Homemade cleaning products are one of my new things. I’m on a bit of a mission to reduce the amount of chemicals we are exposed to, the amount of plastic we bring into the house and to save both the planet and some cash. I quite like using homemade products because I love experimenting and seeing what works and what doesn’t work. Some of the old fashioned methods really are so much better at cleaning than modern ones and much cheaper too. I’ve even tried using homemade and chemical free solutions to treat headlice when we had them in the house! Worked better than the chemist stuff I can tell you!
My one little bit of naughtiness in terms of not being very environmentally friendly is my ongoing love affair with Zoflora. I know if I want to be truly green with my cleaning I need to drop it but I’m a little bit addicted and it does make my house smell so lovely. If I can find some essential oils that smell as nice then I will make the swap but until then I’m staying loyal.
What do I use to do my cleaning?
- White vinegar
- Bicarbonate of Soda
- Vodka (a cheap paint stripper one is fine for this…you won’t be drinking it!)
- Lemon Juice
- Tea tree oil
- Eucalyptus Oil
- Ylang Ylang Oil
- Olive oil
- Soda Water
- Soda crystals
What do I do?
To write about literally every way I clean would take forever so I’m going to talk about the basic things that I do. These are the homemade cleaning products that I use most regularly.
50/50 mix of water and vodka
A few drops of tea tree oil
A few drops of lemon juice
This works really well in the kitchen and the bathroom. The vodka and tea tree oil are disinfectants and cut through the dirt as well.
This is the easiest thing ever but it is a bit smelly. I literally only use white vinegar and some scrunched up newspaper. I pour a bit of white vinegar onto some newspaper and rub this over my windows. I then get another sheet of newspaper to go over it again. It makes my windows look a lot cleaner than shop brought glass cleaner and it doesn’t have any nasty chemicals in it. I used to have to avoid glass cleaner around Lottie as it triggered her asthma. I also use it on my TV screen and photo frames.
I use olive oil mixed with a few drops of lemon juice for all my polishing. I don’t have a lot of wooden furniture that needs polishing so I don’t need to do a lot. I put it on to a cloth (I use old t-shirts cut up because I really am that cheap!) and rub it into the wood. The olive oil moisturises and polishes the wood and the lemon juice gives it a nice smell. One word of caution though. Less is definitely more with this!
Until recently I never realised just how powerful lemon juice could be for bleaching your whites. Lottie wears white polo shirts to school and they never seem to stay white for long. I have tried loads of whitening things over the years and I can honestly say lemon juice in hot water works as well as some of the really expensive cleaners. It smells a whole lot nicer as well. If you then stick the clothes on the washing line to dry this enhances the effect as the sun is also a natural bleacher.
I only have to worry about cleaning my kitchen, utility room and bathroom floors thankfully as the rest of my house is carpeted. I must admit that I use Zoflora on my floors. Half a capful into a bucket of boiling water and they come up lovely. My kitchen floor goes through a lot because we leave the dog in the back part of the house when we go out and we also have a cat. It needs mopping on a daily basis.
Again, white vinegar is amazing at descaling. I live in a VERY hard water area so my shower head, taps and kettle need doing on a very regular basis. I pour vinegar into the kettle and boil it to descale to kettle. It stinks but it works very well. If I’ve left it too long then I need to do it a few times but usually it only takes one go. You will then need to rinse the kettle out well and boil it a few times and drain that water out before using it. Failure to do this will result in vinegar flavoured tea! To descale a shower head take it off the shower and leave it in a bowl of white vinegar overnight. Rinse and return to the shower and it should be as good as new! To descale my taps I soak cotton wool into white vinegar and attach to the taps using an elastic band. Again, leave over night and the taps will be limescale free!
I hope these homemade cleaning product ideas are useful to you. I love using them, and feeling that I am doing my little bit for the planet and to reduce the chemicals we use in the house.