The objective of cleaning is not just to clean, but to feel happiness living within that environment.”– Marie Kondo
With a growing focus on natural products for our bodies, our skin, makeup and toiletries, many of us overlook the other everyday items steeped in chemicals. Cleaning products. We all clean our homes, or at least I hope you do, and most products out there are filled with chemicals that I can’t actually pronounce half off.
A lot of us advocate nature. We recycle, we utilise what nature offers and the growing market for natural products is on the rise. But these items usually come to us with a price tag that might not suit everyone’s budget, a spending two pounds on a bottle of cleaning spray makes greater economic sense that spending six pounds.
In this day and age, it’s a sad fact that not everyone can actually afford the luxury of nature.
You can however, rather easily, make your own. And since (at the time of writing) most of us are sat at home twiddling our thumbs, put DIY on your list of things to do and make some products to spruce up your home and keep it clean.
Do homemade natural cleaning products work?
Put simply, yes. We are aware of the number of natural products that contain anti-bacterial and anti-microbial properties. Some of us might us them on our bodies. Tea tree works for your skin and your home.
Now, without the chemicals these products wont pack as much a punch as the store alternatives, and if you have a serious case of limescale, you might to need to pull on the marigolds and take the chemical route. Natural products will also require a little bit more elbow grease.
But for everyday cleaning, wiping down surfaces, purifying the air or polishing, natural works just as well.
Why should I make natural cleaning products?
There are many reasons but for starters, as someone with sensitive skin that flares up when it comes into contact with chemicals, natural products are a nontoxic alternative that doesn’t turn my hands raw.
You’re also reducing the amount of chemicals being put out into the world, a small step for the environment.
And its cheaper. Most of the ingredients you need are store bought essentials that can be bulk bought and stored for longer. You can get a lot of use out of one bottle of vinegar, so cost effectiveness is a massive bonus.
On the plus side, you can adapt these products to your own taste. Using herbs or essential oils you can create your own cleaning supply that smells exactly how you want it to. No more hospital smells. Bring on the lavender.
What do I need?
There are a few essential ingredients that you’ll find most recipes use over and over again.
- Baking Soda (sodium bicarbonate) or Bicarbonate of Soda as it’s known in the UK.
- Essential Oils – often eucalyptus, lavender, lemon, jasmine, thyme and tea tree are handy basics.
- Herbs – fresh herbs not only offer their own cleaning properties, but they also just smell really nice. You might find a lot of overlap between herbs and essential oils you want to use.
- Lemon/Lime/Orange Juice
- Vinegar and White Vinegar
It’s also handy to have some squirty bottles (reuse your old ones), spray bottles, sealable glass jars and labels. Very important labels.
DIY Natural Cleaning Products
A few easy products to try as you enter the world of green cleaning, everyday essentials that you can make in advance and store.
55ml white vinegar
¼ teaspoon tea tree oil
¼ teaspoon lavender oil
Mix together and spray away as usual. Give it a good shake every now and then.
Or: put 20 drops of lavender to one cup of water and spray. Lavender contains linalool, which kills of viruses and bacteria.
10 drops pure lemon oil
2 tablespoons of lemon juice
A few drops of oil – olive or jojoba
Mix it together, dip in a cloth and wipe away, leaving to dry on its own.
8 drops of a citrus essential oil of your choosing
Combine and shake well before using. Spray mirror and wipe with a dry cloth.
Drains: pour 30g of baking soda down your sinks to avoid clogging and rinse with hot water. Pouring vinegar down your bathroom sinks keeps them clean.
Carpet: Sprinkle your carpet with baking soda before hoovering. Using essential oils offers a nice fragrance and can be adapted to suit you. Repel bugs with lavender or have a Christmas scented carpet with cinnamon or pine.
There is a recipe out there for just about all of your cleaning needs, from everyday essentials to metal polishing, mildew and wallpaper removal.
Research and experiment, darlings.
And open your windows, that’s very important.
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