An All-Purpose Cleaner for Everyday Use
This recipe is similar to the glass cleaner, but cuts out the rubbing alcohol and cornstarch added to avoid a streaky finish. What you’re left with is a simple, effective all-purpose cleaner that you can use on most surfaces. Take the three following ingredients and add them to a spray bottle:
2 cups warm water
½ cup distilled white vinegar
20 drops essential oil (of your choice)
Assuming you’ve already procured essential oil for your window cleaning recipe, you can find more use for the bottle to help give your all-purpose cleaner a nice, fresh scent. While we would not recommend using this cleaner on glass or stone countertops, it’s a perfect cleaner for wood, plastic, and everyday items around the home.
Which finally brings us to our last cleaner recipe.
A Natural and Effective Cleaner That’s Guaranteed to Break Up Grease
Arguably the most difficult part of cleaning is dealing with built up grease and gunk, especially in the kitchen around your stove and oven. Most cleaners that can effectively break up these greasy areas are filled with toxic chemicals and fumes that can impact your health with too much exposure.
This recipe, while requiring some ingredients you might have to go out of your way to purchase, helps knock out these grease stains without any nasty chemicals. It requires orange essential oil (though lemon works in a pinch) and castile soap, which you can find at most supermarkets and national chain pharmacies throughout the nation, or you can order it online.
Either way, castile soap is a vegetable-based soap that is environmentally friendly and will help give your degreaser some disinfectant qualities. Once you’ve acquired those two ingredients, you’re good to make your cleaner:
1 and ¾ cups water (if you have distilled water, it will give your cleaner a longer lifespan)
2 tablespoons castile soap (make sure you get a liquid soap version, as castile soap comes in both hard and liquid varieties)
20 drops orange essential oil
And that’s it! Put those three ingredients into a spray bottle, and you’ll be able to knock out grease stains in a heartbeat. And you’ll do so without filling your home with toxic fumes. In fact, this cleaner will smell downright refreshing.
With these six natural, safe, and homemade cleaning products at hand, you’ll find yourself saving money and saving yourself from exposure to harsh chemicals. It’s a win-win!