Are you looking to save some money and help the environment?
Household cleaning products are expensive, and most are full of harsh and toxic chemicals. Luckily you can ditch the costly chemicals in favor of homemade natural cleaning products that are just as effective.
Why You Should Make Your Household Cleaners:
- Less packaging waste. You’re not buying new bottles over and over. I like to use reused bottles from past cleaners.
- Less expensive. I started making homemade products before I was all the way green – why? To save money grocery shopping!
- Less harmful (often not harmful at all) to humans, animals, and the earth. Note: be careful with Borax, especially around pets.
14 Eco-friendly Homemade Natural Cleaning Products
You have a few options when it comes to natural laundry detergent.
Our top pick is soap nuts or soapberries. You can grow them at home if you live in the right climate. What is cooler than growing your laundry detergent?… Nothing!
You can also make laundry detergent with a mixture of Borax, Washing Soda, Fels-Naptha Soap (Zote or Castile Soap), and pure essential oils. We used borax very sparingly in the swimming pool as an alternative to harsh chemicals, and I worry about borax building up in the soil.
A little bit of Borax kills off Creeping Charlie, and too much borax can kill off your prized plants. So, we have decided against Borax based solutions and pick up Seventh Generation detergent when it goes on sale.
Prevent clogs altogether with the incredible drain trap. I’m shocked at how many people don’t use a drain trap. You can pick one up at Lowe's or Amazon for just a few dollars.
We had a slow drain tub at our first apartment. We tried every product imaginable to fix it, and the landlord was no help. Finally broke down and hire a plumber to look at it, the culprit was a green plastic army man. Had the previous renter used a drain trap, and we would have saved ourselves some serious coin.
If you have a sluggish drain, pour a cup of white vinegar plus one cup baking soda into the drain. Let that sit for a few minutes (it will bubble). Flush with a teapot full of boiling water. If you have issues, use a snake or plunger.
Drain cleaner is honestly something you should never have in your home – it’s hands down one of the more dangerous cleaning items.
Air Freshening Options
Light a natural candle, burn organic incense, boil orange peels and spices on your stovetop, diffuse essential oils, open your windows, buy some air-cleaning plants, use cedar blocks sprinkled with lavender in your closets, or make potpourri.
NOTE: Not all essential oils are pure and may contain the chemicals and impurities you are trying to avoid. You get what you pay for, be sure to do your research. I like Majestic Pure (I get mine from Amazon), and I have also used Young Living oils. Learn more:
Soap Scum Removal
Apply baking soda (it is non-abrasive) and inexpensive. Scrub with a damp cloth or sponge. I have an older bristle brush I use for icky scum – like when I go too long without cleaning (bad me). You can use Borax or vinegar also, but Borax can scratch. Vinegar can be applied directly, left to sit, and scrubbed down.
Small Carpet Stain
Got minor stains? Two words – club soda!
More significant tougher carpet stains: Sprinkle Fuller’s earth or cornstarch onto the spot. Allow it to sit for about 20-30 minutes. Scrub with one cup of vinegar mixed with three cups of water. If it really doesn’t come out, try a natural soap-based carpet cleaner.
For red wine stains, I found that you can put a bit of white wine over the stain to dilute the color, gently dab up the liquid, and then cover with white table salt. Let the salt sit for a few minutes and then vacuum up.
Carpet deodorizer: Sprinkle baking soda around the room – my son thinks this is the most fun ever. Add some dried crushed lavender or basil. Wait about 1/2 hour. Vacuum.
A slightly less conventional way to absorb odors from carpet, furniture, and clothing is a vodka spray bottle. As the alcohol evaporates, it takes the smells with it! It should go without saying, but I will anyway; please use caution around children and pets and where the vodka deodorizer is stored.
Sprinkle some baking soda and lemon juice into your toilet and walk away. Eventually, you’ll want to return and scrub it with a toilet brush.
Disinfectant All-purpose Cleaner
Mix a few drops of natural soap, 2 cups water, and 15 drops each of tea tree and lavender essential oil (you can use just the one oil- but 30 drops, I like the mix). You can spray this on all surfaces, like cutting boards, counters, toilets, walls (except it will streak glass).
Mold and Mildew Disinfectant
Make your disinfectant;
- 20-30 drops of tea tree extract or Thieves
- Three tablespoons castile soap
- White vinegar
- Mix in a sprayer and top with water
Mix 1/4 cup vinegar with 3/4 cup olive oil OR mix 1/4 cup lemon juice with 1/2 cup olive oil. Wipe down furniture with a soft cloth and the solution.
You may have used a Loofah sponge in the shower; however, did you know the Loofah is actually a veggie?
You can grow Loofahs at home with the rest of your vegetables. Not only will you be helping the environment by cutting down on waste and plastics, but kids also find growing their sponges really cool. If gardening isn’t really your thing or you don’t have the time for it…
I also like to reuse old t-shirts and towels to clean with. You can cut them to the desired size and store them under the counter for later use! Then wash and reuse.
Glass cleaner: Mix 1/2 cup vinegar with one-gallon water – spray and wipe.
Essential oils can be added to create different scents. I like to add lemon oil to my mixture.
Glass cleaner that does not smell like gross old vinegar: Use straight up lemon juice or club soda.
Ditch Windex in 3 easy steps;
- Two teaspoons white vinegar in a quart of warm water
- Spray bottle with club soda
- Put in a spray bottle.
Scrub with baking soda and water.
Place a bowl of straight vinegar or a bowl of water with 15 drops of tea tree oil in the microwave. You may also add a few slices of lemon or lime to your water if you don’t like or have essential oils—heat for about 2 minutes. The microwave will steam itself and be easy to wipe out with a wet cloth.
Rub silver with plain old toothpaste and rinse with water.
Never underestimate good old hot water and some scrubbing.
If you really want to get fancy, add a few drops of natural soap, but honestly, hot water will clean just about anything. Alone it won’t wholly disinfect, but it does kill many germs and removes dust. Hot water is beneficial for basic floor mopping.
Natural Cleaning Products FTW
Making your own cleaning products is a great way to reduce your grocery shopping costs. However, using natural products can pay other huge financial dividends. We have found that our clothes last longer by using natural products, and they are less abrasive on our appliances and surface finishes.
Give some of these home remedies are try and let us know how it goes.
Special thanks to Mrs. Money Geek for contributing some of her cleaning recipes.
Michael launched Wealth of Geeks to make personal finance fun. He has worked in personal finance for over 20 years, helping families reduce taxes, increase their income, and save for retirement. Michael is passionate about personal finance, side hustles, and all things geeky.