We try to use homemade and natural cleaners and avoid the harsh chemicals. There are a lot of great recipes out there on the Internet, though you must be a bit careful as many of them would have failed your basic high school chemistry quiz. Even more importantly, you must label your bottles very awesomely as cleaning needs all the help it can get when it comes to general awesomeness.
Clean All the Things - your general all purpose cleaner. Many of the recipes call for both vinegar and baking soda. Yes, this makes an impressively fun reaction, what with all the bubbling and foaming, but don't let that fool you into thinking you've created a super cleaner! What you've created is water, a bit of salt and a whole bunch of carbon dioxide flouncing off in a dramatic bubbly rage. And, water and a bit of salt aren't much of a cleaning agent.
I soak orange peels in vinegar in a mason jar, hidden off in the pantry for a few weeks. If you'd like to cut to the chase, substitute a few drops of your tea tree or lavender essential oil for several weeks of orange and vinegar on honeymoon.
2 cups orange infused white vinegar
2 cups water
a squirt of dish soap
Dat Glass - glass cleaner that smells terrible and works wonderfully! Wheee!
2 Tbsp white vinegar
1 cup water
1 cup rubbing alcohol
I've read that corn starch added to this mix will make an even better glass cleaner, but it works so well without it and I don't remember enough of high school chemistry to understand what difference the corn starch would make and what the possible downside could be. An experiment for you to carry out, friends!
Glow Your Bowl - a toilet bowl cleaner that doesn't require you to throw every window open and fan on, just to breathe. Again, lots of fans of baking soda + vinegar and castile soap + vinegar out there. If you absolutely must include vinegar in your toilet bowl cleaning routine, use it as a rinsing agent AFTER you've cleaned.
1/2 cup baking soda
1/4 cup hydrogen peroxide
1/4 cup castile soap
1 cup hot water
For this one, I just use dish soap. I don't have castile soap and I firmly believe one only needs so many different kinds of soap in the house. Whisk it all together in a bowl and pour it into a little squeeze-y bottle, then go to town.
A few bonus homemade cleaning tips:
- we keep baking soda in one of those shakers you see in every pizza joint with hot pepper flakes in it all over the house. Perfect for the bathtub, for the glass top stove, for a stubborn stain or crunchy bit on the kitchen counter, for sprinkling over stains on the carpet.
- this magical carpet cleaner really is magical. To cut down to a normal stain sized portion, I just use 1 tsp vinegar, 1 tsp clear dish soap and 2/3 cup hot water.
- go straight for the super industrial sprayer bottles. There are very cute spray bottles at Target. Don't waste your time.
Want your own bottle labels? Download the free homemade cleaner bottle label printable here! I printed on label paper and used a 2" punch for mine, but I've included a row with a 2" frame for cutting out the old fashioned way as well. Enjoy!