These all-natural homemade cleaner recipes will leave your home squeaky clean without the toxins! They are easy to make, and just as effective as their toxic commercial alternatives.
It’s Saturday morning – your weekly cleaning day! You open up your cleaning cupboard and a pile of toxin-filled cleaners are staring back at you. You’ve heard all of the warnings. You want to make the switch to all-natural cleaners, but you don’t know where to start.
This was me 15 years ago! Over the years I have tested and tweaked my all-natural homemade cleaner recipes and now I’m excited to share them with you today.
All of these recipes use safe all-natural ingredients and are easy to make. The best part? These cleaners are effective! We use them to scrub our large home filled with 7 farm kids and the occasional kitten or duck. We have put them to the test.
Are commercial cleaners really unsafe?
Commercial cleaners can be unsafe for a few reasons. First, many commercial cleaners contain harsh chemicals that can be hazardous to human health. These chemicals can cause skin and eye irritation, respiratory problems, and in some cases, even more serious health problems, like cancer.
Here are some of the most common chemicals found in household cleaners and their safety concerns:
- Sodium hydroxide: This chemical is found in many oven cleaners, drain cleaners, and other cleaning products. It can cause severe burns to the skin and eyes if not handled properly.
- Ammonia: Ammonia is commonly found in glass cleaners and other household cleaning products. It can cause respiratory irritation and can be harmful if swallowed or inhaled.
- Chlorine bleach: Chlorine bleach is found in many disinfectants and laundry products. It can cause skin and eye irritation, respiratory problems, and in rare cases, can be fatal if ingested.
- Phthalates: These chemicals are often used as fragrance enhancers in cleaning products and can cause endocrine disruption, which can affect hormone levels and cause reproductive and developmental problems.
- 2-butoxyethanol: This chemical is found in many all-purpose cleaners and can cause respiratory problems, skin irritation, and eye irritation.
- Formaldehyde: Formaldehyde is found in some cleaning products, such as air fresheners, and can cause irritation to the eyes, nose, and throat.
Second, commercial cleaners often contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs) which can be harmful to both humans and the environment. These chemicals can evaporate into the air and cause indoor air pollution, which can exacerbate respiratory problems and other health issues.
Third, many commercial cleaners are packaged in plastic containers which can contribute to plastic waste and harm the environment. Improper disposal of these containers can lead to pollution and harm to wildlife.
Is it worth it to make your own cleaners?
Making your own all-natural homemade cleaners is a great way to save money. In our large family where cleaning is a 24/7 affair, making our own definitely feels worth the effort. For example, I can make a bottle of homemade all-purpose cleaner for less than a dollar. A store-bought all-natural cleaner would cost more like $4 – $6.
How To Get Started Making All-Natural Homemade Cleaners
To get started making your own cleaners, you will need to first gather your supplies, ingredients, and recipes. I then like to pick a day towards the end of each month to get out these items so that I can top off all of our cleaners in one go. Many of the ingredients are the same, so this is a great efficiency hack.
While making all of your own cleaners, soaps, and detergents can sound overwhelming at first, once you get in the habit of making them, it will be easy. The recipes are simple and each one takes just a few minutes to throw together.
All-Natural Homemade Cleaner Recipes
I spent the first year of my journey towards using homemade cleaners just pinning ideas on Pinterest and trying cleaners that didn’t work. It was discouraging and had me resorting to less-than-natural means of scrubbing my house again and again.
I’m here to save you so much time by giving you our family’s favorite homemade household cleaner recipes! You can download this homemade all-natural cleaner recipe ebook for free – my gift to you.
Supplies and Ingredients Needed to Make Homemade Cleaners
Each recipe has its own list of ingredients, but there are a handful of items that are used in many all-natural homemade cleaner recipes. The wonderful thing is that you probably have most of these items already taking up space in your kitchen or bathroom cabinets.
Here is the list of ingredients you would need to make every cleaner in my free cleaning recipe ebook:
- bar soap or castile soap
- distilled water
- rubbing alcohol
- essential oils such as lemon and sweet orange
- washing soda
- corn starch
- white vinegar
- liquid dish soap
- baking soda
- lemon juice
- hydrogen peroxide
- oxygen powdered bleach (for laundry detergent)
- kosher salt
- witch hazel
- rendered lard (if making bar soap from scratch)
- lye (if making bar soap from scratch)
In addition to the ingredients, you will need spray bottles or containers to keep your homemade cleaners. One thing to keep in mind is that essential oils keep their properties best if stored in dark bottles. I like to use amber-colored glass spray bottles for this reason.
One concern I had with the glass spray bottles was setting them down on a hard surface and breaking them. If you are going to go the glass route I would definitely recommend the silicone sleeves.
For things that don’t require a spray bottle, any airtight container will do.
As far as rags, I use just cheap washcloths or cloth scraps that we have turned into rags.
One other cleaning supply essential that I absolutely love is my My Amazing Cloth. This unique rag feels like paper when it is dry. You simply dampen it slightly and then use it to clean glass and stainless surfaces without leaving streaks! It can be machine washed (just don’t throw it in the dryer!) and is very inexpensive. In fact, I now offer them in my store so that everyone can get one (or 2 or five) in their home. I still use paper towels and my homemade glass cleaner for those really nasty jobs, but for the usual weekly cleaning, a My Amazing Cloth is all you need.
I will link all of my favorite cleaning supplies below. Some of these are affiliate links, which means I may make a small commission at no extra cost to you.
Farmhouse-style Homemade Cleaner Labels
Make sure that you label all of your homemade cleaners so that you don’t forget which is which! I have on many occasions thought I would remember what was in each bottle and then kicked myself later for not just taking the time to label them.
Safest Store-bought Household Cleaners
If you don’t have the time or energy to make all of your all-natural homemade cleaners from scratch, there are now safe options on the market!
These toxin-free household cleaners have been graded an A on EWG’s guide to healthy cleaning.
This cleaner washes the pillowcase you lay your head on at night and the clothes that touch your skin all day long. Make sure that your laundry detergent isn’t making you sick!
How long will homemade cleaners last?
Most all-natural homemade cleaners will last at least a month as long as you used distilled water.
Why do you have to use distilled water for homemade cleaners?
First of all, tap water may contain bacteria that could cause your homemade cleaners to go bad quicker. The biggest reason, however, is that water that has not been distilled contains minerals. These minerals are often responsible for leaving ugly water spots on the surfaces that you spray them with. Using distilled water for your homemade cleaners will improve the longevity and effectiveness of the product.
What brand of essential oils is best?
This is a question that is highly debated. Many blogs on the internet are trying to sell you a specific brand of essential oil (usually from an MLM) and therefore may have a ton of (unproven) facts to back up their argument. I was once a Young Living representative myself, so I’m pretty familiar with how this works.
While I think the quality of Young Living oils is great, I had moral issues with the company and now purchase from a variety of other companies. If you are looking for a brand that is budget-friendly, organic, works well, and is easy to purchase, I recommend Plant Therapy.
After you get get a chance to try these cleaners, let me know what you think in the comments!