Before you pick up that next bottle of cleaner, here are a few environmentally-friendly DIY solutions. These chemical-free cleaners rely on natural (and readily available) household ingredients that are friendly on the earth and your wallet.
All Purpose Cleaner
This can be your go-to solution for so many messes around the house, whether in the kitchen, bathroom, or anywhere else in the house. Vinegar is a cleaning all-star whose acidity gives it disinfecting power.
- 1 part distilled white vinegar
- 1 part water
- 10-15 drops essential oils of choice
Instructions: Pour all three ingredients into a spray bottle and shake. Now you’re ready to clean. Be sure to shake before each use to mix everything together.
You’ll be leveraging similar ingredients as the all-purpose cleaner – the difference is the addition of rubbing alcohol. The rubbing alcohol will help dissolve dirt and oil while drying quickly for a streak-free finish.
- ½ cup rubbing alcohol
- ½ cup distilled white vinegar
- 1 cup water (tap water works for short-term use; if keeping long term, use distilled water)
- Essential oils of choice (optional)
Instructions: Add the alcohol and vinegar to a 16oz glass spray bottle first, then add the water until the bottle is full. The essential oils will help reduce the vinegar smell (though it will go away once dry). To use, spray the cleaner onto glass surface then wipe with a microfiber cloth. Store at room temperature when not in use.
In addition to its cleaning prowess, vinegar can also work wonders with your laundry as a softening agent and reducing static cling. Combine that with your hair conditioner and you’ve got a homemade fabric softener.
- 12 oz hair conditioner
- 1.5 cups distilled white vinegar
- 3 cups warm water
Instructions: Mix the ingredients in a bowl with a whisk. Pour the mixture into a storage container with a lid.
Fight unwelcome odors using the deodorizing power of baking soda and the sweet smell of essential oils.
- 1 tablespoon baking soda
- 2 cups warm water
- 10 drops of essential oils
Instructions: Add the baking soda to a spray bottle, followed by the warm water. Put on the lid and shake well to combine. Once the baking soda has dissolved, add the essential oils. Shake again to combine. Spray on fabrics to refresh or in the air to brighten up a room.
Make your wood surfaces shine with this two-ingredient recipe.
- 2 parts olive oil
- 1 part lemon juice
Instructions: Mix ingredients in a spray bottle or jar and shake well. Spray or pour sparingly onto wood and rub in circular motions with a soft cloth until it is well buffed.
Oven cleaning can be tough work. The key ingredient here is time so that the ingredients can work their magic.
- ¼ cup castile soap or concentrated dish detergent
- 1 cup baking soda
- ½ cup coarse sea salt or kosher salt
- Warm water
- Distilled white vinegar
Instructions: Make a paste by combining the soap, baking soda, and salt; if needed, add a little warm water. Apply the paste to the oven surface and let sit for several hours (preferably overnight). Then use a damp scrubbing brush or sponge to wash the interior clean. If there is excess paste, you can spray some vinegar to rinse it away.